Thursday, December 06, 2018

Universal Basic Income & the Foundation Economy

Following is a long discussion of how to change the current financial system and establish a living wage UBI. I'll refine it soon and combine with other posts for a comprehensive proposal. I've attached a video that briefly discusses key details. I'll disagree with some of the details herein, especially the small amount mentioned.

Now that we have gained more evidence that the current monetary system causes far more harm than we can continue to endure, it is time to take the necessary steps to solve this long term problem. In addition to the widespread struggle and suffering caused by our economies, organized around debt based money, it is also the driving force behind the waste, pollution, and resulting climate change that now threatens our very existence.

Far more people are now becoming aware of and pushing for a Universal Basic Income, an idea that has been around for centuries. Now its time has truly come. Our current level of technology, plus centuries of experience, will now allow us to change the nature of money and economies in a way that will solve most social ills by eliminating their underlying negative causes. It will also drastically shrink government and eliminate the need for most social programs of today, which primarily exist to counter the horrendous effects of the current monetary system. Through the dramatic reduction of crime and conflict it will also greatly reduce the need for police forces and militaries. Contemplate the ancient promise of swords into plowshares.

Most of the UBI proposals now proliferating present various schemes to manipulate taxes as a way to fund payments to citizens. The primary flaw of all such plans is to limit them to the taxes available from various forms of revenue, leaving them susceptible to nefarious manipulations of the economy and its normal cyclical ups and downs. Both would affect any tax funded UBI system. Since the cyclical swings of the current system are based on a combination of debt and speculation driven by greed and fear, we need to establish a barrier between them and the basic needs of people and the foundations of society and civilization. I'll explore how later on in this discussion.

The other major failing of most other proposals is to limit the amounts provided to less than a living wage. There are two motives for this. The first is the perceived need to base the UBI on revenue from taxes and the difficulty of funding local and national systems. All efforts to shoehorn a living wage UBI into the current monetary and financial systems, based on tax revenues, will face this barrier to success. That is why it is necessary to end the reliance on debt based money and taxes.

The next reason behind proposing less than living wage amounts is the idea that people will not want to work anymore once they have money, which is false. This buys into the concept that it is somehow legitimate to base our lives, society, and global civilization on the vile premise that it is somehow sane, moral, or even Constitutional to force people to submit themselves to the control of those with more money, or die. This mindset is more proof that money is slavery by proxy as it now it exists. To insist that people must be forced into servitude and subservience to money and those with more of it, in order to survive, is the opposite of freedom. For this reason, a UBI and foundation economy breaks the chains of servitude to money by making its existence and function far more democratic and compassionate in nature.

This then brings up the question of conflicts between the US Constitution and the general concepts of personal freedom and morality. Slavery was long ago determined to be immoral and illegal, yet we live in a civilization based on coerced servitude to money and those that control it. This is wholly undemocratic, as is the fact that global money is ultimately controlled by people and organizations who are not US citizens and not subject to our Constitution. Now that money has been allowed into our political processes in such obscene amounts, those with more of it are able to manipulate our nation, and most others, in completely nefarious ways, as recent years have proved beyond any doubt whatsoever. In addition to the UBI, we must also end the ability of obscenely wealthy people to control us by controlling governments.

As I have said often, the current economy and financial systems are based upon debt and fractional reserve banking. Most of our taxes exist because of this system and the requirements to borrow money from central banks and repay it, plus the compounding interest on that debt. This system exists because those who run national and international central banks do so for profit and not as a public benefit. This should be painfully obvious by now. Further, because of fractional reserve banking, those who are allowed to create money are also able to profit far beyond their actual deposits or collateral. It thereby gives them control of the reigns of civilization and all governments. We can now see the overwhelming evidence that this has long caused great harm in numerous ways which grows worse as economies based on debt and the need for constant growth expand.

The combination of debt based money and fractional reserve banking work together to form a greed engine at the core of everything our civilization and all of its people do within various economies. It also causes layers of additional complexity that serve to increase the difficulty of everything, raising costs and requiring more growth to pay for the additional debt, resources, and labor required. Compounding interest is used to siphon off a percentage of the energies and resources of everyone and everything, human and otherwise. In this manner, people who control money and its creation profit from the struggle and suffering of an entire planet's people who are forced to labor and suffer under the negative effects of such a system.

Because money is based on debt and an artificially limited commodity, ultimately and secretly controlled by an astoundingly greedy and arrogant few, access to it is kept difficult for most. Because money is required to survive in this civilization, it serves as a carrot and stick to force most into servitude to those with more money, just to survive. This means a percentage will always fail to secure the money to live and thereby will suffer in numerous ways, causing despair, desperation, poverty, homelessness, hunger, and poor physical and mental health among a percentage of the population. In a civilization as technologically advanced and wealthy as ours, failing to house, feed, and provide healthcare to anyone is completely unnecessary and wholly unacceptable.

Because we are all entrapped in a global system based on greed, which is the root of evil, compassion and empathy are limited, while the justifications for why money is treated as more important than life are not. The system of debt based money has been with us for millennia. It has evolved over time into the current global financial system. Throughout all that time, the system of debt based money has never ended poverty and homelessness anywhere it exists, while at the same time making a few fabulously wealthy and powerful.

Even though we are at the peak of our national wealth and power, every city has hundreds, if not thousands, of people suffering from a lack of homes because of lack of money, even though plenty of each already exist to solve the problem, many times over. This is what a civilization based on greed does. This is evil, pure and simple. Look at our world to understand this.

One of the great benefits of a living wage UBI will be the end of the fear and greed that drives this civilization and its peoples to participate in a system that causes so much harm to all life on this planet. Another will be the end of poverty and homelessness and most crime. Everyone will have guaranteed income and housing and no fear of running out or going homeless or starving, etc. Then the focus shifts to running a compassionate civilization that benefits people and does not destroy the natural systems and life on the only planet we have.

