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A conscious acknowledgement of our common purpose as fulfilment without harm so we may organise ourselves, our justice systems, our economies, our organisations, and our societies to enable our pursuit of it. The organising principle of fulfilment without harm must override the pursuit of money and/or power. Specifically: (more...)

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Shared Base Income Response

What follows is a response (actually mine) concerning 'a shared base income' (given in a 21st Century LinkedIn discussion on 'Where To Begin?') that I think is useful to replicate here, as it addresses the fundamental issue of changing the incentive of our system from financial accumulation to fulfilling our potential by making our best contribution (according to who we are and where we see the need). An incentive change that at the same time frees us to be ourselves.

"Yes, I think it is up to indigenous societies how they wish to adopt and adapt technology, just as it is up to all of us what technology and learning we wish to adopt and adapt to ourselves. I imagine, however, that if we are responsible we will adapt and use that technology to help ourselves grow and further develop, not recklessly abuse it to exploit our natural resources for, ultimately, limited material gain. However, this form of gain is incentivised by the 1st world economies most of the world now aspires to.

"Resource allocation is a dilemma for any society. How do we share? How could that work? I think that managed resource allocation, particularly of products and services, is not feasible with any form of central control or planning. The complexity of individual need for product (and contribution of) is too complex - we may all need houses, all food, but we all want to make our own choice of food and housing. How do we enable this? Well, the free market economy has done this to a degree for finished products. It enables us to choose what products, what technology we adopt (and then adapt to our use).

"I think we cannot throw out the free market if we want a free society. Unfortunately, in a free market (and it must also be a fair market, competing by being distinctive, not by undermining competitors) some people will earn more than others - that is just the way things are, some people's products are more popular than others and thus they will accumulate more money. Fortunately, money cannot only be accumulated, it can be shared. And this is what must happen if we want a free and fair society where everyone is free to make their best contribution, according to what they are best able to do and where they see a need. Money allows this.

"Money in a system where it is not shared, but allowed to accumulate, causes the incentive of the system to become, overwhelmingly, the pursuit of money. In a system where money is shared (say half of all our earnings from trade shared between us all) money is no longer the primary incentive. When we all have a shared base income then we are free to decide how we contribute, and we do that according to who we are and where we see the need - in other words we realise our potential.

"In this system of shared income, there will be still be persons who earn more than others, but there will be a base income in which we can all find the security to contribute how we wish. With this we will be likely to choose greater leisure (some of the greatest ideas are conceived at so called 'leisure') and, no doubt, we will seek to automate and mechanise those jobs that are repetitive and physically harsh.

"A shared base income also gives us all a direct share in the growth of our economy, indeed its level will vary with it. It would, I believe, give us a much greater sense of community as well as independence to contribute how we are best able."

[The Common Purpose - Income]
[Namibia Two Year Basic Income Grant Pilot]
[Irish Government's Green Paper On Basic Income]
[Basic Income Earth Network - About Basic Income]
[Basic Income Studies Journal]

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