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Our Agenda

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...)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

What About A Shared Base Income?

A shared base income is an ethical economic system of taxation and income distribution based in equal opportunity and sharing so that equality can be a reality.

Equality of opportunity entails that we all have the opportunity to realise our potential through freely choosing how we best contribute, where and when we see the need. This requires sharing the income and profits of trade. Sharing, half for ourselves and half for others, inculcates the co-dependency of all people with each other, and directly ties all our incomes to the growth of our economy via a base income we all receive.

The shared base income is shared because we all receive it (all over the age of entitlement) and because the income from profits and trade is shared, half with ourselves and half with others via a 50% tax on non-base incomes and profits to form the base income received by all of us.

That much of the current expenditure and social welfare would also be replaced by the base income can also be factored in to balance the cost of the base income and balance the government's revenue and expenditure. There may also be some significant savings in administrating a fully flat rate of tax over the many rates we currently have at the moment.

The figures are not, however, the primary focus of what a shared base income is about. The numbers can work, but the primary question is what incentive do we want our economy and our society to focus on? Do we want it to be on our contribution as decided by each and every one of us, or do we want it to be on money? I think it is our purpose to realise our potential and find our fulfilment in doing that. If that is our purpose, then the incentive of our economy should be on contribution, not money, as it is through our chosen contribution that we find fulfilment.

The most critical thing in changing to a shared base income is the change of emphasis, from compulsory jobs to contribution and voluntary participation in organisations. What will this mean for the money economy and economic growth?

This is about a fundamental change in how and what we see life as about. If, in fact, we see life as about people fulfilling their potential then we should enable this as directly as we can. Focussing on a system that allows maximum freedom for people to fulfil their potential may also actually result in a system that realises maximum economic growth.

Ben Wallace
Author, The Common Purpose Manifesto


  1. I totally agree Ben. A caring society will happily pay more taxes. I think 50% is reasonable...We would all end up richer if the shared portion of our income was shared usefully.