rutger bregman

rutger bergman bw

[utrecht, netherlands]

intro’d to Rutger here:

why we should give free money

London, May 2009. Read the Dutch version here / Lees de Nederlandse versie van dit artikel hier. A small experiment involving thirteen homeless men takes off. 

Costs? 50,000 pounds a year, including the wages of the aid workers. In addition to giving eleven individuals another shot at life, the project had saved money by a factor of at least 7. Even The Economist concluded:

The most efficient way to spend money on the homeless might be to give it to them.’

People have to ‘work for their money,’ we like to think. In recent decades, social welfare has become geared toward a labor market that does not create enough jobs. The trend from ‘welfare’ to ‘workfare’ is international, with obligatory job applications, reintegration trajectories, mandatory participation in ‘voluntary’ work. The underlying message: Free money makes people lazy.

Except that it doesn’t. 

Studies from all over the world drive home the exact same point: free money helps. Proven correlations exist between free money and a decrease in crime, lower inequality, less malnutrition, lower infant mortality and teenage pregnancy rates, less truancy, better school completion rates, higher economic growth and emancipation rates. ‘The big reason poor people are poor is because they don’t have enough money’, economist Charles Kenny, a fellow at the Center for Global Development, dryly remarked last June. ‘It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that giving them money is a great way to reduce that problem.’

In the 2010 work Just Give Money to the Poor, researchers from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) give numerous examples of money being scattered successfully. In Namibia, malnourishment, crime and truancy fell 25 percent, 42 percent and nearly 40 percent respectively. In Malawi, school enrollment of girls and women rose 40 percent in conditional and unconditional settings. From Brazil to India and from Mexico to South Africa, free-money programs have flourished in the past decade. While the Millenium Development Goals did not even mention the programs, by now more than 110 million families in at least 45 countries benefit from them.

OECD researchers sum up the programs’ advantages: (1) households make good use of the money, (2) poverty decreases, (3) long-term benefits in income, health, and tax income are remarkable, (4) there is no negative effect on labor supply – recipients do not work less, and (5) the programs save money. Here is a presentation of their findings.Why would we send well-paid foreigners in SUVs when we could just give cash? This would also diminish risk of corrupt officials taking their share. Free money stimulates the entire economy: consumption goes up, resulting in more jobs and higher incomes.

mincomeEvelyn Forget

In March 1973 the governor of the province had decided to reserve $17 million for the project. The experiment was to take place in Dauphin, a small city with 13,000 inhabitants north of Winnipeg. The following spring researchers began to crowd the town to monitor the development of the pilot. Economists were keeping track of people’s working habits, sociologists looked into the experiment’s effects on family life and anthropologists engaged in close observation of people’s individual responses.

The basic income regulations had to ensure no one would drop below the poverty line. In practice this meant that about a 1,000 families in Dauphin, covering 30% of the total population, received a monthly paycheck. For a family of five, the amount would come down to $18,000 a year today (figure corrected for inflation). No questions asked.

Four years passed until a round of elections threw a spanner in the works. The newly elected conservative government didn’t like the costly experiment that was financed by the Canadian taxpayer for 75%. When it turned out that there was not even enough money to analyze the results, the initiators decided to pack the experiment away. In 1,800 boxes.

For three years, she (prof Forget) analyzed and analyzed, consistently coming to the same conclusion: 

Mincome had been a great success. 

‘Politicians feared that people would stop working, and that they would have lots of children to increase their income,’ professor Forget says. You can find one of her lectures here.Yet the opposite happened: the average marital age went up while the birth rate went down. The Mincome cohort had better school completion records. The total amount of work hours decreased by only 13%. Breadwinners hardly cut down on their hours, women used the basic income for a couple of months of maternity leave and young people used it to do some extra studying.

