Questions on Universal Livable Income
by J.S. Larochelle - 2003
Do you believe that economic growth is more important than the health and well being of other species and other forms of life?
Do you believe that infinite and on-going economic growth is possible on a planet that has finite and limited natural resources?
Do you believe that world peace is possible when so many people depend on jobs in the military industrial complex?
Do you believe that social justice is possible when so many people depend on jobs in the prison, social work and charity industries?
Do you believe good health is possible when so many people depend on jobs in the medical, pharmaceutical and junk food industries?
Do you believe that it is possible to deal with the problem of addiction when so many people rely on jobs in the tobacco, alcohol and gambling industries?
Do you believe that it is possible to teach children critical thinking when the advertising industry targets children to promote the consumption of products that ruin children's health?
Do you believe that it is possible to have an ecologically sound economic system when so many people depend on jobs in the car and oil industry?
Do you believe that it is possible to save the world's trees when so many people depend on jobs in the forestry industry?
Do you believe it is possible to save the world's supply of fresh water when so many people depend on jobs that must converting fresh water into goods and services?
Given the tremendous growth in the production and consumption of junk food over the last decades, do you believe it is possible to prevent childhood obesity and related diseases while still demanding that the economy grow to provide more jobs?
Do you believe it is possible to have mass jobs without mass consumption?
Do you believe that it is possible to save the world's indigenous populations when governments continue to insist that economic development is more important than indigenous people's spiritual and ecological beliefs?
Do you believe that democracy is possible when people are forced to take whatever jobs are available simply to escape poverty?
Do you believe that people living in poverty can fully participate in political discussion that determines how society is governed when they don't have economic security?
Do you believe it is possible for children to participate in society and develop the skills they need when so many go hungry and do not have a warm secure place to sleep?
Do you believe that only people who have money should be able to buy the dental and oral hygiene services they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy?
Do you believe that democracy is possible when the media is almost totally controlled by business people who promote the idea that economic growth is the only solution to poverty?
Do you believe that it is possible for average people to challenge their employers when they do not have economic security and their employers can fire them from their jobs?
Do you believe that it is possible to refuse degrading or dangerous work when people do not have economic security?
Do you believe that the gambling industry is based on freedom of choice when so many people are desperate to win money because they live in poverty?
Do you believe that it is more important for society to use scarce resources for entertainment purposes when so many people do not even have the basics?
Do you believe that it is dignified for human beings to have to beg for charity or submit themselves to the humiliation of the welfare system when there is absolutely no proof that ecologically sound full employment is possible?
Do you believe it is dignified for elders to have to exist on substandard resources because they are considered no longer productive?
Do you believe it is dignified for people who are born with non-marketable abilities to have to beg for subsistence when there are so many surplus goods and services already available?
Do you believe that it is moral and scientifically rational to force the world's farmers to grow cash crops - sugar, tobacco, coffee, etc. - when they could easily use the same time and resources to grow food to feed their communities?
Do you believe that it is moral and scientifically rational to use the world's material resources and labour to build luxury hotels and office buildings and shopping malls when the very same labour and resources could be used to build decent homes for all?
Do you believe that it is moral and scientifically rational for the clothing and footwear industries to produce products that the vast majority of the world's people cannot afford to buy?
Do you believe that children should have access to the things they need to be as healthy and happy as possible regardless of whether their parents or guardians have enough money?
Do you believe that elders and people with disabilities should have access to the things they need to be as healthy and happy as possible?
Do you believe that you have the right to reject goods and services that promote ill health?
Do you believe that the work that unpaid caregivers do in the home and community is at least as valuable as making junk food and selling it to children?
Do you believe it is more important that mothers and fathers have the resources they need to make sure their families are healthy and happy then to fund the Olympic games and other sports spectacles?
Some other questions:
1) Do you think everyone needs what you need?
2) Can everyone solve their economic problems the same way you have solved yours?
3) Do you have a job that produces social beneficial goods and services that are based on ecologically sound and sustainable practices and is this possible for everyone?
4) Is it possible to boost the world's production and consumption without further destroying the world's natural resources; and b) without further wasting vast quantities of the world's natural resources?
5) How do we currently economically account for the work of producing and caring for the young of the human species?
6) How would the economy, without a guaranteed livable income, react to a suddenly shrinking supply of consumers.
7) How has the economy accounted for the theft and depletion of indigenous people's land and resources?