Basic income

by Marthijn Uittenbogaard

When my father was young - he was born in 1916, died in 2012 - it was a hell of a job to harvest all the potato's on the field. They had to hire extra men and it still took several days to harvest. Some years later they did the same potato field within a couple of hours with just one machine. This happened as everyone knows, everywhere in the industrialized world. Machines took over the work, done before by many people. My father was very happy with this progress of technology. Most farmers are not that conservative when it comes to modern farming technologies.

What do people need in life? Well food of course. A roof above our heads. A bit of luxury would be nice too. With so much progress, so many machines, why do we still need to work that much? We are living in a system that makes it very important not to be unemployed. We've created many managers. And they have many meetings to talk and discuss what can be improved. They do this every week, or even more often! We have also many people working today as a mental coach, as a psychologist, as a school counselor, et cetera. One in ten of the Dutch youths gets 'youth care'. Sometimes these youths are being paid to keep coming for their weekly talk. The more clients the more money they make. We've created many jobs just to keep us busy. Factory work mostly has transferred to other countries like China and India. We want to consummate but not spend to much energy in the process.

In our elderly homes less people must do the work because they are too expensive. Cooking for them has also become too expensive. We're closing all the kitchens and order the food from factory like organizations. How can it be that we are living in a rich country and at the same time we don't have money anymore for things that we used to have money for? Well, it's just cheaper to buy 'factory food' than have all those cooks to pay. So let's fire them and let's give ourselves - the people at the top - more money for doing the dirty job.

I think it's time for a new system. Let's give everyone a basic income. That income is your basic security in life. You have no fear of losing that income. No fear to sell your house if you own one and lose your job. It gives you a lot of freedom. You can work for more money of course. You also can do voluntarily work. It will change society as we know it. We then are no longer owned by the system.

19 May 2016