Universal Basic Income Allows Freedom
So now, at 18, you get $30K a year, for the rest of your life. The government has no say in how you spend it, or what you do with it. However, $30K will not get you a Tesla, or an apartment in Silicon Valley, or NYC. Here’s where the freedom lies; Capitalism still exists. You want to live a more opulent life, then use the money to go to college and become a software engineer, or doctor, or financial wizard. There’s no stopping you. Earn as much as you want, continue with business as usual. This isn’t socialism, this isn’t a mandatory maximum wage, rather it’s a guarantee. The sky’s the limit. Go be Elon Musk if you want. Or drop out of college and invent the next big thing. More power to you. With everyone now fed and sheltered, the market place demand for your product has grown.
UBI would also open the door to tax reform and simplification. The first $30K earned each year is NOT taxed, regardless of your total income or net worth. Anything you make above that, whether in wages or investments, is taxed at a simple rate across the board. Consumption taxes on luxury goods can also be considered.
“None of this was because we were incredibly unhappy or incredibly put upon at Gawker,” Ms. Merlan said. “Everyone agrees that the company is really working well right now. It was more like, ‘Let’s formalize this great thing we have.’ ”
The staff members, who voted 80 to 27 on June 3 to join the Writers Guild of America East, emphasized that their union contract, which will be worked out in the coming months, would look nothing like your grandfather’s.
No pricey pension plans, some argued. No promotions based solely on seniority. No set hours for a given workweek. No prohibitions against layoffs.
“We all looked at unions of the past, and that wasn’t what we wanted,” said Michael Ballaban, 27, a staff writer at Jalopnik, a car site, who ticked off a few of the no-nos. “We all recognize that layoffs can be an essential part of a company’s survival.”
Instead, the organizers focused on points they thought everyone could rally around: the need for good severance pay; salary minimums for each position; annual meetings with supervisors to discuss performance, salary and promotions; and a bar against changes to the company health plans without union approval.
The capitalist era is passing . . . not quickly, but inevitably. A new economic paradigm—the Collaborative Commons—is rising in its wake that will transform our way of life. We are already witnessing the emergence of a hybrid economy, part capitalist market and part Collaborative Commons. The two economic systems often work in tandem and sometimes compete. They are finding synergies along each other’s perimeters, where they can add value to one another, while benefiting themselves. At other times, they are deeply adversarial, each attempting to absorb or replace the other. The struggle between these two competing economic paradigms is going to be protracted and hard fought. …While I suspect that capitalism will remain part of the social schema for at least the next half century or so, I doubt that it will be the dominant economic paradigm by the second half of the twenty-first century. Although the indicators of the great transformation to a new economic system are still soft and largely anecdotal, the Collaborative Commons is ascendant and, by 2050, it will likely settle in as the primary arbiter of economic life in most of the world. An increasingly streamlined and savvy capitalist system will continue to soldier on at the edges of the new economy, finding sufficient vulnerabilities to exploit, primarily as an aggregator of network services and solutions, allowing it to flourish as a powerful niche player in the new economic era, but it will no longer reign.
“What few pundits seem to notice is that these solo entrepreneurs have created 22.7 million jobs—for themselves. These businesses are a valuable source of income for a lot of Americans at a time when the traditional job market is heading down new paths that are sometimes pretty ugly, even in a recovery. And the digital economy is helping more of them to spring up organically.
I suspect that those in positions of power have little interest in these businesses because they are hard to control and the owners are not as easy to tax as W-2 employees. Neither government nor a big business can own the means of production if it happens to be a 3D printer in your basement or a laptop on your dining room table. It’s the workers—who also happen to be the owners—who do. That is leading to a redistribution of wealth—but not with the usual people in charge.”
Who's Afraid Of The Freelance Economy?.
Picked this up on for a Tuesday flight out of town and finished it by Thursday. My speed is partly due to the bumpy flights to Portland but more credit should be given to the interesting essays included. Most of these writers research labor or New Orleans as their work, starting with Eric Arensen, the well-known labor writer and author of the landmark book “Waterfront Workers of New Orleans: Race, Class, and Politics.” Arensen encapsulates that history here again while taking the time to credit other history and labor writers and researchers in this update. In his essay and in the entire book, a prime topic is the bifurcation of race in New Orleans that has meant black and white class struggles remain separate and rarely equal.
Matheny’s essay on how the two local musician unions (one black and one white) struggled for cohesiveness during the Civil Rights era is a telling story about how cultural connections can often be stretched but how political power remains less elastic. Additionally, the subjugation of new ethnic minorities in the city can be seen in Murga’s excellent day laborer essay that centers on the growing Latino population who toiled at the thankless jobs that grew in those toxic days directly after the 2005 levee breaks, and in the Schneider/Jayaraman ROC essay on the shocking statistics of the restaurant and construction workers. These essays should encourage us all to stand with our sistren and brethren in active support or at least, to tip VERY well and stop honking at those work trucks in front of us. Both of those essays include the researchers process for the data collection which is a nice addition.
The labor and organizing essays are almost all well-researched and definitive, but the historical pieces on work are the choice meat. Ugolini’s piece on African-American women and the market economy, Roberts’ piece on Voodoo economics (not the Reagan version here, but those New Orleans spiritual entrepreneurs) were both engrossing, as was the praline mammy story and its accompanying myth. Writer Nunez presents the last so skillfully that the full shame of those mid-century life-sized dolls chained to the front of the shop door can be felt by even modern readers. I also appreciate the addition of historic terms such as “higglers” (Ugolini) and “hoodoo” (Nunez) which will send me back to the New Orleans WPA guide for further research (is Nunez asserting that hoodoo is a term that denotes voodoo mixed with capitalism? love the idea if so).
Dillard professor and author Nancy Dixon offers a parallel review of the service industry using its appearances in New Orleans literature over the last 200 years (as befits her experience as the editor of the recent anthology N.O. Lit), interwoven with her own personal recollection of waitressing and bartending in some of the infamous holes across town while she worked through college. Her empathetic view of the unequal nature between black and white workers gives another example of the racial segregation that continues to this day.
The last nod of approval goes to the late Michael Mizell-Nelson and his examination of the short-lived unity among the (white) streetcar and (black) gas workers in the 1920s, as well as the sad story of their later resegregation. Having his writing on New Orleans blue-collar work contained in this book gives it an added level of authenticity and hopefully in future editions (Mizell-Nelson passed away in December of 2014), the editors will add a posthumous postscript for New Orleans’ own Streetcar Mike.