Giving every working age member of a population a stipend of money per month, per year, for the rest of their lives, will do little to relieve the two states it’s designed to relieve: jealously and a lack of meaningful employment opportunities.
Jealousy and envy are human emotions that often aren’t addressed as motivators for people to work. Envy, vanity, jealousy, and pride (yes, all emotions grounded in negative storytelling) are typically at the root of many people’s motivations to chase money, status, titles, honor, and respect.
Lack of meaningful employment opportunities is also rarely discussed. The era of “make-work” is over; but the things is, we are at the end of the Industrial Revolution, so the era of “we make stuff just a little bit better” is also over. Meaningful employment is typically not found at the beginning of the employment ladder in minimum wage positions by many people.
Without addressing both a lack of meaningful work opportunities and the inherent built-in drivers toward accomplishing goals and earning money, all the universal basic income in the world is only going to exacerbate conflict, providing enough impetus for people to engage in conflict en masse.
Work provides spiritual, financial, and emotional meaning for many people. But because those outcomes don’t appear on a spreadsheet, they are either discounted as being meaningless, or not considered in the first place. Universal basic income does nothing to address any of these disparities, emotions, or drivers in people.
It really comes down to giving people money, hoping to cure a disease of the heart and the spirit without the uncomfortable surgery of examining deeper motivations, and instead opting for a placebo.
A sure recipe for increased conflict.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: email@example.com