Scott Santens Profile picture
Sep 7, 2018 13 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
You know how those who don't know any better can hug something to death? That's what those who love capitalism but hate #BasicIncome remind me of. Automation is here. We must now decouple income from work. Not implementing UBI means capitalism eats itself. Capitalism *needs* UBI.
Meanwhile, those who hate capitalism and want it to die, and who subsequently don't like UBI because it will save capitalism, are like butterfly lovers who hate caterpillars who believe caterpillars should die. Yes UBI will save capitalism, but from UBI postcapitalism can emerge.
So again, #BasicIncome is not left or right, it's forward. If the right prevents UBI, the economy will become starved of currency for market exchanges. If the left prevents UBI, they may get revolution, but mass suffering will occur, and fascism may result instead of socialism.
We need to look at our collective future through a bipartisan lens and realize that #BasicIncome is in the best interests of the entire political spectrum. UBI is something everyone can work together to achieve and it's important enough for all to negotiate compromises to enact.
What kind of compromises do I mean? I mean like the left agreeing to give up minimum wage laws in exchange for the right agreeing to a higher #BasicIncome. Or like the right agreeing to full unconditionality in exchange for the left agreeing to eliminate welfare like SNAP & TANF.
When it comes to #BasicIncome it's like we're all a bunch of blind people feeling different parts of the same elephant. We feel we're touching entirely different things, but it's all the same animal from different perspectives. By working together, we can create the optimal UBI.
We need each other to make #BasicIncome happen. Yes, different politics want different looking UBI policies, but in my opinion, the best possible UBI will be the one that no one political perspective thinks is best. All sides are correct about some details and wrong about others.
It is also absolutely imperative that #BasicIncome not become a partisan faith-based issue as climate change did. We don't have time for that shit. We needed UBI yesterday, not years from now. So we all need to work together and recognize we aren't enemies. The enemy is poverty…
The enemy is economic insecurity.

The enemy is extreme inequality.

The enemy is chronic stress.

The enemy is fear.

The enemy is government by the 1% for the 1%.

The enemy is taxation without representation.

We have enough real enemies to recognize we're on the same side.
Time is running out. We have got to get our shit together and create a firm economic floor of financial security underneath every single one of us before the ties that bind us fray to the point society begins to violently break down. With UBI we can avoid that and instead thrive.
With our minds freed of the burden of all the thinking devoted to just figuring out how to survive each day, we all together open a door to an entirely different future, where scarcity gives way to abundance, and surviving gives way to thriving.

Left or right, ALL OF US CAN WIN.
None of this is to say that UBI is the answer to everything. Of course it isn't, but I also shouldn't have to say that, because it's not a measuring stick we use for anything else. UBI won't solve everything, but without it, much of what we need to solve will remain unsolvable.

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More from @scottsantens

Sep 26, 2018
I just walked into a store, picked up something to eat, walked out, and automatically paid for it. No lines. No cashiers. No human interaction whatsoever. Relatively cheap prices. And in my 9 mins of shopping I created valuable data based on what I looked at. This is the future.
Something I want to stress here too is that I created data even by NOT buying things. What did I do? What did I look at? What did I almost buy? What did I pick up and put back? I could have bought nothing and still enriched @amazon with my ambient data.…
I included the above link for a reason, because I recommend reading it. The point here is that with pretty much everything you do, you're creating data and metadata. This data feeds and trains AI. AI starts doing your job. You just trained your own replacement. UBI is your right.
Read 9 tweets
May 10, 2018
"It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages."

Money is meant to circulate through economies. Customers buy stuff. That money becomes wages. Those wages buy stuff, etc.

Here's a diagram of how this works.
As factors of production become machines, factor incomes are reduced, which in turn reduces personal consumption, which in turn further reduces factor incomes.

Automation breaks this system without the provision of income external to the loop, aka unconditional basic income.
If you love the idea of decentralized market economies and hate the idea of unconditional basic income, you've got a real problem on your hands because the former requires the latter. Markets require customers who require money. As money goes to fewer hands, markets break down.
Read 9 tweets
May 1, 2018
Today is #MayDay and #InternationalWorkersDay and #LabourDay and beyond recognizing the past victories of the labor movement in achieving milestones like the 8-hour day, we really need to talk about the future of the labor movement in a world increasingly automated by machines...
As automation continues, potentially eliminating 1/2 of all existing jobs by 2030, eroding security & buying power through the growth of part-time jobs, low-paid work, temp labor, gig labor and freelancing, unconditional basic income represents the ability to empower ALL workers.
The ability for everyone to say NO to any & all employers would have an undeniable effect on bargaining power. It'd mean greater profit sharing, higher wages, shorter days/weeks, improved working conditions, more flexibility, etc. UBI can even function as a universal strike fund.
Read 16 tweets
Apr 27, 2018
Yes, an unconditional basic income sufficient to start everyone each month above the poverty line will most likely require more taxes in some form, BUT the amount YOUR taxes will increase is unlikely to be larger than the amount you receive in UBI, unless you're in the top 20%.
And that's exactly what makes the most sense because it's only the top 20% that have been gaining a larger and larger share of the US economy as a result of the technological advancements that have been transforming our economy for decades. UBI should reduce 80% of tax burdens.
One of the most important things to understand about the US economy is that it pretty much stopped working for you back in ~1973, no matter how hard you may have never stopped working for it. Where is your share of our ever-rising productivity? It certainly isn't in your wages…
Read 5 tweets
Apr 24, 2018
"Why should the rich who don't need it get Unconditional #BasicIncome (UBI) too?" asks the person who would never think of suggesting that public K-12 schooling and access to police & fire protection only be made available to those households earning less than $100,000 per year.
Don't worry about the rich when it comes to UBI. They will all be net payers, paying more in than they get out, just as they already do with schooling where they pay for public school but instead opt to pay even more for private school. The universality of UBI is its strength.
It is not wasteful to provide UBI to those who don't need it. First of all, who are you to say who needs it and who doesn't? Secondly, trying to save money by doing so creates stigma and divides the population, weakening the program. Programs for the poor are poor programs.
Read 6 tweets
Apr 16, 2018
If we put jobs underneath a microscope, we see they're comprised to varying degrees of income, work, purpose, and security.

Once we realize this, it's that much easier to understand that what we need isn't jobs themselves, but what they're supposed to provide us.

An unconditional basic income not only provides the income component of jobs directly, but it also better enables the earning of additional income, especially compared to welfare programs that punish the earning of additional income through withdrawal of conditional benefits.
Unconditional basic income better enables all forms of work by recognizing and making possible unpaid work as an option currently reserved only for those who can afford the option. UBI creates more work choices, and allows people to choose the work that's the best fit for them.
Read 5 tweets

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