Basic Income is not Anti-Capitalist

Basic Income is not Anti-Capitalist

  • mdo  Admin
  •   Articles
  •   September 8, 2021

In Capitalism, the ownership of tools and software tools, machinery, processes, and contractual labor allows individuals to claim profits that those methods of production produce. Other aspects of Capitalism include: voluntary exchange (trade), competitive (free) markets, and private (not government) property.

Does having a foundational income floor through a Basic Income restrict any of the above? Not really. In fact, in India, when people were provided with a foundational income they purchased machinery, some started new businesses and collected profits, and they could finally save a portion of their income to invest.

The experiment in India, among other Pilot studies, showed increased voluntary trade and competition with new entrants to the market as barriers to entry were reduced.

Basic Income isn’t a ton of “free money”, it is merely a foundational level of income to ensure everyone may participate within Capitalism. With a UBI that means all individuals may participate in a society or system that involves trade, markets, income, money, and private savings accounts, such as Capitalism. It also allows all individuals to say no to abusive or extortionate types of contractual labor. Participation also means escape from extortionate circumstances and the power to opt-out of Crony Capitalism and/or to have the time and resources to work against the corruption of capitalism by anti-competitive monopolies or excessive conglomeration.

Basic Income isn't socialist either, there have been examples in Basic Income Experiments and Cash-Transfer Studies where social cohesion increased, better wages were observed, and members of a community did prefer to pool and share their resources. Health, education, and living conditions improved. It is thus implied that a foundational income may improve labor union bargaining power, which could lead to better working conditions within Capitalism.

That's not to say Capitalism can't be critiqued. With increased time and resources comes the ability to work for better forms of Capitalism that take into account negative externalities. Most externalities are negative. Pollution is a well-known negative externality, something that can perhaps be cut down using a carbon-tax to help pay for Universal Basic Income. In summary, Basic Income is not anti-capitalist, but a foundational income floor could be funded via a carbon-tax which could be one step towards implementing a future economic model such as Doughnut Economics.


Tags:
capitalism capitalist basic income ubi guaranteed income income guarantee pilot study savings income trade markets externalities labor resources extortion corruption monopoly conglomeration participation barriers to entry investing private property competition machinery wages



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