"Taking himself seriously, so you don't have to."

Part IV: A Basic Income Contingent Upon Vehicle Usage

So, here we are with the cars or the oars. And here we are with the lack of employment, gainful stuff we’re talking about here. We’re talking about people who are the most educated in all of history. The most educated generation in history, and the best that our economy has to offer is that of a menial service job because… because for what? You want to throw “economic realities” as an excuse? That our world seems to be dying as a result of such, and yet do nothing to alleviate the stresses? Do nothing to fix the problem? We must not stand by and accept our “powerlessness”, to accept that as insurmountable fact, to be satisfied, to believe that this is the end of history. This comforting thought makes your mind at ease, that one has no power, one has no responsibility, that these things, they are meant for others besides yourself. And all the while “Bizarro Asgard gives a feast of waste to cowards”.

So, anyway, back to the subject at hand. The policy idea, or the Choice given here, that may be given to anyone who would like to take it, any of those who choose, that is the choice for anyone, and it is thus:

That if one would like to enjoy a life of one’s own choosing, without having to worry about where your rent is coming from, or if you would like to pursue volunteer projects that benefit yourself and others, that if you wanted to make or build or grow what you would like, for yourself and your family, that is if you wanted to “do” without a “job”1, then you could give up your vehicle ownership, or at least those of excess.

The cost on society of the wasteful usage of these fuels is worth much “unemployment”. Our activity toward monetary gain or subsistence is, on the other side of the coin, “worth the waste”.

That is to say, that one or anyone who would like to live without a vehicle, ought to be given something back, at the very least a tax deduction, and at the most, whatever the market and our federal monetary supply would allow, and we ought to understand that our usage of these fuels, and the level of vehicles on the roads these days, would and are excessive, and that any reduction in their usage would be a great benefit toward maintenance costs of roads, and CO2 emissions, and wasteful endeavors, and traffic congestion, and annoying construction, and the “paving of paradise” (that’s LITERAL here), and pollution, and well… 7 things so far. Please add to this list as you like.

So there’s that.

And then, on the other hand, we have a nation of the “most educated people in history” and they’re trying to do good by themselves and their neighbors, and who have massive obstacles thrown in their way: inequality and class-ism and greed and lack of a meritocracy. These things are brought on by the state that we live in, our society bringing out the worst of us for the worst of it. Crime and corruption, these characteristics that seem to permeate throughout capitalism and modernity, and what have you, sprout and grow faster and quicker with… well, it’s less important, here, where these negative attributes come from. Rather though, we should recognize the facts and wake up to the reality of our situation, that namely, there are certain parts of the human psyche that lead us to do wrong by one another. Some things are hard to fix, and maybe cannot, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work around them. That we CAN do something to our benefit, regardless.

So, we alleviate those things that cause such among us, that we alleviate the lack of freedom to pursue, the lack of financial security, the lack of autonomy, these things our society places upon us, these shackles. We may cast off with a choice. All it takes is the rational difference between costs.

(Commence stati-mathematica.)

That is, these are the costs of excessive traffic on society, and it can be alleviate in addition to the goal of enhancing the lives of those poor, those unable to work those with medical conditions, those who work terrible jobs at cut-rate wage, those artists and engineers and scientists and writers and inventors and musicians and mechanics. Everyone who does not find their “employment” so satisfying, for everyone who sees the modern world needing change, for all you stuck in dire, just getting by, working your life away to scrape by, losing your house and your life and your loves, and getting kicked by “the market”.

This is for all of you. Here is the choice, and with either action, we do incredible right by each other. Quality of services and products and quality of life will increase for everyone across the board. A new way of life begins with a choice. And either option is wonderful for everyone involved. Because you either work gainfully toward productive employment/those things that keep the people coming back/necessities and wants, these things that people pay for all the time, and that are necessary. These things, these jobs toward that end will still be profitable, likely always, and therefore will never fall by the wayside. Regardless.

In regard to a critique of a universal basic income, in that some people think that everyone would take a guaranteed minimal subsistence allowance, would spend their time doing nothing, and that the jobs that no one wants to do would not get done2: this is untrue in this case3. Adding the choice of vehicle ownership/operation vs. guaranteed income. This choice is enough to keep us all working. In fact, it would spurn people to work MORE. And in the ways that everyone appreciates, and now would be more to appreciate, and now would be more with expendable income that are going to buy better products, and we will make better products as the monetary supply allows more activity, and people would be doing their jobs with pride, because they CHOSE them. Everyone will have the choice to work, meaning that those that did, would do a great job. Those that did not, or would not, in this case, would be free to do what they wished. Social pressure will keep us all from getting lazy and doing nothing. Or, if one were to avoid that, they would spend a solitary life, and be perhaps spurned for being “ungrateful”. Perhaps rightly so.

