I spoke with someone today who told me that the concept of reaching an Utopia was entirely irrelevant. That no matter how far you’d make it; the journey towards it would be most important. Most Utopias are never reached. But we can strive towards making the most of it.
I wish this article was in English.. But it describes a case for “free money” or “basic income”.
It describes how in the ’70’s nearly 80% of US citizens was *for* integrating Basic Income. In 5 US states social experiments were held that like project Mincome in Canada were brilliant successes. Basic Income worked.
Unfortunately politics happened. Based on erronous calculations politics assumed that divorce rates went up (by 50%) and women became too independant. 20 years later the mistake was discovered but the damage had already been done. No basic income for the USA. And the mindset was gone.
Free money. In Namibia it has helped Omitara to be revived. In the US it worked in Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina, Seattle and Denver. In Canada it has worked. The rates of people getting lazy was 16% in Canada (amongst young mothers and teens, who 1. cared for kids and 2. studied longer) and 9% in the US states. People did not carelessly spend their money; they used it to make a better life for themselves.
The experiments were an overwhelming success. Everywhere.
So why are we so adamant in saying that it will never work? Why do we stick to the idea that we need to work for our money? Why do we stick to the idea that it will invoke laziness?
Last century, Albert Hirschman wrote that Utopias are fought on three different objections: on the case of Futility (never gonna work), Danger (we’re all gonna quit working and the economy will collapse) and Perversion (people will get lazy). But none of these 3 have proven to increase during the case studies.
He also wrote that usually shortly after moving into an Utopia, it will be considered the most normal thing ever.
I remember how a psychiatrist told me, when I asked him if it was normal or okay to work less for a woman my age, that these days we live in a Mortgage driven Age. He described how we feel we MUST work. We NEED that expensive house, we NEED that expensive car, we NEED that big TV, and we NEED everything else; therefore we must work. And it is simply no longer socially acceptable to not work. People will think you are either sick or lazy. Which is weird, because around 50 years ago the mindset was still the opposite.. as the 80% figures of earlier in this post illustrate too…
“Basic income in the Netherlands.
The issue of the basic income gained prominence on the political agenda in Netherlands between the mid-1970s and mid-1990s but it has disappeared from the political agenda over the last fifteen years.”
That’s from the basic income wiki. Maybe we need to start talking about it again. A lot more.