I have been spoiled on Star Trek and as a result I am always asking questions about how we can move from our current society to a society more like the one depicted in Star Trek. When can we live in a world where people are motivated by human advancement instead of greed? When will we live in a world when people will give each other the benefit of the doubt instead of demonizing each other over superficial differences? Etc.
I am pleased to know that other people share my optimism about the future of human society. Of particular note, is Marshall Brain. Brain is a wealthy entrepreneur and tech enthusiast. He is also an atheist and a humanist.
I first became aware of Brain when he anonymously created YouTube videos back in the day — many of which that remain among my favorite to this day. He recently wrote an outstanding article about how to move our society forward by changing the priorities of our economic system. I think the article is brilliant and while Brain isn’t the first to promote the idea of basic income, he promotes it in a way that makes it actually obtainable. So please, when you are done reading this blog post, check out his article: Basic Income: Why and How Should We Build a Basic Income for Every Citizen?
About a year ago, I read a news story about a proposal to give every citizen in Switzerland $2800 as a basic income. I remember talking about this with my progressive friends and to my surprise I was the only one who really thought this was a great idea. Sure, critics could easily point out that idea would obviously sound great to me because I am a stay-at-home dad who works a part-time retail job making slightly above minimum wage, but that isn’t why I actually liked the idea.
I like the idea because it shifts our priorities towards the things that really matter. I think Marshall Brain really did a great job of showing this and unlike me, he isn’t making slightly above minimum wage. He’s a rich entrepreneur. The idea of a basic income doesn’t help him directly in the same way it would help me, but indirectly a basic income would help everyone. More people would have more buying power and that would pump more money into the economy.
People would be freed up from working long hours in meaningless jobs and could spend more free time on hobbies, which might not make much if any money, but could be hugely beneficial to humanity as a whole. People who are currently working 60 to 70 hours a week just to pay the bills would have the time and opportunity to allow their creativity to flow. This is truly the economy of the future that would allow for all citizens to live comfortably and empower them to work collectively towards a better humanity.
- Why Republicans Are Wrong On Economic Issues (skepticink.com)
- Interview: Atheist running for congress – James Woods (examiner.com)
- What humanist military chaplains can offer (Video) (examiner.com)
- The First Contact Litmus Test (skepticink.com)