Universal Basic Income. Myth 8. Only the poor will benefit from it



I suggest we move on to the most global issue regarding universal basic income and address myth 9 – “Only the poor benefit from it.”

Some people who are doing well financially don’t see their personal interest in introducing universal basic income. It seems to them that only poor people benefit from it as financial support.

I’m going to name 10 successful businessmen and tech geniuses from Silicon Valley who support the universal basic income, and then I’ll give my own opinion.

You know, my upbringing and education don’t allow me to be clear and understandable sometimes. Not successful businessmen, but very rich people. I will give you an example of exactly 10 very rich people who support the idea of the universal basic income: Richard Branson, Stuart Butterfield (Slack), Pierre Omidyar (eBay – funded the universal basic income experiment in Kenya), Andrew Ying (Coursera), Sam Altman (Y Combinator – funded the universal basic income experiment in California), Ilon Musk (Tesla and SpaceX), Raymond Kurzweil (Singularity University), Albert Wenger (Union Square Ventures), Tim O’Reilly (O’Reilly Media), Chris Hughes (Facebook).

If you look at the results of these experiments, some of which I talked about in Myth 5, it becomes clear that everyone will benefit from the introduction of the universal basic income, because everyone, absolutely everyone will be able to feel safe in the first place. It’s just that everyone’s security is different.

I suggest that you do a little mental experiment.

Imagine that you are in a crowded place, at a party. Suppose it’s a day off, lots of people, lots of interesting things going on around you, fairs, exhibitions, open days in museums, so much interesting and fascinating stuff, but you’ve got one little problem. You need to go to the bathroom. However, you can’t find a proper facility around.

You already lose interest in what is happening around, you slowly begin to hate your companions and all the people around you, because they are an obstacle to you. You have one big problem. You have a need that you need to deal with. All you’re looking for now is the toilet. All your thoughts are about that. And then, lo and behold, you see a cafe somewhere. You rush there, you run up and order a bottle of water, you see where the toilet is, you run up and pull the handle, but the door is closed. And you read the announcement that due to a leak in the sewer system it is impossible to use the toilet.

You turn around in disappointment and slowly weave toward the exit, and then a waiter comes running up with the bottle of water you ordered. You continue to search for what you now vitally need: a toilet. And then – oh my god – you meet your acquaintance, who has not seen you for a long time. He asks how you are. But instead of asking him how he is, you ask the most important question for you now – whether he knows where the toilet is.

He doesn’t know, of course. You keep looking. And then comes the moment when the possibilities of the human body are not infinite, when you have already gone dark in your eyes, when you have only one problem, only one need, which does not let you live. This issue is vital for you.

And then you already spit on all the rules of decency. You no longer care that anyone here knows you, that there are people around you, children, that you are a well-bred man, a mother or a father of three children, you no longer care. You can’t think anymore. You’re just already in a state where you’re on the edge. And if you don’t find any other way out, you go wherever you have to. And only after that you will be ashamed, only after that you will begin to think, and a little later you will begin to notice everything that happens around you in life, which is boiling, and slowly you will begin to enjoy it.

I’m not describing all this so that you can feel sorry for the man, but just to remember that everyone has once faced a similar situation. We just found a way out of it. But if society does not create a way out of this situation, then we are forced to go even against our conscience, because there are issues of survival of the physical body.

The same thing goes on in the mind of any person in need. Any need, whatever it may be – hunger, cold, the need to save a fellow human being who is dying, and to seek medical help, which is often paid for.

We have many problems. But if society is unable to create the conditions for a person to solve this problem, then at some point he will have all the edges blurred. He no longer cares about anything that happens. If it is a question of survival, he breaks the law, although he has made every effort, made many attempts to solve his problem, but there were simply no circumstances and no possibilities. This is how our society drives people into a dead end. It is useless to talk about upholding the law, morality, and ethics if a person is in need. When he has the one biggest problem, he can’t even think about anything. And you know, it’s not society’s law that protects against crime, it’s society’s conditions that meet a person’s needs.

