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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

New book on Universal Basic Income

Annie Lowrey writes for The Atlantic magazine and her new book is out on July 10. You can read an excerpt. 


michael said...

Good news. Just put it on hold.

In 2016 Andy Stern came out with _Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream_

in 2017 I read Rutger Bregman's _Utopia For Realists: How We Can Rebuild the Ideal World_. The idea keeps popping up in other recent books too. RAW had, of course written about the idea, and noted thinkers prior to him who had thought along the same lines. Keynes, Bucky Fuller, Robert Theobald, Hayek...the list is quite long and includes right-wingers as well as the progressive "left."

Martin Ford's _The Rise of the Robots_(2015) was quite persuasive, but this idea is working against vast instantiated neural networks built up by being immersed in late capitalist society: either ya get tough and work and pay yer bills, or you're fucked: Socially Constructed Nature, red in tooth and claw. We forget that the economy is a social construction. What is the Economy FOR? So the 1-5% "win" and get everything? A zero-sum game? It looks that way.

Unless we wake up and realize the Economy is most properly framed as something that was to serve all of us. All of us, including our descendants, played a part in building the world economy. Now that automation is accelerating, we must learn to see the economy as a social construction that is NOT working the way we thought it would. What a shit-ton of unforeseen consequences!

This all seems to heavily involve the sociology of knowledge: each of us has a perspective on knowledge and "reality" based on our actual material situatedness. I'm not sure if this is a felicitous thing, or an absolute horror of the situation.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

I have been meaning to read "Utopia for Realists." My list of "want to read" books seems to grow and grow.