I'm a writer and now increasingly an activist spending as much time and resources I have working to spread awareness for the idea of a unconditional basic income (UBI) - one whose time has come here in the 21st century where technology is now forcing our hand. Without an income platform set just above the poverty level as a bare minimum, I believe poverty and inequality will continue to grow, the middle classes will continue to shrink, and the livelihoods of all but the top fifth of society will continue to slip away. But it doesn't have to be that way. We're better than that. We can turn all of this on its head, and instead of things continuing to get worse, we can make things better than they've ever been. We can reduce risk and so propel innovation and creativity to new heights. We can reduce fears of unemployment and purposely eliminate low-skill jobs better performed by machines, freeing us to intrinsically do all the work that drives us. We can stop wasting so many resources on fighting the fires of our lives, and instead prevent them from ever lighting in the first place. We need only make the choice. The path is ours to take.
Starting in 2013, my most popular article I'd written about basic income became was "Why Should We Support the Idea of an Unconditional Basic Income?" It made Medium's Top 100 in June 2014, but it was surpassed by my article, "Self-Driving Trucks Are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck," in 2015 which was republished across multiple media outlets and has likely altogether garnered over 1 million views. In 2016, my article, "Deep Learning is Going to Teach Us All the Lesson of Our Lives: Jobs are for Machines," garnered over half a million views on Medium and was published in the Sunday edition of the Boston Globe. In 2017, my most read article was "The Real Story of Automation Beginning with One Simple Chart." When not writing articles related to basic income, I am further researching the idea, and reading and writing comments as a moderator of the basic income community on Reddit - (/r/BasicIncome), where I've helped grow the community from the less than 2,000 subscribers it had when I joined, to over 50,000 today. I do what I can there to help make it a central place for discussion and learning in hopes of gradually gaining momentum for the social movement it will require to eventually be realized. I also run multiple social media accounts in support of basic income: @BasicIncome, Basic Income on Facebook, @rBasicIncome, rBasicIncome on Facebook, and help with the social media outreach of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG), and now Manna. One of my larger projects in 2014 was helping to organize a week-long series of Q&As; on Reddit (there known as AMAs) for International Basic Income Week with prominent proponents of basic income from all over the world. I repeated this in 2015 with another series of AMAs.
Since joining Patreon, I have started my own blog focused on answering frequently asked basic income questions, and my own Facebook page to better spread basic income awareness, and am a contributor to Futurism, the World Economic Forum, TechCrunch, The Huffington Post and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET).
At this point I am looking to reach over 1,000 supporters here on Patreon, with a focus on small dollar amount patrons. As I explained in a blog post about security, it is a key emergent component of basic income, and therefore a basic income of $1,000 per month funded by 1,000 people is far more secure and stable than the same amount funded by 100 people. So please, if you support the work I'm doing thanks to the passion I have for helping make this idea happen in the world, please don't worry that $1 per month is too little. To the contrary, that and over 999 others doing the same, is extremely close to the security of a government provided basic income. And the support of 1,000 people here on Patreon will also show that much more support for the idea of basic income itself.
If you would like to support my travel to various basic income-related events, I've also setup a separate crowdfund specifically for my travel expenses. For example, making it to each year's Basic Income Earth Network Congress and North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress is beyond the funding abilities of this Patreon focused on basic needs. Those kinds of travel expenses are above and beyond a basic income.
If you would like to read a selection of BIG pieces of I have written so far, here are a few:
- Why Should We Support the Idea of an Unconditional Basic Income?
- Universal Basic Income as the Social Vaccine of the 21st Century
- Wouldn't Unconditional Basic Income Just Cause Massive Inflation?
