Bastian Brandt

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No-one can truly feel good, when the world doesn't.

Without a basic purchasing power in form of a monthly basic income:


1. I can not purchase something to drink
2. I can not purchase something to eat
3. I can not purchase something to wear
4. I can not purchase a place to sleep
5. I can not purchase medical treatment
6. I can not purchase education
7. I can not purchase tools
8. I can not purchase materials
9. I can not produce any goods or services that have value to the worlds society
10. I can not become someone who supplies drinking water
11. I can not become someone who supplies food
12. I can not become someone who supplies clothing
13. I can not become someone who supplies places to sleep
14. I can not become someone who supplies medical treatment
15. I can not become someone who supplies education
16. I can not become someone who supplies tools
17. I can not become someone who supplies materials
18. I can not produce any goods or services that have value to the worlds society

With a basic purchasing power in form of a monthly basic income, a small amount of money, sufficient to purchase the necessities of life I can be a productive part of the world’s society.

Demand creates jobs and without purchasing power the demand is sleeping.

The government should make the investment to build a bank that secures the correctness of a person’s identity and that gives out the monthly basic income. In regions were people are not registered, they would be registered through the bank and reported to the government.

“Now we would have the situation that everyone who lives on this planet is registered and getting a monthly basic income. Not just a social state, but a social world. Now the world feels good, so everyone can truly feel good.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLoB1eCJ93k

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DOa8U0yixgQ)

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    Feb 27 2012: Honestly, the keynesian line of reasoning presented above is just an expression of how cowardly the West have become.

    "Mommy I need a basic social income" - that is how it sounds to me, only you replace mommy with not really a state but some kind of world government.

    This is Western Europe of today. Bunch of cowards sending their acolites to the third world countries for some kind of donations. Blaming one another for what has happened, looking for scapegoats, dreaming and mostly failing to see how low they have fallen.

    The dream of a social world is some kind of extreme escapism. It is a further denial of responsibility. What it really says is this: I want my income, I don't care where it comes from, nor who produces the wealth I receive. This is a slippery road straight to slavery again.

    I am affraid, however, that if the West keeps losing their testicles at such pace it is indeed Europe that will be enslaved this time.

    Bastian, no offence of course, but if this is what you really think come visit the CEE countries this summer. Maybe this will fill your heart of hearts with some courage. The spirit is still alive here.
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      Feb 27 2012: i certainly didn't expect to read such a delightful (in a way) piece of analysis around here.

      however, i'm from CEE, hungary, and i can sadly report that socialism is rampant here, and courage is something you don't find too much of. which country are you from?
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        Feb 27 2012: Krisztian, you received my award some time ago, I apologize for not replying your subsequent mail. I promise to do so in near future.

        Socialism is rampant in CEE. Now, what do you expect after five decades of pouring this unfortunate ideology into peoples brains?

        What really counts right now is the spirit. And this - in my opinion - is the only bastion the communists didn't really take. Their ruined our economies but economies get up much faster than spirit. The socialism in the West is of cultural origin and it is much tougher to eradicate without a serious turbulence.

        We were battered but our backbones are all right. What I invite Bastian to see is indeed the backbone: the faith in progress and everyday struggle for it. We try different ways but the direction is clear.

        I have the feeling that the Western Countries have given up the fight. They are affraid to get their hands dirty, living in a sterile world that is about to collapse.
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          Feb 27 2012: "what do you expect after five decades of pouring this unfortunate ideology into peoples brains"

          well, it could have turned out otherwise. when the soviet bloc collapsed in 89/90, murray rothbard was very optimistic that the free market idea will quickly take over, and great economic progress begins as a result. i might risk to state that he treated eastern europe as a new hope that will teach a lesson to the west. in same degree, it is a luck that he died soon after. he did not have to witness the absolute disgrace ongoing in many of these countries.
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        Feb 28 2012: Come on, it is not an absolute disgrace. It is a little, petty disgrace, completely unimportant if you compare it to, say, universe. A lot has been done and I prefer to see it exactly like this - as a glass half full rather than empty. I tell you, Krisztian, you will be very pleasently surprised when the EU finally collapses (of course we will suffer materially but what the heck, not the first time). You will see a different attitude, and the spirit I mentioned above will only reveal itself then. Right now the authorities are too blind to see certain things, too hypnotized by the welfare state.
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        Feb 28 2012: True. Maybe if I were 50 I would sing a different tune, but It is not yet the time to be a pessimist.

        And when I think about it I think my heart will stay young even at the age of 50! :D
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      Feb 28 2012: I really doubt that Keynes would have supported a proposal like the one made here; it's more like CH Douglas' "social credit" concept. I'm not trying to be pedantic, but I feel like I have to stick up for Keynes because he is so grossly misinterpreted these days.

