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Where do these bloody idiots come from?

The first policy is universal basic income (UBI) whereby a financial payment is made to every citizen, unconditionally, at a level above their subsistence needs. UBI is needed to break the link between work and consumption. Critically, there is a constant awareness that we all need to be ever more productive at work, otherwise someone else will take our job. In response we have all said: I work hard, so I deserve that fancy meal, new gadget or long-haul holiday. Increased consumption is the reward for being ever more productive at work. Indeed, it makes little sense to curb our consumption when we know we will have to be ever more productive at work, regardless of our choices.

We increase the ability of people to consume by providing a UBI and this will curb consumption?

Which short bus to school has this guy just stumbled out of?

The second policy framework is what I call universal shared services – others have argued for universal basic services, but what’s needed must be far beyond basic. Many countries have some of these, from healthcare to education. These are the services everyone needs and their delivery has society-wide effects. Core are health, education, energy, housing and leisure services. Providing these universally lowers financial costs due to economies of scale, and can substantially lower environmental costs.

Free at the point of use things reduce consumption in what manner? And can we imagine government provided leisure? Well, yes, actually, Dom Kulturi…….

Simon Lewis is professor of global change science at University College London and University of Leeds

Jeebus, the short bus delivers the professors to school these days?

18 thoughts on “Where do these bloody idiots come from?”

  1. The Meissen Bison

    I work hard, so I deserve that fancy meal, new gadget or long-haul holiday

    Might as well wear an “I am an Enemy of the Planet” badge, in that case.

  2. One is reminded of Tony Abbots’ handouts to the abos. He decided not to just give them money because they spent it on what they wanted, booze.

    So there’s certain amounts allocated for housing, food, etc. Damned if I know how well it works. The woke loathe it, so that’s one recommendation.

  3. “can we imagine government provided leisure?” – well yes and a good example of mission creep. Council leisure centres enabled by legislation as somewhere for the great unwashed to erm wash, when yeah most of us didn’t have bathrooms. I’m 100% certain without council run LCs, people will still patronise private owned pools to display their tats, go on the slides, and reward themselves with a Maccy D’s.

  4. Core are health, education, energy, housing and leisure services.

    Marvellous, as well as the NHS and schools, we’d have a National Energy Service and National Housing Service for the state to fuck up. The National Leisure Service sounds like a wonderful totalitarian and sinister opportunity for worthless dickholes like ‘Professor’ Si to interfere with and rapidly ruin everyone’s life.

  5. I dunno, he might have a point about it reducing consumption if free at the point of use means a monopoly supply by the gov’t.

  6. When energy was owned by the state in the UK, we certainly used less of it, because the workers spent most of the time on strike.

  7. Just link up all these govt supplied services with your new papers sorry, Covid passport, and they’ll have us just where they want us.

  8. We had all this stuff and it didn’t bloody work. I suppose it wasn’t “real” nationalisation.

    My mum bought her council flat at 60 and has never looked back, owning nice little houses by the seaside since and living on the sale of profits.

  9. We have a model of free at the point of consumption, it’s called the NHS

    So people take no personal responsibility for their health, behave irresponsibly, indulge in risky activities, don’t pay for their care, and have as many kids as they want safe in the knowledge that someone else will pay for it

  10. NHS. Not so much free at the point of use, mostly absent. And begging to be protected by sick and healthy alike.

    Oh, and there are no fat or careless people in the US where it isn’t free to use your health provision?

  11. Oh, and does the good professor already forego any but public services. Does he decline to go on long-haul trips, does he ask for a reduction in wages because he has no need of the money?

    I think this is a case where ‘Rhoda’s YOU FIRST Doctrine’ ™ applies.

  12. “global change science”: is it wise to adopt a title that the Lower Orders will assume means that you are a bullshitter?

    Come the Revolution, matey, they might hang you for taking the piss. Naughty lower orders!

    Though Come the Revolution I imagine they’ll have bigger fish to fry than one affected academic.

  13. This story points up the exact problem with UBI. This guy deliberately misses the point that the B in UBI stands for BASIC. If implemented, it should only be enough for basic survival. Wants are unlimited, and he is advocating funding those. Of course, handing out goodies like that tends to empower idiots like him.

  14. I’m sure I read something some years ago in The Observer about a trial of UBI in Finland. I feel dirty browsing the Guardian website so I won’t go looking for it.

    Surprisingly, for that paper, the report was that the trial was not a success.

    As I recall I think the trouble is that UBI is proposed by ambitious, artistic, community minded, risk taking people who assume everyone is the same as them.

    In reality the study found that people who were ambitious and wanted to study for further qualifications or do “art” or give back to their community would find a way to do that anyway. People who wouldn’t try anything new or get involved in anything were just the same. But with more money.

  15. @JNimmers

    Nothing else much matters at the moment but Covid passports. These *have* to be stopped.

  16. I recall 30 years ago a programme on poverty that included in basic needs the right for holidays and money to be able to buy presents/gifts for family as well as various leisure activities like trips to the cinema at least once a month etc
    Now I’m firmly behind that mental health is important and “Basic” can’t just be subsistence, the problem is that beyond subsistence it is all about choices and circumstances, what makes my life bearable won’t be the same as others.
    One example of public shared services which has been totally screwed in U.K. when I left at least is library services, good example of providing a free at point of use public good stifled by officials. Locally we have libraries that open weekends and evenings and are well used providing hubs for the community so it’s possible, just has to be a service people want not the service govt finds easiest to deliver

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