I’m sure that with the introduction of the universal basic income, when this red light stops flashing, there will be fewer crimes committed out of necessity, which is the reason most of them are committed – I’ll give you the statistics, there will be fewer such crimes.

This will lead to a chain of additional benefits in the financial sphere, which will reduce spending on law enforcement, but the most important thing is not that, the most important thing is that we as people can lend a helping hand to our neighbors.

According to the All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Research for 5 years in Russia has increased the number of people whose surroundings are mostly dysfunctional families: in 2013, 4% spoke about it, in 2018 – 16%.

45% of respondents have dysfunctional acquaintances, but 29% of them described these cases as isolated.

Russians who are familiar with dysfunctional families consider as their main sign a lack of money for basic necessities (47%), unemployment (17%) and alcohol or drug addiction (12%).

70% of recidivists committed their first crime when they were minors.

75% of respondents committed a crime because of a lack of money.

Most importantly, both potential criminals and potential victims will feel safe. Some will not go on a crime because their needs will be met, and others will not live in fear of committing a crime.

You know, when I was watching the six handshake rule in Sweden, I was surprised by the fact that a citizen of Sweden talked about not locking the door locks and not locking the car. You know, I want to live like that, too, so that I don’t lock my door and don’t lock my car. But mind you, this is happening in Sweden, where safety and security of property is achieved by an overall high level of wealth, not in the USSR, where there was nothing to take anyway. That’s how one wants to live, so that all people feel safe.

You know, I’ve said before that the introduction of the universal basic income will lead to less bureaucracy when we abolish all benefits. And most importantly, there will be no need to grovel before officials. A person basically won’t have to grovel to prove his right to assistance or benefits. This is an important point. This is also some kind of security factor. But in addition to this, the universal basic income will lead to a decrease in corruption and embezzlement. After all, now everyone is equal – a single mother, and a judge, and, accordingly, there is no need to bribe to get some kind of benefit, right, or privilege. The universal basic income will blur this inequality among people.

But I digress. Let’s get back to the need.

Remember the condition I described when a person really wanted to go to the bathroom. This condition can last for years. For example, a single mother raising a child, one, two, three, it doesn’t matter, is in exactly the same state. She is constantly worried about where to find money, what to feed her children tomorrow, how to send them to school. How can she be loving and caring if she has to plow like a horse, and then solve some family and household problems. And children grow up in this environment and feel everything. Often children feel inferior. Not only that – their parents feel the same way. Not only that, they begin to feel guilty that their parents cannot provide for them. And this feeling is carried by the child into adulthood. With this feeling he goes to school. Accordingly, we have such a phenomenon as bullying. If a child puts up with this state of affairs, he immediately puts on the role of a victim, a mask of a victim. And some, on the contrary, showing rebellious spirit, do not want to put up with this situation, and therefore it turns into aggression.

Why do we as a society create such conditions, when people cannot live normally – to live, think, enjoy life, develop, when they are forced all the time to deal exclusively with their own problem. And most importantly, children, who understand everything, who feel everything, are the most affected by it.

The universal basic income would be a real way out for single mothers. And not just for single mothers, but for any family with low income. You know, the most important thing is that a single mother would not only have a standard of living, her own and her child’s, but she would always have peace of mind that no matter what happened, her child would never be left without means of living. This assurance would have made the person feel secure. And the mother would become what she is supposed to be – a loving, caring person who doesn’t have to plow and make any effort to survive. But who could love a child. To love and nurture a free, intelligent, developing person, striving for knowledge, for something more than just the survival of the body in three dimensions.

According to data from the Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights, by 2012 the number of single-parent families in Russia had grown to 30% of all 6.2 million. There are 5.6 million single mothers and 634,500 single fathers.

In 2012, 236000 children were born by underage mothers, among whom there was a large number of child abandonment. Almost 654,500 orphans were identified, of which almost 84 thousand were children with living parents.

