The Tribune (NZ) - - COMMENT -

I was in­tro­duced to the con­cept of a univer­sal ba­sic in­come (UBI), for all cit­i­zens, in 1994 when I or­gan­ised a se­ries of com­mu­nity meet­ings across Manawatu through to Dan­nevirke and Pahiatua, to feed into Jim Bol­ger’s Prime Min­is­te­rial Task­force on Em­ploy­ment.

The one com­mon theme was the need for a UBI.

Of course un­em­ploy­ment then was high by New Zealand stan­dards, but to hear on the news this month the es­ti­ma­tion that half the present jobs in this coun­try will soon be taken over by ‘‘new’’ tech­nol­ogy, makes the com­ing situation very clear..

It is es­ti­mated that 30% of our cur­rent work­force does not know from one day to the next how many hours they will work, if any and there­fore suf­fer chronic fi­nan­cial in­se­cu­rity.

But ob­vi­ously, ‘‘we ain’t seen noth­ing yet’’.

The world wide resur­gence of ba­sic in­come as a phi­los­o­phy is in­dica­tive of the chang­ing times, and it is thanks to a num­ber of dis­tin­guished visi­tors, in­clud­ing Prof Guy Stand­ing, that it is gain­ing talk­ing time here cur­rently.

This is a space we will all ben­e­fit from watch­ing, as all sides of the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum, here and overseas, are sup­port­ing the idea. Ian Ritchie



A lit­tle fo­cus on the source of today’s prob­lems rather than the re­sults of them would be ben­e­fi­cial.

The money sys­tem of be­lief lies at the root of all our prob­lems. ‘‘Free­dom’’ means no ac­count­abil­ity to hu­man and world life; while com­pe­ti­tion means com­pet­ing to ex­ter­nalise all costs onto the lives of cit­i­zens and en­vi­ron­ments.

Ob­vi­ously, no re­cov­ery from the great­est eco­nomic disor­der in his­tory is pos­si­ble if it is un­seen.

If we are truly se­ri­ous about prob­lem res­o­lu­tion then we need to broaden our sense of pos­si­bil­ity. Our in­cred­i­ble 21st cen­tury ca­pa­bil­i­ties to cre­ate abun­dance and meet hu­man needs and be­yond, with­out a price-tag, is be­ing de­nied due to our ar­chaic method of scar city­driven so­cial func­tion­al­ity.

The Money Free, Re­source-Based Econ­omy, with­out any type of trade, cur­rency, cred­its, debt, barter or servi­tude al­most in­stantly re­moves any kind of neg­a­tive hu­man mo­ti­va­tion – free­ing gen­uine al­tru­is­tic hu­man mo­ti­va­tion to ac­com­plish what is so eas­ily pos­si­ble today.

No­body re­ally wants to harm oth­ers or poi­son our en­vi­ron­ment; they just do it to get money – the cur­rent driv­ing mech­a­nism for sur­vival.

The prob­lem we are faced with is tra­di­tional think­ing – the mind­set of the way for­ward be­ing ‘‘growth and jobs’’. When it be­comes ac­cepted that a sys­tem has failed, emer­gent ideas can take hold and be al­lowed to flour­ish.

The symp­toms of fail­ure are preva­lent in the world around us, and to deny their ex­is­tence or pon­tif­i­cate about su­per­fi­cial re­forms could come at se­vere cost to our en­tire species. Money Free rep­re­sen­ta­tion thus far sees 18 NZ may­oral can­di­dates this Oc­to­ber, and the NZ Money Free Party in the general elec­tion.

It is time to ori­ent our sys­tem to­wards the in­ter­est of manag­ing abun­dance rather than pre­serv­ing scarcity.

The post-scarcity so­ci­ety we have all dreamed of is read­ily pos­si­ble in the very near fu­ture, if we are vul­ner­a­ble enough and sen­si­tive enough to ac­tu­ally al­low it to come to fruition.

Scott Andrew Palmer­ston North

The ro­bots are com­ing – a robot milk­ing ma­chine demon­strated dur­ing a field day at Feild­ing Ag’s farm ear­lier this year.

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