Yesterday I saw an article Why Universal Basic Income is a Bad Idea which began with the words “We should always be wary of simple solutions to complex problems ….”
Uh oh, I thought: yet another piece wanting to hide the nub of the matter of UBI with unnecessary complexity. On reading the article, my suspicions were confirmed; confirmed absolutely.
I’ll go for Ockham’s Razor every time: What is the overarching problem, and does it have an overarching solution?
The point of this (my) website is to announce that we have an all-embracing economic problem, namely, that for all our ‘progress’, poverty and dispossession has increased in the west, and we’re heading into an economic depression. How on earth could this be possible in the 21st century?
Last night on the ABC’s Q and A, a woman questioner invoked ‘common ground’, without understanding what the term entails. People use common ground as a throw away line these days without understanding it, but classical economists and great philosophers have understood its truth: that the earth and its resources are indeed humanity’s common ground: they are not ‘private property’. To acknowledge that we have common ownership of the land, it follows essentially that the rent of land must be paid into the public purse. There’s plenty there!
This is what goes missing in EVERY bill of human rights, because the majority of humanity doesn’t accept that the world is common ground. Indigenous peoples have much to teach us in this regard.
All taxation can be replaced by levying ground rents of only half the amount of taxes currently levied on productivity and usefulness, but the apparently neo-liberal writer of the article abovementioned is too busy reducing the forest to its trees, instead of investigating the overarching possibilities.
There is great scope for a UBI if we were to abolish all taxes and to tax away economic rents. The reform would produce the economy of abundance.
Meanwhile, we’ll go on producing boom-bust and poverty with our devastating taxation regimes. Here’s the picture of Australia’s overarching real estate market to make the point. When real estate turnover exceeds 15%, we have a bubble. When y-o-y turnover crashes by 25%, we’re in for a recession – at least!