“With the radical way that the nature of work is changing, along with increasing inequality, our current social security system is outdated. It can’t properly support those experiencing underemployment, insecure work and uncertain hours. A modern, flexible and responsive safety net would increase their resilience and enable them to make a greater contribution to our community and economy. That’s why we need a Universal Basic Income. We need a UBI that ensures everyone has access to an adequate level of income, as well as access to universal social services, health, education and housing. A UBI is a bold move towards equality. It epitomises a government which looks after its citizens, in contrast to the old parties, who say “look out for yourselves”. It’s about an increased role for government in our rapidly changing world.” Richard Di Natale, April 4, 2018. https://greens.org.au/npc
Finally, a major party is putting Universal Basic Income on the agenda. This is future world policy people. Get behind it, help shape the moral need for it and its method of distribution before it is diluted and corrupted by the other major parties, financial institutions and neo-liberal hedge-money elites.
The Pirate Party put forward a UBI at the last election. It is about time the Greens got on board. The difference in how these two parties would see UBI distributed is actually quite divergent (libertarian vs government-led). However, their reasoning for wanting to implement this scheme is similar – reducing inequality, and maximizing social reformation, and the good life. Ultimately we don’t want the scheme developed or implemented by any other party – it will not be universal or unconditional, it will not promote freed time, it will not reduce inequality! We need to get on the front foot and speak to its need, and why it is important to future culture.
Many groups will have their say on this issue, which makes it critical for us to make our voices heard. What is equitable? How can we ensure this does not end up another profit-driven system? Or be dismissed as another soft bleeding heart policy? How do we get to a life-centric society through economic redistribution via Universal Basic Income? How will block-chain technology aide in its design and distribution? How will it affect your life and practice?
Of all the modern types of human, Artists should be leading this conversation. Creative, critical, caring, collaborative, inspired, imaginative, empowered people, working on their own and together to transform paradigms and create new worlds – this is what a Universal Basic Income should inspire in populations. It is what artists do, and often without money, or through a minimal or less then minimal wage: the dole, a scholarship, a grant, a commission, a bar job. We work, we keep busy, we are professional, we are amateur, we are innovators. We are not neo-liberal subjects. We are agents of cultural change and the public imaginary, and we can help people transition from a world of work-slavery to spaces of free creativity, criticality, and community development.
What do you think?
How can you help shape and drive the case for UBI?
I am currently co-writing an article and organizing discussion groups addressing artists and Universal Basic Income (also called Unconditional Basic Dividend). If you would like to get involved or hear more please get in touch with me via email: email@example.com with the subject: Artists for UBI!