Monday, February 26, 2018

On Basic Income and the game of Monopoly

I said on Facebook,
Crusaders against things that people do when they're desperate--theft, sex work, abortion--should support #BasicIncome.
Alex Ugur commented,
Even the archetypical model of capitalism, the game of Monopoly, has basic income (when you pass Go) as the main driver. It's like the fuel in the car that makes the engine go! Unfortunately, even that isn't enough: invariably the game collapses, because the wealth has migrated to one person, leaving everyone else destitute. I think we can safely say that the same goes for the entire capitalist order, as now it's down to only 8 people holding the same wealth as the poorer half of the entire global population (last year, it was around 60 people holding that kind of wealth, so the game is indeed speeding up and nearing its conclusion, whatever ills that might bestow on us).

Basic income is great and I support it wholeheartedly, but it won't solve capitalism's problems -or socialism's for that matter-, as it doesn't do away with the injustices of debt or ownership, two social tools that make possible the ownership and control of both people and our natural habitat.
The last point is why capitalists should support Basic Income—it does nothing to threaten their position at the top of the pyramid. It only makes the game at the bottom a bit more fair.

That's also why socialists should support it. Eleanor Marx, speaking about bourgeois feminism, said, "...has not the Communist Manifesto taught us that it is our duty to support any progressive movement that benefits the workers’ cause, even if this movement is not our own?"

Earlier: How to play Monopoly, American-style

Possibly of interest: Monopoly’s Inventor: The Progressive Who Didn’t Pass ‘Go’ - The New York Times

And here's a short video of Penn Jillette giving the Libertarian argument for Basic Income: