Anticipating tomorrow's politics

Just a few hours ago the new Transpolitica book “Anticipating tomorrow’s politics” was released on Amazon as ebook:

Ten different authors have provided chapters for this book in which they each focus on one aspect of possible future politics. I have provided the book with a chapter about universal basic income (UBI), titled “The Case For Universal Prosperity”. This week I have been quite busy reading and helping to edit the chapters in this book. It was a quite immersive process that was done by the team of authors and Transpolitica supporters using the group collaboration software Slack.

I think this forum is one of the best open places to discuss the chapters of the book.


Tell us a little about your chapter Radivis.

My chapter has two parts. In the first part I explain why there’s a need to examine the idea of a universal basic income (UBI). Basically, it’s because the economy isn’t running so smoothly because of too high inequality, and because we can expect a lot of technological unemployment in the future.

Then I explain what an UBI is. It’s basically an income that is paid to everyone in a nation individually, universally and unconditionally. A full UBI must be high enough to enable people active productive participation in society, which of course necessitates having at least enough money for all the basic requirements of living plus some more for travel, communication, and stuff.

Afterwards I explain what advantages there are for a UBI, for example a reduction of crime, an increase in consumer demand, stimulating the economy. Also, basic security for everyone reducing existential fear and possibly making everyone healthier by removing associated stress. It actually increases incentives to work for most people. Basically everyone wins, even if taxes would have to be somewhat increased.

Financing is ideally done with a Land Value Tax, but progressive income taxes and consumption taxes are viable options, too.

Introduction of an UBI is ideally done experimentally starting by introducing it in certain cities to see what happens, so that the precise policy can be adjusted before going on to the regional and national levels.

At the end of the first part I debunk some typical arguments against introducing a UBI.

In part 2 of the chapter I argue for a certain type of generous UBI which I call sustainable universal prosperity income (SUPI). It is based on coupling the height of the UBI to innovative ecological economic performance metrics which already exist and which I simply call “eco metrics”. With an increase in these metrics the UBI would also rise, thus distributing the profits from increased sustainable productivity too all inhabitants of a nation.

Then I go on to mention expected additional benefits of this enhanced UBI, for example accelerated technological development and automation due to decreased resistance against such, because losing your job won’t be much of a problem with a SUPI. Also, people would be able to follow their intrinsic motivation to a higher degree and focus on the really important things, like solving actual problems. The economy would probably profit a lot, because consumer demand stays reliably strong. And there would be an incentive to transform the industry so that it doesn’t destroy our planet, because that would hurt the “eco metric” and thus the income of everyone.

Finally, I argue against some possible rejections of the SUPI that are based in the claim that the state shouldn’t pay people so much money, for various apparent reasons.

So, yeah, I do argue for introducing a SUPI rather sooner than later, because otherwise we will have a hard time to get out of the increasing economic and social trouble we are in currently. Also, because it would be truly awesome (though it wouldn’t solve all problems at once, of course)!


The positive outcome of smaller, more conservative projects, like some “school vouchers” and what in south America is named as an “Universal Assignation per Child”, is undeniable. It had the effect of effectively raising the economy and much well being, even when restricted to an specific audience.

If I may, lets approximate the UBI model through an universal social insurance model, restraining the system to something we can debate in the constraints of this forum.

People have needs, fundamental, existential needs. Which are unfulfilled, even when the Human Rights Declaration specifically states these must be attended. Many governmental programs should be considered as a patch to an overall lack of insurances against these problems, thus, we still haven’t solved many basic needs.

Education, housing, nutrition, communication…all basic needs that we can say no government provides insurance to everything, when they are supposed to exist for this.

Having linked an universal need for a solution to cover existential problems, to the inaction of governments, we can say that the model of an UBI is the logical insurance for a wide range of unattended needs. And is one model specifically accord to capitalism, which works through incomes for the exchange of goods and services.

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Good job, Michael.

I’d love to see a discussion on your chapter here and on Facebook.

I’d also like to see that happen for all the other chapters.

Perhaps I’ll attempt to kick something off .

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Yes, an UBI would be a universal social insurance for meeting fundamental, existential needs which should actually exist according to the Human Rights Declaration. Unfortunately, talk about human rights seems to be rather ineffective in politics, so I didn’t mention that in my chapter. A clear advantage of the UBI is that it would help to meet so many basic needs at once in a very uncomplicated manner.

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Politics is not only the art of getting elected and wielding power.
It’s also the art of creating lasting change.
One difference is the time scale involved in these 2 goals.