I am tired.
Tired from a miserable cold,
but, most of all, tired of the lacklustre thinking which pervades social policies, and by implication economic policies. I am tired of a welfare system which is itself tired and past its use by date, and is plain. just. not. working for the benefit of us all. I am tired of policies which divide us into deserving and undeserving, and which are more concerned about balance sheets than supporting real needs. I am tired of a system which has a built-in unemployment rate, and which then adversely judges the unfortunate unemployed or unemployable. In that number I count my daughter who is too unwell to work, and my sister who saves the State thousands and thousands of dollars a year by voluntarily caring for our elderly parents. [ Yet, social and economic policies deem them both worthy of only a pittance for their living costs and well-being.]
In the US, we have just seen a landmark decision which confirms people are equal in love. Before I die ( let that be a long way off! ), I would LOVE to see that same unconditional, equal LOVE extended to decisions which confirm we are equal in our right to a basic guaranteed (living) income; which confirm we are equal in our right to be free of the gnawing anxiety of how we will pay for the necessaries of life. ( You may say I’m a dreamer… 😉 )
How this can be achieved I am not sure, but one way which is currently being researched is the Basic Income Guarantee. My nephew writes about this concept in his excellent, thought-provoking post, Money for Free, http://radicalblues.com/2015/06/27/money-for-free/
His post begins ” Check out this great new documentary on Basic Income (BI) from Dutch current affairs program Backlight. ….The documentary presents a series of vignettes on BI that provide a good sense of what’s been tried in the past, what’s being done today and what might be possible in the future.”
And if the idea of BI seems too radical or too preposterous, here’s a little reminder that one of the most important books of the 20th century, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, was made possible because the author was given a year’s guaranteed income, so she could complete her novel.
Okay, time to stop sniffling about tiredness ; time to sit in the sun and have another cuppa, and re-energise. Oh, but one thing which makes me less tired is knowing there are young people in the world who care about achieving justice in our societies.