What is depressing is that these statistics are only for the Russian Federation. I have not even begun to cite data on a global scale, on the planet, because our minds often are set up in such a way that it seems to us that this is somewhere far away and not with us. And this is data that is with us.

You know, when I was preparing for this myth, I found so many statistics, I just can’t even talk about it calmly now, it brings tears to my eyes, and when I was reading all this, I was doing it in several stages, because I just couldn’t contain the emotions that were overwhelming me. The amount of injustice that happens around us, in our own country – does that allow us to put up with it? Why we remain silent, I don’t know, but that’s not even the question now. I do not want to evoke sympathy, but I keep wanting to talk and move at last to something positive, but it turns out that the statistics shows only negative things.

I will not cite even a tenth of what I found, but I just want to somehow prove, first of all to my consciousness, that everything is not as unclouded and rosy as I think it is. That there are people around who are in need and who are suffering, and I might not even know it.

All the same things I said about single mothers, that red light in my head, all the same things about domestic violence. With the introduction of the universal basic income, that concept should be gone from our lives, because the victim can always leave home knowing that he or she is entitled to exactly the same amount of the UBI as everyone else. And that he or she can survive separately.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, 36,000 women are beaten by their husbands every day, 12,000 women die as a result of domestic violence every year – one woman every 40 minutes. 26,000 children are victims of criminal abuse by their parents every year. 2000 children and teens commit suicide each year to escape domestic violence. 10,000 children and teens run away from home each year. 60-70% of victims do not seek help!

And these are just the official statistics. We may not even know what is going on behind closed doors, and in families that appear to be well off. When a person knows he has exactly the same universal basic incomeas anyone else, he is free to make decisions and get rid of any kind of aggression.

This sense of security that I keep talking about should be in every person, because they are a priori entitled to security simply by the fact of their birth. The introduction of the universal basic income will blur the inequalities between people. A concept like bullying would disappear from our lives. After all, if there were fewer reasons for the aggression that arises from any inequality, if children grew up in families where parents cared about them, loved them, showed care and attention enough time, instead of working two or three jobs and worrying endlessly about their other concerns and problems of where to get money and how to feed them, then our society would very quickly transform beyond recognition.

It takes literally 15-20 years for a generation to grow up in a different environment than the one we have created so far, then these children will set a new round of creative development.

You know, when I was reading an article about the UBI, I found a picture – I will find it and show it to you. It clearly shows what thoughts predominate in the head of a man without and with universal basic income. Without the universal basic income, a person has the most acute question – where to get money? In the picture, this question is marked with a red signal color. After the introduction of the universal basic income, completely different thoughts arise in the head. These thoughts include self-development, unselfish, uncompensated activity for the benefit of society.

I’m not claiming that the data presented in the picture are scientific, it just clearly demonstrates what happens in the brain when a person has a need and without it. By the way, in the comments under one of the previous myths I was left with a link to an article with the scientific basis of what happens in the brain of a person in need, including poverty. As a result, it affects the genetic level where every next generation that grew up in need is born with deformed genes. Thank you so much to the girl who sent this link. It’s very interesting. I will be sure to cite the link in the description.

The Dutch historian Rutger Bregman talked about similar results of experiments with IQ studies of the same people – in need and without it. I provided a link to his talk on, I think, the second myth, “Poor people are flawed.” And also I a subscriber to the Uniting the World channel. There guys from the point of view of physics and primary ezoosmos have already explained that when we put our primary attention somewhere, this primary ezoosmos, we give an impetus to our further development. This video is called “Physics in Simple Words.” And this ezoosmos, this impetus sets all our further development. Do we want to create more grief, misery and problems in society? In what society is it easier to develop? Yes, of course, people who constantly experience problems and worries are easier to manipulate. But they are not able to develop. As long as they have this red indicator light, they cannot look into tomorrow, they cannot make any plans for the future. By the way, in that article it is also well described that people really cannot make long-term plans, because the brain only solves the problems of the moment.