The societal costs of “excess in the wrong direction”: you might need a calculator here. These are some of the problems that may be alleviated by the aforementioned policy:

 

Problems Related to Traffic

* Traffic congestion

* Excessive fossil fuel depletion

* Traffic accidents

* Drunk driving (alcoholics more likely to take the BI option)

* Road and bridge maintenance costs

* Pollution (air, water, litter, etc.)

* Obesity (in that more people using bicycles and light transportation and public)

* The literal “paving of paradise”

* Suburban sprawl

 

Problems Related to Personal Liberty

* Weak personal liberty (in general)

* Weak middle class (little expendable income)

* Beholdance to unsustainable workload

* Lack of leisure time

* Educated for “non-educated employment”

* “Net-loss” market

* “Addiction to excess”

 

And here we have some of the gains to be made by such a policy:

 

New Positives

* Offers a choice

* Benefits against excess on two scales, or more

* Streamlines and makes more efficient welfare and many low income safety nets

* Empowers all who partake and all who do not; at once

* May work at nearly any scale4

* Higher quality service and products, as employment chosen (private and public)

* Higher quality service and products, as empowered consumer (private world)

* “Directionless-ness” to “intention5

* Stronger meritocracy

 

So, these are the reasons, at least those that come quickly to mind, that this policy ought to be pursued.

This is not a band aid. This is not a temporary fix. This is a policy that needs no end. Indefinite, and for all posterity, it may operate. The longer we live by it, as the years go by after implementation, the benefits previously described will gain in strength; meanwhile, the problems described will become weaker and weaker. No single policy is going to fix everything, but this one comes pretty close. With a single law, one agreement here, the fruits come immediately, and they will never stop coming. A snowball effect. Or like planting a most glorious, eternal fruit tree.

The issue here would permeate its color throughout our contracts and social compacts. Much would change, but it would do so gradually, even were it a full and sudden implementation. Businesses would operate better and cleaner, our trade gains in quality and standard, across the board; determinably-enhanced markets.

Of all the things, the ideas herein described in this “New Economic”, this policy is the most actionable, versatile, total benefit, net societal gain. And with little (if any) temporary loss. It is the best part of this thesis thus far.

It is a policy that was made for right now, in the early 21st century, rather, the next thing to do. Whenever that might be. Could be now, or tomorrow, but it is a strong, strong suggestion, coming from someone with a sneaking suspicion of brilliance. At the end (of at a rest stop) along a long, long, looooooong train of thought.

Thanks for reading. May your tomorrow be glorious.

 

 

1. Not everyone wants to “do”, but that’s beside the point. In fact, anyone who “does not want to do” or is just plain lazy; the technological realities, real realities there, make their laziness beneficial, as in little waste; one of the major problems plaguing American society.

2This is my own major objection when it comes to a full UBI. Not so much that I don’t believe that people are capable, or that this would happen with certainty; but rather, I believe it is a legitimate critique. This idea came from an effort to both bypass that critique and combine it with another ubiquitous problem.

3My advice to the automobile manufacture unions, would be to support federal policy toward this end, as a prime example of how though the drop in demand of new vehicle construction, as a result of implementation, would nonetheless provide a good life, likely a better life, for all union members. And that, as Detroit being a prime example, and the failure of other car companies within recent years indicative that the business model at present is unsustainable, even in the casino capitalism we have been living hence.

4Credits sliding scale / calculations of costs will show exponential gain by number of people participating; the “credit”, which could later become a BI, could be done through local, city, state, and federal individual voluntary participation, whereby the credit earned per person directly equals the reduction in societal costs; that is, “graduated implementation”, another way to do it, though not the preferred.

5This refers to the characteristic of capitalism that demonstrates a “lack of intention” on the grander scale. As to why, one would suspect that the present system rewards those often enough few who act selfishly, resulting in the chaotic nature of our markets. The “intention” here, refers to an individual’s autonomy and community action, which when people are free with their time collectively, does, in fact, carry a perceived grander intention.