Hawaii State Legislature embraces Basic Income Sort of

Hawaii’s state legislature supports the idea of basic income, but has no plans to do anything about it.

Both houses of the legislature unanimously passed a resolution; that stated all citizens “deserve basic financial security” and directed state agencies to analyze universal basic income and other policy options, in May, Mother Jones reported. The measure does absolutely nothing for or against basic income.

The resolution’s sponsor; Representative Chris Lee (D-Kailua), said it was a response to Hawaii’s sky high cost of living and growing income inequality. Lee would like to see some means of helping average Hawaiians pay the bills as their islands become a vacation and retirement haven.

This is the first time in decades a U.S. legislature has considered basic income. It will not be the last as the incomes and lifestyles of average Americans decline. Expect to see more calls for radical solutions like basic income as things get worse.

Basic income opponents had better find some realistic alternatives if they want to counter these efforts. If they do not, such critics will lose the debate before it begins and become redundant.

Basic Income Foes will turn on Technology

Expect to see basic income opponents jump on the anti-technology band wagon in the near future. Their next big alternative to basic income will be “banning job-killing tech” which will probably go nowhere but be popular in some quarters.

A likely outcome is that an unholy alliance of religious conservatives; labor unions and Luddite intellectuals; dedicated to suppressing technologies such as artificial intelligence, will emerge in the near future. That movement will hide its hostility to progress with a combination of nostalgia, piety and appeals to traditional values.

The new Luddites will focus their anger on basic income with rhetoric glorifying work and the good old days. Their solution to technological employment and income inequality will be a simple one; “ban the machines,” and it will be a popular notion.

Supporters of technology and progress had better get ready; some bruising battles are right around the corner. There will be a popular movement to brand supporters of tech as enemies of freedom, humanity culture, families, religion, faith, America, tradition, children, the working man, mortality and God. This movement will be popular and it will turn people against each other.

Advocates of realistic solutions such as basic income will have to redouble their efforts and prepare for all out war. For they and not technology will be the real targets of the new Luddites and their backers.