In the late 1970s or early ’80s I became aware of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme’s idea of a basic income for all citizens. It resonated with me, much as Mary and Lewis Leaky’s early humanoid studies did, in that it provided a puzzle piece in my ongoing evolution of thinking about my inherent egalitarian template.
At that time, I was unaware of the idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI), an idea that has been repeatedly forwarded by such notables as Thomas Paine, Milton Friedman, Charles Murray and Martin Luther King to name but a few of its disparate proponents.
Universal Basic Income could:
• Stabilize family income and reduce the stress of providing for a family.
• Increase the possibilities for local entrepreneurship.
• Increase the ability to save or borrow, and have credit with local banking institutions, thus increasing assets of the banks while decreasing the need for high-interest Pay Day loan usury.
• Produce a liberating effect among the low wage sector, creating more choices and security with which to seek meaningful work and aspire to a middle-class life.
• Provide employers, especially small business owners, with a more affordable labor pool to draw from and more competitive strength with regard to corporate and chain-store competitors.
• Stabilize our rural and small town populations as they weigh their economic options in the rapidly changing macro-economic picture.
• Make senior healthcare more affordable and appealing to those who would care for the ill and aged among us, but who suffer themselves from very low pay.
• Reduce crime, especially domestic and property crimes.
The list of possibilities goes on and on in this experimental thinking.