Money for Free

tags: basic income

Here’s an interesting documentary from a Dutch “future affairs” television series on the idea of a “basic income” and how it might work. The idea is that when there’s not enough jobs to go around, you might simply have to pay people money for not working.

The video is unabashedly in favor of it, and details several small-scale experiments in progress to make it happen. It concludes with a look at the universal oil fund in Alaska, which I think is curious since that clearly has an external funding source – large amounts of oil revenue.

And therein lies the rub, really. Every proponent of basic income that I’ve seen gets really vague and sketchy about how to fund it over the long term without money coming in from outside the system. In the video, you see an experiment with crowdfunding, but even that would require an external funding source.

I don’t think there’s any way to fund it, perpetually and sustainably, outside of large-scale income redistribution (admittedly, I’m not an expert) and that brings massive problems in terms of being politically palatable, especially in the United States.

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