photo by C. L'Hirondelle 2003


"If all the money in the world were destroyed, as long as we have sufficient arable land, the factories, the necessary resources, and technical personnel, we could build anything and even supply an abundance." --Jacque Fresco

Guaranteed income is about money. Any discussions of guaranteed income must include the topic of money.

Money is a legal construct. That is why it is "legal" tender. Governments make money and give power to private banks to create money through lending. Of course this leads to the impossible problem of interest.

"All money created this way is a loan. The money needed to pay interest on the aggregate principal does not exist. Therefore, it is mathematically impossible ever to pay off the aggregate loan principal plus the aggregate interest without depleting the money supply, as in a game of musical chairs. This mathematical impossibility is like asking someone to pour a quart of milk into a pitcher and then pour out a quart and a pint. It is obvious more borrowing is not the answer. More borrowing adds to aggregate debt and simply compounds the problem."
--Theodore R. Thoren

What you will find if you start researching money, is that there is no scientific basis for the money system. There are no rules that banks have to have a certain amount of reserves. The money supply is not based on the GDP, nor is it based on production (since all kinds of harmful things are counted as "Productive").

"…with the deregulation of banking worldwide, nobody can say for certain how great the money supply is at any given time."
--William Krehm ( A Power Unto Itself)

Some monetary reformists want to rationalize the money system by having money supply linked to productive capacity, however, who will decide on the definition of "productive" which counts as unproductive all the unpaid care work done on the planet, and counts as productive any activity that makes the economy grow -- regardless of whether that activity is harmful or wasteful of resources, the environment or people's lives.

“Living capital [natural capital, human capital, social capital], which has the special capacity to regenerate itself, is the source of all real wealth. To destroy it for money—a number with no intrinsic value—is an act of collective insanity.”
--David C. Korten ( The Difference Between Money & Wealth)

Right now almost everyone in the world uses money to get the things they need to live. Maybe in the future, there will be a moneyless economy. But today we need money to live. A guaranteed livable income for every person in every country in the world means that we could transition to an economy not based on forced production and forced consumption -- things that waste natural resources, pollute, harm health and harm human relations and our relations with other living things.

Until we can come up with something better, a guaranteed income would give us a foundation to create change where everyone could participate -- not just those who have the luxury of not having to scamble everyday to survive.

The current economy is a death-cycle economy. The only way to transition to a life-cycle economy is with a universal livable income implemented in every country in the world.

Related Articles

Defining Money and Productive

Monetary Reform and Basic Income by Richard Cook: "In my opinion, it would be much more effective for the Federal Reserve simply to give away money"
Richard Cook is a retired federal analyst with twenty-one years in the U.S. Treasury Department.

Fail-Safe Humanity - a non-tax source for guaranteed income
by Sharon Lee Robinson

Excellent short videos explaining money system at Positive Money UK

The Lost Science of Money by Steven Zarlenga
This comprehensive book includes the history what acutally created inflation in Germany in the 1930's.