The Case for Shiftlessness – Ted Rall – Zero Work
It’s time to separate income from work.
The solution is clear: to guarantee everyone, whether or not he or she holds a job, a minimum salary sufficient to cover housing, transportation, education, medical care and, yes, discretionary income. Unfortunately, we’re stuck in an 18th century mindset. We’re nowhere close to detaching money from work. The Right wants to get rid of the minimum wage. On the Left, advocates for a Universal Living Wage nevertheless stipulate that a decent income should go to those who work a 40-hour week.
Ford proposes a Basic Income Guarantee based on performance of non-work activities; volunteering at a soup kitchen would be considered compensable work. But even this “radical” proposal doesn’t go far enough.
Whatever comes next, revolutionary overthrow or reform of the existing system, Americans are going to have to accept a reality that will be hard for a nation of strivers to take: we’re going to have to start paying people to sit at home.