there will also be popular resistance. In June, a Swiss referendum
resulted in only 23 percent support for a nationwide basic income. This
skepticism was not unique to that prosperous and fairly conservative
nation. Basic income will generate resistance because of practical
matters, like a rise in taxes. But even if those challenges are
overcome, the reform will confront resistance because of the cultural
upset it will generate. There will be deeper fears in play, not easily
assuaged by wonkish arguments showing how the bills can be paid.
Could it be that people are afraid of being freed from wage work,
even from a portion of wage work? What would they do with their
newfound free time? Watch television or play with their iPhone? A
shorter work week, or no work week would make a rich leisure life
possible, and it would make a dense social life possible. There would be
time to invest in our communities, and time to care for one another,
and especially to care for the young, the old, and the sick. But if the
patterns of that leisure, the elements of that community, have become
invisible to us, well, maybe everyone might as well go to work for
whatever camaraderie the workplace provides."
This article covers some of the skepticism of the plan. I am a firm skeptic of current economic theory and think this will actually help economies in the long run.