Rambling Arguments Against Universal Basic Income

As an old socialist my knee jerk is to be wholly in favour of Universal Basic Income, that minimum for life state hand out that is on point and being widely discussed and will most likely, eventually, become a thing.

As a libertarian anarchist, that’s just about as close a label as I can get to my generally held political opinions and lifestyle choices, I must say I am wholly against accretion of power by the state and the infantilising of it’s citizens. And that is exactly what UBI is all about.

Don’t think for one minute UBI will come without caveats, without conditions which can be added to and rarely removed, at any time by those with their hands on the purse strings.

I believe UBI is the first major step towards mass control of the population by what looks like a totalitarian dictatorship but which is very much more closely alligned to a technocracy. You will be tracked. You will eventually be chipped. You will own nothing and you will be happy… Yes, that old chestnut. The state will control everything for you, you’ll need to worry about zilch. You will, however, be the eternal worker bee and likely lost in that role as there will be little work for most to do.

Artists in general have for a long time been advocates of UBI. Kind of makes sense from their perspective. Freedom to create without fear of being made homeless or of where the next meal is coming from.

I know many artists. I often work in an arts environment. I say bollocks to that. And mostly because a good many artists talk and create… bollocks.

I don’t want to go see some half baked idea or concept, manipulated at public expense into a throwaway piece of quick to be forgotten tat. One persons musings and creatings are not for public consumption. Those musings are like a diary. They are for personal amusement and development.

I don’t write ‘here’ to be read. I pay for the website myself. I published my poetry collection ‘Those and Me’ with my own cash. I have never made anything from my art. And that’s the way I want it to remain. I don’t tag my posts as I have no interest in what’s going on here being found. Great if it is found, but, I’m not promoting it. I would be ashamed to have public funding for this. Why should my words be written at the expense of someone plucking feathers or canning up beans?

Who do the privileged arty types think they are, drawing down funding to maintain their out of touch and trendy, nepotistic lifestyles? And that funding… Always going to the same people, the same types, the same business’… Of course UBI, you’ll say, will out an end to that… Will it?

Cardiff’s Art Council quota goes to Chapter, a corporate and elitist art centre that was founded as a squat and became a monster. The management have Chapter survive on volunteer and intern labour, distorting the marketplace, destroying the hopes and dreams of the working class artists, making it impossible for any arts business committed to excellent pay and conditions, to compete. It also goes to start ups that fail and to artists business’ that wish to offer the same as existing business’. You do the math on that one…

And these issues would still exist with UBI. Chapter and a few others would still dominate. And worse still many would be encouraged, not to struggle and battle with life, which, in my opinion, is where the best inspiration is born, but to be rather relaxed, putting things off to another day, working occasionally and with weak concepts.

Empowerment leads to fulfillment, innovation and great deeds. Mollycoddling, giving people cash for nothing, makes infants of us.

We have a benefits system. It is there for emergencies. Let’s continue to improve it and use it when needed.

As for affordable housing. I’ve lived in very many houses and flats. I’ve lived in a van, a boat, a tent as well as countryside cottages and victorian four bed semis. I even had a wing of a grand country house with a tennis courts, curated gardens and a pool… NONE were expensive and the choice of accommodation reflected my choice of lifestyle.

Of course the UK rental market needs an overhaul but I believe the stock is there and there is housing available for all, if all choose to look…

So no, White Pube, UBI is, just, simply, wrong.