Politicians have enjoyed being paid to vote on legislation since the beginning of our government. Paid both by government and special interests. But our own ability to vote on who occupies these offices is very under valued. One way you can tell our voting is valuable, is in the fact they spend so much on campaigning to manipulate our votes.
It goes with out saying, that they are getting a really good deal, thanks to corporate mass media providing the voting public as a neat package for sale. The education of the people in general and on the issues is also reduced by people not having as much time in their life, and dependence on TV to tell them who to vote for.
Basic Income would be the end manifestation of our power to vote. It would give us time to understand the issues clearly and intellectually instead of as an emotional gut reaction that we get today.
An idea to give all Americans free money is gaining more support by the day. The policy is pretty simple. The government would send every working age, non-incarcerated American a check every month, no strings attached.
Jane McGonigal in her awesome book "Reality is Broken" said a game can be defined by four discrete elements.
Rules (laws, both physical as well as manmade)
A feedback system (i.e. points, or in this metaphor- money.)
Now, most obviously, what the "American game" right now lacks is voluntary participation. The vast majority of people working lower-wage jobs are doing so strictly for the sake of survival, so their participation in the workforce is not at all voluntary, but is something they must do in order to fill their basic needs (Hunger and the need of shelter constitutes some of the "Rules" in this metaphor). With basic income, we can have a TRULY gamerly society. A person should be able to play or not play, and still be afforded the basic accommodations to exist, and with that minuscule change to the rules, people will be more able to establish and pursue greater goals than ever before. Money will still exist as a feedback system, and the act of becoming rich will continue to be an act not unlike putting your name on the top-ten high scores list, but it will no longer be a barrier to keep those who follow ideals other than work (volunteerism, etc...) from living a simple, safe life.
In order to evolve to an advanced automated and sustainable economy, we have to evolve money and Reboot Our Planet.
"Financial Wealth, Money, and Capital" are just claims for goods and services, the actual goods and services are "Real Wealth." Right now all financial wealth in the world is built upon unprecedented and unsustainable PUBLIC debt and PUBLIC deficits. PUBLIC debt is a liability we all owe to each other and to ourselves.
When ALL of the citizens were FORCED to bail out Wall Street and Financial Wealth, Wall Street and Financial Wealth should rightfully be owned by ALL of the citizens. Without a PUBLIC bailout potentially exceeding $29 Trillion Dollars, Warren Buffett admits every public company would have gone bankrupt. Bankruptcy would not have impacted the productive capacity or output of these companies, simply who or what owns them. If we Reboot Our Planet, everyone can own the PUBLICLY bailed out companies and everyone can receive a dividend every month sufficient for a dignified life to claim the output of the companies they own....just like Warren gets.
In the Industrial Era, bankers create money out of thin air by making loans. Whoever gets a loan is given money. We trusted bankers to allocate capital to projects and individuals they felt were productive and promoted society's goals. People trusted bankers to make productive loans. People exchanged their lives and labor for money which was simply the proceeds of bank loans. Interest was charged on loans to generate profits for the bank and to motivate people to continually advance the system. For over 100 years, it was the game we played and the system we trusted.
However, with new, more efficient technology, it is becoming harder for banks to find businesses and individuals to make sound loans to. Automation and digitization is reducing both the need for financial capital and the need for people to produce goods and services. As a result, banks are increasingly resorting to speculation, fraud, and improper behavior to perpetuate the existing economy and protect their "profitability," while the old basis for creating sound capital crumbles.
Since money is just a tool for people to get the goods and services they need from our companies, we must question whether it makes sense to continue our current system of creating money through bank loans. Such thinking fails when we can now use powerful technology to directly distribute money, and therefore goods, to citizens. If we change our thinking, a stable, abundant economy can evolve where everyone can prosper and be rewarded for advancing societal and personal goals in a new sustainable and productive world.
By moving beyond our current systems, we could pay anyone to go to school. We could pay people to conduct research. We could pay individuals for new innovations and inventions. We could compensate those that advance knowledge and the arts. Everyone could compete and collaborate globally. The potential for success would be unlimited and the opportunities open to all.
Excellence is not an endpoint, it is the result of relentlessly pursuing something you are passionate about. Due to the failure of our existing systems to meet the present needs of society, people's passions are evaporating. With purpose and proper motivation, potential is unlimited. Imagine a world where nobody fears scarcity and everyone has the opportunity to access knowledge without constraints. Just because someone can retire, does not mean they will retire. There are lots of people that love to pursue their passion regardless of money. With the opportunity for self improvement open to all, excellence will be the natural destination from where all journeys begin.
With advances in automation and communication, we can build a new dynamic and sustainable economy. One that allows 7 billion people to be incentivized to collaborate and compete in open systems designed to advance the productivity and the efficiency of global needs. Based on current technology, such an environment can be reality today. Implementing it would not only serve society, but it would promote individual freedom and development at a rate never seen before.
The world's 100 richest people earned a stunning total of $240 billion in 2012 – enough money to end extreme poverty worldwide four times over, Oxfam has revealed, adding that the global economic crisis is further enriching the super-rich.