I’ve written elsewhere on the subject of immaterial hurdles facing the argument for the basic income guarantee [µ]. I want to shortly summarize the sentiments constituting these hurdles, and outline the counter-arguments I’ve given against these views.
Economist Aad Kieboom came up with the idea to introduce black flies into the urinals in the Amsterdam airport’s men’s room. Studies have found the engineering of a black fly etching into the urinal introduced a “virtuous cycle”, which ultimately reduced spillage by 80%. Could engineering a BIG, similarly, introduce a “virtuous cycle,” allowing people to escape the “poverty trap” and improve their general lot?
In my prior paper, I don’t consider more fundamental hardships deriving from political conditions in any nation-state as regards introducing and legislating a basic income, though this problem, that of overarching political conditions in the modern state, poses an additional, equally immaterial, barrier to the introduction of the basic income. I think other commentators on the site, and elsewhere, in books, and on the Internet, have taken up the issue in greater detail, though, than the quick run down I have planned would allow me to give this issue.
I’ve written previously mainly in regards to two particular perceptions which have implications on the movement.
The first of these is that human beings are naturally lazy. This amounts most of the time to an unspoken, though underlying assumption which, in formal terms, would claim to have knowledge of human nature. Most of the theoretical basis of this is founded in the Protestant work ethic, which others have written on, particularly Max Weber, and a number of political historians, like, for instance, Michael Walzer. Let us take this issue on formally. If we look to research, there is significant evidence, based on multiple scientific studies, that suggests that human beings are not, in fact, “idleness-prone”, or “busyness-aversive”. Most research, in fact, points to the opposite conclusion. Continue reading