The following is a Q&A discussion from the Living Income Guaranteed Facebook page.
Hi - it's not within the Living Income Guaranteed proposal to give each one equal wages, regardless of skill, profession or education. However, it is within the Human Rights Declaration to provide each one with certain rights - which requires a minimum living income. Wouldn't you say it is hypocritical to promise or guarantee these rights and then refrain from providing the means through which these rights find their expression - which in our world, is money? In terms of the inflation argument - please check out the hangout we did on that topic:
A living income is not a right. It's a right to persue, it. How can someone be provided something equal, or to a hyper -standard of their personal production? If a living is "guaranteed ", what is the motivation of the indevidual to continue to be a productive member of society? Where is this guarantee coming from, if the incentive to work is gone? Will farmers farm if they are guaranteed a living even if they dount? Will truckers get up at 3am and drive? Will doctors continue to practice?
The truth is, this utopian, society you are promoting sounds like roses and rainbows but the facts are, you are pushing the same socialist ideology that has been failing for hundreds of years.
I hope you never see the day your agenda is a reality. I hope you never have to explain why you have to stand in line for the only meal of the day. I think you should be studying the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union, or for that matter, Rome. Noone can guarantee you a living, it's a fact. The people who say they they can, are only going to make those promises until they realize, that giving you that guarantee, means taking from someone else who WORKS for it. It's called slavery. What some see as greed and unfair, I call success.
Asking your government to guarantee your living, is in turn relinquishing your liberty to them. If you want to know your rights, read the constitution. There are no guarantees in life. If you want freedom and peace, and your rights? You have to work and fight for them. And that means taking personal responsibility for your actions and wellbeeing. If you want someone to guarantee you the the things that sustain your life and you are over the age of 18, you are completely delusional.
Hi - I hear your concerns regarding the Living Income Guaranteed proposal as they have been brought up before. If we lived in a world where jobs and opportunities for success were readily available to all - then, yes, we can suppose that it is ever person's choice to live in poverty and there might be reason to leave someone to their own vices. However, that is not the world we live in today. Not everyone grows up in the same environment that supports them with the skills to enter the job-market. Not everyone has access to decent education and even with having a degree and the will to work, youth unemployment is a growing phenomenon, because there are no jobs available. For a different perspective, I suggest you read the blog 'Redemption and the Right to a Living Income' as it is directly pertinent to the point you raised here. Placing that absolute 'rule' or 'principle' that only those who can make a decent living within the economic system rightly deserve it is problematic when you consider the world we live in, because it can not simply be argued that those in poverty choose to be there and/or that they are unwilling to change their living conditions.
In terms of work incentives, we looked at this point as well. If staying at home still provides you with your basic living necessities, would there be a reason to work? One point here I would like to bring up is that pilot projects for a basic income have all shown that work efforts are not reduced when a basic income is provided. So, there is reason to believe that our fears are just that - fears. But do we want to take that risk? We'd rather not. Therefore, within the Living Income Guaranteed proposal, we suggest that the minimum wage be double the Living Income. That means that those with a job can definitely afford more luxurious lifestyles than those living with just the basic requirements - which therefore provides an incentive to take up employment.
In terms of your argument of taking from someone else who worked for their income to provide another with a living income, I suggest you read the Living Income Proposal itself again as we suggest a way of financing the Living Income Guaranteed that does not require means such as income tax which ensures that no one pays for anyone else's Living Income.
That guaranteeing a Living Income stands equal to, or is a slippery slope towards communism is quite a leap. Consider that communism was characterized by central planning and the centralization of ownership of resources. We propose instead that capitalism remains the way in which economic activities are conducted and we support the decentralization of power with minimal government - less government in fact than a welfare state implies. Herein, we agree with Libertarians such as Matt Zwolinski who recently wrote an informative and insightful article titled 'The Pragmatic Libertarian Case for a Basic Income Guarantee'.
The constitutions and the values and principles that we've been upholding are products of the past - where once upon a time, they were considered useful and an improvement over what was here before. However, if you look at the abuse that has been allowed in the name of these values and principles, it becomes clear that we have to formulate new principles for our global society to live by. We simply cannot continue as we are. If not for those in need - then out of self-interest - because in the battle where each person is fighting for their rights - we are disregarding the planet we live on and some day, we will all have to pay the price - unless we change what we're doing. That doesn't mean we have to implement a utopian society of equality - but would it be so outrageous if each person was given the bare necessities to survive?