“Basic Income” – the idea of the state giving a low level of income to every citizen regardless of circumstances has been around for a good, long while. Yet, right at the moment, it’s getting a lot of press and attention.
It occurs to me that when old ideas suddenly become very popular all around the world in multiple forums, it’s probably prudent to become suspicious. If it looks coordinated, perhaps it has actually been coordinated. Not a perspective to hold as a certainty, obviously, but skepticism has its benefits.
Who benefits from all this discussion? Aside from the proposed beneficiaries (who have no power to influence the uptake of such an idea), who benefits from Basic Income schemes?
Plutocrats benefit most greatly. Basic Income schemes weaken concerns about gross income inequalities, worries about job loss from automation, other social tensions between the incredibly poor and the egregiously rich.
None of this is to say it’s a bad idea or that it shouldn’t happen, but staying alert to the potential concerns of possible coordinating elites is probably prudent.
Who else might benefit?