So with the introduction of the universal basic income will change the way we think and the entire information space around us. People will be able to work less. And that means that volunteering will develop. This will enable people to exercise local initiative and organize local self-government.

By the way, have you ever wondered why the building manager, house manager, and people in charge of house management are always elderly people? Because they simply have time for that. With the introduction of the universal basic income, everyone will be able to do it. Besides, I am convinced that after the introduction of the universal basic income we will have revolutions – in the literal sense – only technological and scientific revolutions, because now most people are just forced to do what makes them money. And science is often the wrong field.

Yes, by the way, the sphere of scientific discoveries must also change, because now science is developing where grants are given. And as you understand, the one who pays the piper calls the tune.

I’m convinced that after the introduction of the universal basic income, everything will change and there will be a scientific breakthrough and development of art and creativity. There will be a huge upsurge in all spheres of social, scientific, and creative life because people will have time and energy for it. They will no longer spend it on survival. And they will be able to think further and more.

Harmful industries will disappear. We already talked about this before. And that means our world will become more comfortable and safer. The media will begin to support positive content. We will be able to travel freely, move around the planet and change our place of residence freely, without the fear of being on the street somewhere.

Remember when you come to some non-European country. I personally always want to see how the locals live, wander the streets, look at the local bazaar, that is, the non-tourist area. But everyone says, including the locals, that it is undesirable to go to such areas because they are not safe. And why are they unsafe? Only because the people who live there, when they see you, and me in particular, we are perceived as a well-to-do person, and that’s the only reason why things happen. That’s the only reason these neighborhoods become unsafe. If we let them meet all their basic needs, the issue will be solved.

Not only will we be able to move around the world, you will no longer encounter a rude and unfriendly waitress anywhere. After all, she works now because she enjoys interacting with people, because she wants to do good for them. And not because she has to pay for her college, or else she will be expelled from the it.

All the experiments with the UBI showed that people feel comfortable, safe, their health improves both mentally and physically. And the most important thing is that it sets a spiral for our development – society and civilization as a whole. We can change everything beyond recognition in a very short period of time by giving this initial impetus. I’m not suggesting that we just hand out free money to everyone. That’s not the question. I am suggesting that we provide those basic human needs to get that blinking red light out of our heads. After all, only then can we appeal to morality, to a person’s conscience. And in general it is possible to talk about any prospects for development. As long as the signal light is on, it is useless to say anything. Feed the hungry person, and then continue the conversation with him.

I really like Ekaterina Shulman’s opinion on this subject. It’s short, just for one or two minutes. I will not retell it. Listen to what the expert says in the original. But she says who is disadvantaged by the introduction of the universal basic income. And this is a very small group of people. Accordingly, one can conclude that all other people will benefit from the introduction of the universal basic income.

And she also likes to give the example that many years ago, when society was talking about introducing pensions, people were perplexed. How come? A man will not work, and he will be paid money. Nevertheless, somehow everyone got used to it. And they were even very indignant when the retirement age was raised. By the way, I don’t even know if you know any examples of very rich people voluntarily giving up their pensions paid by the state. Like the rich Iranians did with the universal basic income, for example. Yes, just think about it – 19% of Iranians have given up the universal basic income. That’s one-fifth of the country’s population.

All in all, there are many reasons for the introduction of the UBI. I’m just trying to appreciate your time and not to stretch this out too long, but really, we’re all so connected, all the people on this planet. Even the six handshake rule alone says it all – when every person is connected to every other person through five faces. We are so connected that if you can improve in one place, set that initial impetus, that initial ezoosmos, then everything will quickly transform and change beyond recognition.

If we can ensure the safety and protection of every person on the planet, if we can ensure the possibility of an unprecedented, colossal development of civilization, can we give it up voluntarily? I can’t. Can you?

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Universal Basic Income: pros and cons, countries with UBI