- (Read even more in the Huffington Post, Basic Income Collection on Medium, and on my blog)
Some additional BIG projects of mine I've done:
- Traveled to NYC to take part in and report on the 2015 North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress
- Traveled to DC to be a panelist in a Brookings Institute discussion with Nick Hanaeur about tech and basic income
- Traveled to NYC to speak about basic income at the first World Summit on Technological Unemployment
- Traveled to Switzerland to be a part of their June 5th, 2016 vote on basic income
- Transcribed this Alan Watts video involving basic income into text (also available on Pastebin and Scribd)
- Created this visualization using Census data and my own calculations to show the per quintile effects of a basic income flat tax
- Compiled this ongoing list of books about or involving a basic income guarantee
Some of my campaigns for basic income:
- The Basic Income for All Twibbon campaign (easily add the hashtag #BASICINCOME to your Twitter and FB profile photos)
- The 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 successful Thunderclaps for basic income awareness on Basic Income Day (over 1.3 million people were reached in 2017)
Some of my media appearances about basic income:
- The Keiser Report with Max Keiser
- Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp on RT America
- KNPR's State of Nevada
- The Takeaway with John Hockenberry on WNYC
- (Full list of appearances now available here)
I would also like to work on more videos (like this one) and images (like this one) aside from articles, to help create media with the potential to go viral and reach a much larger audience, as well as begin to write a book about basic income.
Every patron dollar pledged will help towards my goal of $1,012 per month. If I can reach that goal, I will have attained the level of basic income I personally believe we can and should start at here in the US as a poverty floor just above the poverty line (based on 2018 Federal Poverty Guidelines defining the poverty line for an individual without kids as $12,140), and at that point will be walking miles in the shoes of those whose feet I hope to similarly relieve. Through effectively attaining my own basic income through my writing and advocacy, I will be free to begin more fully engaging in the grassroots organizing required to better help achieve it for everyone.
"The BIG Patreon Creator Pledge"
Taking a page from the Creative Commons concept of Share Alike, any and every patron dollar pledged above $1,012 per month I will consider to be greater than a basic income and will pledge away to other Creators here on Patreon also creating content in support of their own basic incomes by making the same pledge to limit their own final goals to $1,012/mo (plus ~$360/mo per kid for Creator parents) and pledging to give the rest to others making the same pledge. My goal here is to create a community of content creators all working toward their own basic incomes with the same shared goal of achieving basic incomes for others.
Others who have taken The BIG Patreon Creator Pledge:
- Anya Ehrim - creator of stories and art
- Jamie Klinger - creator of a sustainable global economic platform
- Matt Orfalea - creator of YouTube videos (including this one about basic income)
- Johan Nygren - creator of basicincome.co
- Mark Witham - creator of Basic Income Project
- Miss Bridget Walsh - creator of music and the platform for artists known as INDHE
- J Andrew World - creator of visual activism
- Louis Clark - creator of support for basic income
- Caue Rego - creator of Benevolent Artificial Super Intelligence UX (BASIUX)
- My Basic Income - creator of crowdfunded basic incomes
- Saul Of-Hearts - creator of communities around intentional living, basic income, and more
- Fee Plumley - creator of reflections and reinforcements
- Loren Sickles - creator of support for basic income and space for civil discourse
- Shane Watt - creator of maps and cityscapes
- Mothnode - creator of the "Cyberhippie Collective" indie game studio
- John Griogair Bell - creator of the "Hermetic Library"
- Amanda Wray - creator of basic income illustrations and more
- Kate Buttery - creator of clay sculptures
- Tanu Kaskinen - creator of free software
- Philipp Kessler - creator of ambient space music and videos
- Magdalen Rose - creator of videos, games, and art
- Sparrow Read - creator of paintings
- Stuart Mark - creator of basic income images and decals
- Lisa Hallman - creating a space for writers
- UBI Visuals - creating visual support for universal basic income
- Phillip Young (and family) - creating basic income for family and community
- Lucas Abduch - creating juggling videos
- C. Hamilton - creating ramblings and rants about basic income
- Sara Bizarro - creating awareness and in-depth discussion of basic income
- Andre Coelho - creating music, writings, and basic income activism
- PopMythology.com - creating positive, uplifting blog content