So the big question is how to make it work. The first and most important step is to grasp that money and the underlying monetary system, as it now exists, is not a positive force in this world. Hence, debt based money must be eliminated to improve our existence. Next is to grasp that we can easily restructure how money works and comes into existence. Rather than putting value on debt and collateral, we simply need to value people and their voluntary participation in a civilization purposely reorganized to fairly and compassionately benefit everyone, without fail. We should also value the basics of a safe and sane civilization. These are the things that provide value to life and thereby this is where and how money should come into existence.

The combination of central banks, debt based money, and its planned scarcity for most, plus the requirement to use money to survive, eat, have a home, healthcare, etc. works to ensnare, enslave, and harness everyone into a hierarchical structure based mostly on money and wealth. The current monetary and financial systems are thereby punitive and thrive through fear, coercion, and blatant deception. This is why I say that money is slavery by proxy. Ultimately, eliminating money and simply cooperating in a voluntary and compassionate civilization is the key to full freedom. Until then, we need an intermediate stage that provides the primary benefits of civilization to everyone, without fail and without coercion, fear, greed, etc., and ends the ability of a greedy few to use money as their proxy to enslave everyone else.

A term I and others have used is a foundation economy. When I use it I am referring to an overall economic structure that has three or more zones or tiers that work together but with slightly different rules. The bottom tier, or foundation economy, consist of a living wage UBI and basic services like healthcare, education, infrastructure, guaranteed housing, food, clothing, and public services. In this model, the creation of money is done through the UBI payments to individuals, and to organizations involved in providing the products and services designated as part of the foundation economy, which then trickles up into the rest of the economy. This will create a fertile foundation for small businesses of all types, but especially those that cater to the needs of people and the basic foundations of civilization.

The other tiers above the foundation economy would be a crafts and small business economy, directly above and reliant upon the foundational tier. Then above that would be a luxury and commercial economy that would encompass larger businesses and likewise have different rules than those that apply to the other two tiers. One vital feature is that the foundation and craft and small business tiers would be free of debt. That would mean making small business grants available to any legitimate small business that provides any social benefit.

Providing a living wage UBI eliminates the ability of those with large amounts of money to control others because of the need to find money to survive. It gives people the option to work as much or as little as they want or are able. Likewise, the current problems of finding jobs and employees will go away. The current system, organized around debt-based money, limits both the availability of jobs and the flexibility of employees and employers alike. It also raises the costs of everything.

Most will want to participate in society and civilization and we will in essence, be paying ourselves for being alive and for participating. People with physical limitations, illnesses, or advanced age would no longer need to be concerned about money or jump through absurd and demeaning bureaucratic hoops just to survive. Even those that do not work a regular job will still be active participants in various ways, if only to support small businesses through their purchases. 

Furthermore, when people no longer have to worry all the time about the source of income or losing it unexpectedly, many will spend more time doing volunteer work. Many things fail to get done in our civilization because of lack of money to pay people to help or lack of people with free time. Furthermore, all the waste and damage we have done to nature must be fixed, and with a UBI it will be easy to attract volunteers and change how our economies and technologies operate.

In addition to the living wage UBI, the other components of the foundation economy must be housing, healthcare, food, clothing, education, infrastructure, communications, and transportation. Of these, housing, healthcare, education, clothing and food form the minimal basis for a healthy citizenry. Infrastructure, transportation, communications, public safety, and other public services likewise form the minimal basis for a safe, stable and functioning civilization. In this model, the same way that the UBI brings money into the economy by providing income to individuals, the basic services would also serve as another way money is created and flowed upward into the other tiers of the overall economy.

The other relevant topic is taxes. In this system, there would be no need for personal income taxes, except as a way to limit hoarding by some. Much of what we require taxes to fund would be covered by the UBI and foundation economy. Since money will not be based on debt, the inflation, speculation, and other negative aspects of the current system will no longer exist. Costs can be reduced across the board for all things. A large portion of taxes now go to simply pay off interest on national loans and other debt. This requirement will cease when this system is in place. Money will be created as needed and it will flow upwards into the craft and small business and commercial tiers. The combination of limits on wealth and taxes on commercial activity only will replace the need for personal income taxes.

As mentioned in all my discussions about a UBI and foundation economy, the current debt based system is not only slavery by proxy but is the root cause of most poverty, homelessness, crime and a dizzying array of personal and societal ills related to lack of money and the fear and despair it cultivates through all sectors of society, nations, and the global civilization as a whole. It is likewise the driving force behind wars over resources, territory, and religion. The ingrained fear of the negative results of lack of money is used to force people to work in negative circumstances that need not exist. The fear of the homeless, the less well off, migrants, other races, etc. are ultimately also caused by the competition for money and resources and the effects on those who lose or opt out of the game.

So, in closing, I hope this gives people a better idea of how to make the changes that will support the existence of a living wage UBI that is not reliant on tax revenue nor susceptible to the negative effects of the current economy and debt based money. The simple key is to change how money comes into existence, which is now much easier to do thanks to our current level of technology and accumulated experience and knowledge. In this way money creation becomes a publicly owned and managed system that is no longer a profit source for shadowy people and private organizations.

This is also not merely a question of political philosophy, but the safety of everyone and the survival of our civilization. Those who will attempt to prevent change and keep people entrapped in the current system will whine about socialism and communism, but those labels are irrelevant. This change will enhance democracy and personal freedoms dramatically. Climate change is also a real and pressing problem and economies organized around debt based money and the need for constant growth and profits are the root cause. Restructuring money and economies are required to solve and survive the great problems we all now face, rich and poor alike.

The only reasons to delay are fear and greed, the same things that drive the current system.