      I don't share your criticisms of Western Europe though. Isn't it the European periphery that's dragged down the EU with its profligate debts?
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        Feb 28 2012: periphery like spain, italy and the uk? or even germany and france, with their unleashed "welfare state" and choking regulations?
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        Feb 28 2012: I never devoted myself to Keynes, and other names that end on -ski or -cki. But for all I know, they are all nuances, the general direction is the same - fiscal stimuli as a panaceum for everything.

        I may be too harsh on the West. I should blame Houellebecq for that. I will revise my stance.
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      Feb 29 2012: Money has its value through our very belief in it, if you wouldn't belief in it all my money would be worthless if I would try to purchase anything from you.

      If you are in a region, where you have no circulation of goods or services in any way whats however, you have stagnation and nothing is worth then stagnation and hopelessness. With a basic income grant, you get the people out of there stagnation and yes it still depends on the individuals if they are really making process through spending there paper on productive things that increase their living standard or even support them in buying seeds and tools for creating value, they in turn can offer and sell to from which the whole region profits. And not everyone would first go and buy drugs, if I were in such a situation and got a chance through the basic income grant to get out of it, I would do my utmost, even if it is just being able to send my children to school.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-ppPJRMFEo
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        Feb 29 2012: it is very interesting that you provide the refutation of your own arguments.

        you say "With a basic income grant, you get the people out of there stagnation"

        while you know that "Money has its value through our very belief in it"

        since when belief can move people out of economic stagnation? how will belief create goods? services?
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          Feb 29 2012: Krisztian, you are just being picky with this uncompromising logic of yours. I hate such kind of behavior. Have you seen the video? Isn't it beautiful? :)
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        Feb 29 2012: @jedrek,

        panpipes. i'm convinced.
  • Mar 3 2012: 1. There is water in the river. Drink.
    2. There is food growing on trees. Eat.
    3. Weave plants into clothing.
    4. Build, with nature, a place to sleep.
    5. Medicinal plants abound.
    6. Educate yourself. Ask questions. Seek.
    7. Make your tools from nature.
    8. Find materials in nature, or in discards.
    9. Produce. See all of the above.

    These are excuses. Without money, you can do all of the above. Without imagination and motivation, you can do nothing.

    "With a basic purchasing power in form of a monthly basic income, a small amount of money, sufficient to purchase the necessities of life I can be a productive part of the world’s society." People who have this aren't necessarily productive. People who lack this aren't necessarily unproductive. People who don't have to make any effort to meet their basic needs often don't make any effort to meet their basic needs. In fact, many people who are given the money to purchase the basics you outline, use the money instead to purchase drugs or toys or pretty clothes.

    What we need is a way to make everyone feel like they have something to offer, and once they feel that, a way to impart the determination necessary to bring that offering to fruition. Money helps, but it isn't the answer.
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    Feb 28 2012: It's a cute and feel-good idea, but I wonder if it would really be practical. The economics of your proposal are a problem, because if all the governments of the world make such huge monthly transfer payments, it would cause very serious inflationary problems that could potentially erode savings, increase the prices of goods, and cause bubbles worldwide.

    Even more fundamentally, it is just a huge government expense: let's assume that, hypothetically, the income agreed upon for the plan is $1. Now in America alone, everyone would get $1 a month from the govt.--that's $300 million a month, and $3.6 billion a year...not cheap. In order to cover that expense, many cuts would need to be made elsewhere--trade offs that society may not find itself willing to make. Naturally, since $1 a month does not suffice to buy basic necessities, the monthly allowance (and thus the monthly public expenditure) would be much, much larger. Even a rich country like the US would have trouble affording this, to say nothing of poor, overpopulated places like Pakistan.

    Then there is the problem of allocation of this social dividend. Politically, there would be a lot of fighting over who would be eligible for the money--everyone, or only those making under a certain amount of money?

    There are so many problems to consider that can't even be predicted; all in all, I don't think that this idea would be practicable in the long-term, and it surely is a political impossibility.
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    Feb 27 2012: 18 times you use the phrase "I cannot"; 8 times the words "purchase" and "become"; and twice (#10 and 18 are identical) the word "produce". If I assign weight based on occurrence your primary message is "I cannot." If that statement is an assessment of our world's functioning you have a formidable challenge to explain all the people who say "I can." Also, those who say "I can" are the ones who disprove your assertion that no one can feel good unless everyone does. Please clarify Mr. Brandt. Thank you.
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      Feb 28 2012: I like this remark. There is too much "I cannot" and not even one "I dare". Language shapes our world, no doubt.