Minimum income ( was Re: A Challenge)

Damien Broderick (
Wed, 29 Apr 1998 12:50:23 +0000

At 09:19 AM 4/28/98 -0700, Robin Hanson wrote:

>But aren't you going to have to put huge taxes on those goods to finance
>this minimum income? The income has to come from somewhere you know.

Surely the income is conceived primarily as a dividend from the
increasingly cybernated components of the economy. How this is realised is
up for grabs. In Australia recently, a large chunk of the publicly owned
telcom was put on the market, and about a third of the nation's families
bought shares that instantly appreciated, netting them a windfall. This
looks like theft, to me - a public asset notionally owned by everyone was
reallocated to a subset of the community with the spare money to buy it.
But maybe such allocations of shares could be managed in such a way that
the people being displaced from work get a continuing share in the extra
productivity their absence made possible. (And yes, the desperates among
them will find ways to sell these off for drugs etc and be back with their
hands out the next week. Opinions clearly differ over ways to circumvent
this or simply accept it as `evolution in action' - a heartless and
nauseating phrase when applied to human suffering, in my sanctimonious view.)

>Economist have a lot to say about variations on minimum income schemes,
>and I really think you'd benefit from reading more of that literature.

I know, I'm shockingly ignorant. All I was trying to do was point in the
direction of a class of possible solution that economists had proposed to
ease the social horrors of the transition to a largely jobless society.
Any further clues to the clueless warmly accepted.

Damien Broderick