[pp.int.general] Basic income - how does that fit into the pirate ideology?

carlo von lynX lynX at pirate.my.buttharp.org
Wed Jul 17 12:46:02 CEST 2013

On Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 08:19:06PM +0200, John Nilsson wrote:
> I'm a bit late to this discussion, but have been arguing for an UBI as part
> of a pirate ideology inside the Swedish pp before. I find it interesting
> that it is once again being debated. Just the other day my attention was

Oh we have this unhealthy habit of rediscussing topics over and over again
instead of organizing the knowledge we have gained and agreed upon in a way
that people can and must get up to speed before opening their mouths. It is
however in the genes of humanity to have an opinion way before having a clue,
so that this psychological mechanism is one of the toughest nuts to crack for
us as a participatory movement to move forward.

> directed to this blog post on the subject:
> http://simulacrum.cc/2013/07/10/three-trends-that-push-us-towards-an-unconditional-basic-income/

Nice one, seems to sum it up well.

> In any case, I was curious about how the debate has played out inside the
> various pirate parties? Last time I participated in the debate there was a

We were asked to put our voted policies into here:
So far only DE, FI and IT have done so.

> "policy" to not take a stance in economic affairs. Which to me wasn't a
> problem seeing how UBI is basically an ethical issue in my mind, and the
> economics of it mostly an implementation detail.

I would object.. the economic implications are huge and IMHO politically
advantagious: The UBI allows for cutting down dramatically on the cost
of labour and shrinks the social abyss that currently exists between
workers and unemployed. The difference between the many models of UBI
if usually focused on how to get it financed. If we reduce the cost of
labour we have the useful side effect of improving our international
competitivity.. this could put pressure on neighbouring countries to
also introduce a UBI; but the corporations are the big winners in this
scenario and we need a way to get the money from them. The simple UBI
strategies put the cost back on labour in form of labour taxation, so
the chance to improve competitivity is lost and an incentive to evade
taxation is created. Smarter UBI strategies try to get at it differently.
My favourite is the plan to introduce massive environmental taxation
such that UBI leads to a sustainable balanced economy. Companies do not
pay for the fact that they create jobs for people but for the fact that
they consume energy, possibly non-renewable. This implies a major shift
on the entire economy of what works and what doesn't - but it's a change
that is overdue anyway: We can't stick to our current non-sustainable economy.

> georgism, which I think is the correct basis for a pirate take on the
> issue, it could actually be seen as a very rightish thing.

It all depends on a whole lot of details of implementation. If we do
it right, then it is both a revolution in humanism and economic
sustainability. If we do it in some Nixon'ish way it either doesn't
work (and thus damages the concept for a generation) or it creates
a tool to make the less poor pay for the more poor while the rich
head off for holidays in space, completely detached from such a
welfare system (just look at the models proposed by some of
the conservative parties). Therefore, asking for a UBI model isn't
enough - we have to make sure it is done right.

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