Jan 13, 2014

There is only one solution to eradicate poverty: Unconditional basic income

For thousands of years, people have tried to eradicate poverty.

Wrong. For thousands of years, the powerful have tried to eradicate poverty for themselves while enforcing poverty on the non-powerful. Karl Widerquist puts it this way, "As I see it, from the hanging gardens of Babylon to the modern sweatshop, one social problem occurs over and over again in different ways: advantaged people force disadvantaged people to serve them."

For decades, the world leaders including the United Nations have tried to eradicate poverty. They have failed year after year, decade after decade. How long more are the failed attempts going to be repeated again and again, with the same outcome?

Offering free food fails. There is never enough. People continue to be poor. And it is not just the undeveloped countries. Look at the food banks in UK, USA and Canada.

Offering jobs fails. Susan Moore puts it directly, "The endless rhetoric about getting people back to work where there is none keeps reproducing itself."

First, there are not enough jobs. Low unemployment rates simply mean people have given up looking for a job. Second, many of the jobs are paying poverty rates. Just look at the many developed countries that are paying "welfare" money to supplement the poverty-rate workers. USA, UK and Singapore are among them.

Violent revolutions fail. Look at the communist revolution, the Arab springs and others. Replacing the government is not sufficient without a good solution to eradicate poverty. Marx thought he had a good solution by centralizing all properties into the government. It did not work.

Now there is only one solution left. That is the unconditional basic income, or the citizen dividend. Governments everywhere have been pocketing the nations' wealth instead of giving it back to their people. That is THE policy that has created poverty. For just one example, see this report about Africa, The Case for Direct Transfers of Resource Revenues in Africa. If citizens get their common wealth money back, the poor will no longer be poor.

In recent months, people around the world are awakening to this solution. Witness the Swiss Basic Income referendum (coming), the EU Basic Income Initiative, and many reports in the major world newspapers.

This is the only solution that will eradicate poverty. Furthermore, it is a very simple and dignified solution. Nobody will be on welfare at the expense of others. Everybody gets back the citizen dividend that is their right as owners of their country.

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