Following Europe's lead on the basic income for all … Folks in Europe are currently campaigning for a basic income, which would provide a livable income directly to everyone as a human right, paid for by taxing the rich, financial transactions, carbon pollution etc. and eliminating old fashioned, expensive welfare programs … – Daily Kos
Dominant Social Theme: Major Douglas's social credit makes a comeback.
Free-Market Analysis: Well, it didn't take long for this meme to make considerable headway. We've been tracking it for years, since noticing the popularity of Web of Debt.
Since then we've watched its expansion via a variety of what we believe to be pre-packaged websites. And now it's catching on in Europe.
The idea is that "the people" ought to control central banking and also ought to distribute money for all via government largesse. The point of this is to disintermediate nasty free-market capitalist influences by insuring that "the people" have the power.
Of course, as we have often pointed out, the people now in power will likely retain the power – only the mythology will be that the "public" is in charge when they are not, or not any more than they were in the 20th century.
It's a kind of "bait and switch" and it is proceeding apace. First books, then websites and articles (see Wall Street article, this issue) and now perhaps the European Union's Eurocrats are about to become converts.
We call this directed history, the idea that one creates memes that sweep the world and then are acted on as if they are not artificial.
Here's more from the article:
If the European Citizens' Initiative for an Unconditional Basic Income collects a million signatures in the EU, "the European Commission will have to examine our initiative carefully and arrange for a public hearing in the European Parliament."
A hearing may not sound like much, but it's a start. Now it's time for us to start pushing for a basic income here in the US too.
One of the things that the Right does well is to promote crazy right wing ideas, like massive tax cuts for the rich to stimulate the economy or that global warming is a hoax, to push the debate toward the right.
When it comes to economic issues, there is no similarly well-funded and staffed effort to promote radical left wing ideas to move the debate to the left. Labor and lefty groups spend most of their time and effort on mainstream issues, and our president advocates a "middle-out economics" that apparently includes reducing cost of living increases for seniors on Social Security.
We need a bold new progressive economic philosophy to drive the conversation to the left. We need labor and progressive groups and elected officials to promote Rise Up Economics – the opposite of right wing Trickle Down Economics and way more progressive than the president's weak Middle Out Economics.
In addition to progressive basics like investing in jobs, education and health care and reforming our labor laws, Rise Up Economics could include a basic income for all as a way to eradicate poverty, reduce income inequality, and change the nature of work and the economy.
By seriously taxing the rich, Wall St. financial transactions, and carbon pollution and closing tax loopholes that allow rich guys like Mitt Romney to pay less in taxes than his secretary, we can invest directly in people, who will spend the money and truly stimulate the economy.
If we gave everyone just above a poverty-level income – about $12,000 in the US – then we'd lift millions out of poverty and provide much-needed economic security to the working poor.
… Providing a consistent source of income that we can all rely on would provide the American people with a sense of economic security in this crazy changing 21st Century economy. And it would provide progressives with an issue that drives the conversation way out to the left.
For now we are told that "progressives" are behind this initiative but we would not be surprised if it becomes more popular and receives a sympathetic hearing in Brussels.
Of course, we would like to see LESS government, not a government on which almost everyone is dependent on a kind of dole.
The possibilities of abuse are immense.
Progressives, listen up: Choose markets not government manipulation.