I would like my Socialist and Communist friends to give their responses to the following writing that comes from a friend of mine, and I’m quoting from here on:
The only hardcore real workable engineering solution I’ve seen, to fixing the evils of capitalism, while keeping all the important good features, and coping with the displacement of workers created by technology, is a Basic Income. I believe adding a Basic Income to capitalism is exactly what is needed to create the Utopian future that all these people have been seeking for the past 200 years and that you are talking about as well.
People naturally learn to help and support each other. We have to be taught by some external forces, to go against our natural tendencies and learn to cheat each other. How we treat others, naturally comes back to us in how they treat us. We learn at a young age, that if we want people to be nice to us, the best way to make that happen, is to be nice to them. This pushes us all, to be nice to each other. The only way we learn otherwise, is when we are forced to live in a group where people are mean to us. We learn to be mean back, in order to survive.
Capitalism is a good tool for allocating wealth based on social contribution. But it inherently forces us to compete against each other, in order to determine our share of the communities total output. Our share of the total community output, is determined relative to how economically productive we are, RELATIVE to others in our society. But as technology amplifies the productive powers of some, it reduces the share others get, even when their effort has not diminished. They can work twice as hard as they they were, but still get a smaller share, because others have found ways, using technology, to be 1000 times more productive. The most productive, are able to s teal output away from the least productive, even though the least productive are doing their very best to try and keep up.
It’s this ability of the strong, to use capitalism to take from the poor, that makes it so evil, and destructive to our society. Everyone that has played the game of capitalism, has experienced this evil side of it first hand. Whether it was being screwed on a bad deal (what you got was not what you expected in a trade), or whether is was a failure to get a raise, where others less deserving got a raise, or a failure to be able to find a job. Everyone that has played the game of capitalism, has seen the evil side of the game – the side where people “lose” and suffer as a result.
Everyone that plays the game and “wins” comes out thinking, “that’s a fun game!”. Everyone should play it! But those that lose, understand the evil side. In today’s high tech economy, we have more losers than winners, and the trend is only getting worse. People that lose the game, tend to not want to keep playing.
We can fix the game, so that everybody wins. And the way to do that, is with a Basic Income. Everyone gets a prize, just for being willing to have this game be the foundation of our society. The Basic Income, is the prize we all get, just for willing to have this “game” be the rules by which we share the wealth of our society. Those that are able to contribute more, get a larger prize to reward their contribution. But nobody loses. Everyone is rewarded with food to eat, a place to call home, and basic health care.
When everyone wins, then the fierceness of the competition is greatly reduced. We no longer are playing for life or death. The competition itself, is no longer stressful. It becomes fun, instead of deadly.