Thanks loads, there, Fuckface Von Clownstick, now I’m really conflicted. I know people NEED that money, and worse yet, corporations NEED people to get that money, and even worse yet, I know that the general voting public has the memory of Dory except when it comes to shit like this. Perhaps even worst yet? I agree with Fuckface Von Clownstick that the government should send this money out to people, everyone, not by household but by individuals. I also even further think (not agree, because it’s obvious FVC won’t do this) that it should be permanent.
Lemme take a second here – my brain is seriously blowing up.
- I agree with Donald Trump about something.
- Stranger yet, Donald Trump agrees with ME about something.
- Donald Trump still doesn’t seem to grasp the enormity of the situation, but he’s getting closer.
- Universal Basic Income is getting some real attention by people NOT members of the Yang Gang.
Take a moment, please, and consider the things that usually worry you. If you are like me (white, privileged, cis, essentially all the markers of “normal, middle class”) you probably worry about your kids/loved ones. You worry about making your bills. You worry about your relationships, and you worry about work. The basics.
If you’re even remotely – as the kids say these days – woke in the slightest, you might also worry about the temperature of the oceans, or about the poisons we are inflicting upon the planet. Maybe you think about how your personal choices might impact others.
But I think we can agree that for most people (many more since the Reagan years, sadly, and plenty during Fuckface Von Clownstick‘s tenure as President) the biggest worry is one of survival. If you’ve never had to fear for your existence, never had to worry that something outside your control was going to remove you from the equation, prevent you from doing things to help your family and friends, keep you from existing, then you are indeed a very lucky soul and most likely, you would also qualify as wealthy. And I’m not talking about “OMG I almost wrecked my car and died.” I’m not talking about having a heart attack and almost dying on the way to the hospital with your fully paid up, reasonably priced Blue Cross/Blue Shield card in your wallet.
I’m talking about becoming an ex-parrot, shuffling off the mortal coil, running down the curtain and joining the choir eternal. I’m talking about your story ending, unfinished.
If you’ve never had to worry about this sort of thing, you can’t fully appreciate what Universal Basic Income would do for everyone in the world, even those people not receiving it. Here’s the point:
If you are worried that you are not going to be able to maintain a safe residence for yourself and loved ones, you cannot do everything you are capable of. The worry about money is one that takes over all else, and makes it impossible to write the next great novel, or consider improvements to the internet, or envision amazing inventions to allow us to go where no human has gone before.
It is impossible for humans to reach their potential if their main purpose in life is to stay alive.
That means that there are millions of people out there right now, who could possibly be making the world a better place for EVERYONE – including billionaires – but who are really busy shucking their buns for minimum wage and praying they don’t get evicted from their doublewide this month.
Consider who benefits if a previously poverty stricken woman suddenly begins receiving UBI and no longer has to work at a job that ages her beyond her years and makes it impossible for her to live her life in any way other than to go to work and recover from work.
Obviously she does – that’s a no brainer. But you can’t stop there. Let’s say she’s got an amazing ability to write, but has never been able to do so because she’s really busy working for pennies at the local McDonald’s. Suddenly now she can write, and she does so brilliantly.
Her book is a smash hit. She earns scads of money. She becomes wealthy. (This is not how things work in real life – seriously – but stick with me).
She is not the only one who benefits from this.
Her publisher makes money, obviously. Bookstores make money. Jeff Fucking Bezos makes money because he always makes money, and the little mom & pop shops around towns where she goes for her book tour make money when people come in to hear her speak and buy her book.
She needs an assistant, so now we have a new job in the world that’s been created where there used to be only poverty.
Our brilliant author maybe wants to also work with kids, or have a family, or any do number of other things that humans can do to bring light and joy into the world. Maybe she invents the cure for COVID-19. Maybe she mentors the young brown woman who invents the cure for male pattern baldness. Maybe she creates something that makes billionaires even more wealthy.
All this is impossible if she has to work that bullshit McD’s job.
I say all this to support UBI, but I also hope that it goes a ways to explain the ways that concepts supported by progressives like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren don’t just help those at the front lines of the need. Medicare for All would have made an impact on this COVID bullshit, and you probably wouldn’t be sitting at your home computer trying to work while your kids argue over which Disney+ movie they watch next.
National safety nets make it possible for people to function in the world in ways that the rich and privileged do all the time, but that doesn’t benefit just them. A safety net for everyone makes life better for those people who might die without it, but it also makes life better for those who are impacted – or could be impacted – by those people.
I still hate Donald Trump, will never, ever vote for him, regardless of the number of checks he sends or brings personally to my house, but I agree with him – we must help everyone out in this crisis. And all the other crises that our country has created through its hubris and greed.