Basic Income in The Time of Crisis


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    Dorothea Lange ‘OK Family bound for Kingfisher and Lubbock. We’ll be in California yet’ 1938 Basic income is a topic I’ve been thinking about for a wh
    [See the full post at: Basic Income in The Time of Crisis]

    Ken Barrows

    In much of the West, basic income would have to be the equivalent of $20,000 per year for a single person to meet basic expenses and rent a studio/efficiency apartment of 200-300 square feet. Let’s have some (more) deflation first and maybe a basic income scheme will work better.


    Yeah, Ken, but now you’re placing it in today’s world too, and really, that world is going going gone. The decentralization and basic income effort itself is much more valid than the numbers. Plenty deflation coming up, though, if that’s any consolation.

    Joe Clarkson

    With the collapse of the supply chains facilitated by the global market economy, far more important issues than basic monetary income will present themselves. Foremost among them, food production and distribution. The most optimistic “basic income” for the economy to come will be sacks of grain or potatoes handed out to the unemployed (virtually everyone) at famine relief centers.


    Hi Ilargi, your entire premise is based on a government that hasn’t been hijacked by and subjugated to a Debt-Money Monopolist cartel. Selling dreams as potential realities is not exactly being honest.
    Why would the people who are going to steal everyone’s pensions and social security then care about the same people and give them “basic income.” Well, in exchange for slave labor, maybe.
    Anyway, avoiding the root cause of the problem, the Debt-Money Monopolists and their debt-money system, acts to cover for these people and their system of oppression. It is the most effective form of deception according to Eric Blair – OMISSION.


    traditional pension systems are unsustainable and basic income could solve that. eu pension systems will collapse in about two decades if nothing is done. it’s mostly about demographics. a huge issue today in eu is a link between pension systems and migrants, or how to refill the pool of contributing workers. thx for a great post, keep going!


    Can someone explain to me why centralisation is contingent on growth? I’m a little confused by this…


    In centralization, people give up part of the control over their societies. They will only consent to this if and when they receive something in return, when they get wealthier, or at least perceive that they do. When this idea no longer delivers, they will want to regain control over their own lives. Why let someone far away make your decisions for you if there are no benefits to this?

    V. Arnold

    A lot of food for thought here Ilargi.
    But it seems to me that as long as the neo-liberal model of austerity is maintained a basic income is not possible.
    The U.S. is still in the monetize everyfuckingthing until there is not 1¢ of public money remaining.
    And student debt @ something like $2 Trillion; which can’t be bankrupted out of existence. Even death of the student passes the debt on to the co-signers; now there is a golden racket that would do the Mafia proud…


    My contribution to this discussion, from 2011. This is a 100% “bottom up” view- I have nothing to say about governmental policies- just what humans need and can do- perhaps.


    The problems I see with the UBI in collapse are as follows.
    1. How is the value of the scrip defined/maintained/guaranteed? Collapse will, pretty much by definition, take down the centralised governance of the society that currently underpins the validity of the money. And don’t talk about blockchain, the telecoms networks needed to enable that will be gone..
    2. In the collapse event there will be little trouble keeping the money internal because international trade will go down as well, however that will create massive reductions in resources that will still be vital, such as fuels to manage the movement of food so that urban populations don’t just invade the hinterland and destroy what remains of the productive capacity. By focusing on “income” we are still stuck with a financial model that says people will make the best decisions with their “own” resources, while there are other needs that they may disprefer to the cost of others in the community. ie, the market functions in a static or growing economy, but in a shrinking one, Jevon’s paradox has real teeth.
    3. How will the actual producers be compensated for their productivity when the consumers will be required to, essentially, sit and wait for the goods to arrive, because every time someone moves they burn resources and the least movement will enable the greatest number to survive. But those who have to move, the food/fuel/pharmaceutical/fibre/clothing etc producers will want to be paid for the personal extra cost of that production.
    4. But then what will they be able to do with that money? In a collapse there will be zero surplus resources for them to acquire to gain a benefit that recognises their extra effort to keep the community from going totally to hell.

    Under BAU I can see some case for merging all social benefits into one, but under a collapse model I think your chances, even with the best will in the world, will be damned slim and probably a waste of resources that will be needed elsewhere.

    John Day

    In collapse, having a plot of land, water, soil amendments, tools, seeds and guidance helps people survive with much fewer external inputs. This is our species. We work very well together in small groups growing, harvesting and processing food-plants. It is so much more work for a small pot of black-eyed peas than you would imagine, but it is also our nature, which is discovered in the process. Patience, observation of patterns in the garden, insight, foresight and cooperation arise.
    This is the grassroots local economy, the actual foundation, and a really clear vantage point, from which to begin anew.
    The most together people I have ever met work together to grow food in agrarian communities, with or without a shared spiritual practice. (It’s easier if you are accustomed to doing that kind of work though. Otherwise you might just be another lazy-asshole in hell/paradise.)

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