Forget’s most remarkable discovery is that hospital visits went down by 8,5%. This amounted to huge savings (in the United States it would be more than $200 billion a year now). After a couple of years, domestic violence rates and mental health also saw improvement. Mincome made the entire town healthier. The basic income continued to influence following generations, both in terms of income and health.

Dauphin, the town with no poverty, was one of five North-American basic income experiments. Four U.S. projects preceded it. Today, few people know how close the US was in the sixties to implementing a solid social welfare system that could stand the comparison with that of most Western-European countries nowadays. In 1964, president Lyndon B. Johnson declared a ‘war on poverty.’ Democrats and Republicans were united in their ambition to fundamentally reform social security. But first more testing was needed.

Several tens of millions were made available to test the effects of a basic income among 10,000 families in Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina, Seattle and Denver. The pilots were the first large-scale social experiments differentiating between various test and control groups. The researchers were trying to find the answers to three questions.

1: Does a basic income make people work significantly less?

2: If so, will it make the program unaffordable?

3: And would it consequently become politically unattainable? 

The answers: no, no and yes.

The decrease in working hours turned out to be limited. ‘The ‘laziness’ contention is just not supported by our findings’, the chief data analyst of the Denver experiment said. ‘There is not anywhere near the mass defection the prophets of doom predicted.’ On average, the decline in work hours amounted to 9 percent per household. Like in Dauphin, the majority of this drop was caused by young mothers and students in their twenties.

‘These declines in hours of paid work were undoubtedly compensated in part by other useful activities, such as search for better jobs or work in the home,’ an evaluative report of a Seattle project concluded.  A mother who had never finished high school got a degree in psychology and went on to a career in research. Another woman took acting classes, while her husband started composing. ‘We’re now self-sufficient, income-earning artists’, they told the researchers. School results improved in all experiments: grades went up and dropout rates went down. Nutrition and health data were also positively affected – for example, the birth weight of newborn babies increased.

For a while, it seemed like the basic income would fare well in Washington.

WELFARE REFORM IS VOTED IN HOUSE, a NYT headline on April 17, 1970 read. An overwhelming majority had endorsed President Nixon’s proposal for a modest basic income. But once the proposal got to the Senate, doubts returned. ‘This bill represents the most extensive, expensive and expansive welfare legislation ever handled by the Committee on Finance,’ one of the senators said.

Then came that fatal discovery: the number of divorces in Seattle had gone up by more than 50%. This percentage made the other, positive results seem utterly uninteresting. It gave rise to the fear that a basic income would make women much too independent. For months, the law proposal was sent back and forth between the Senate and the White House, eventually ending in the dustbin of history.

Later analysis would show that the researchers had made a mistake – in reality the number of divorces had not changed.

Eradicating poverty in the United States would cost $175 billion, economist Matt Bruenig recently calculated – a quarter of the country’s $700 billion military budget.

Perverse? On the contrary, over the last decades our social security systems have degenerated into perverse systems of social control. Government officials spy on people receiving welfare to make sure they are not wasting their money. Inspectors spend their days coaching citizens to help them make sense of all the necessary paperwork. Thousands of government officials are kept busy keeping an eye on this fraud-sensitive bureaucracy. The welfare state was built to provide security but degenerated in a system of distrust and shame.  

Bucky ness


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Rutger Bregman (1988) is a historian and writer. He studied at the University of Utrecht and Los Angeles, and taught at the University of Utrecht. Bregman wrote , Het Parool, Faith , and The Green Amsterdam.Meanwhile he writes for the online platform Correspondent  and he taps a fortnightly column in  the Volkskrant . In February 2012, he debuted with the book with the knowledge of the past. Current problems in the light of history at the Busy Bee. In March 2013 his second book appeared: The history of progress .


interview mar 2013 – income

rutger interview


oct 2014:

why we should give everyone a basic income, tedxmaastricht

what kind of idea could unite thinkers so diff…

utopias have a tendency of coming true

basic income is universal… everyone would get it.. whether millionaire or beggar.. and unconditional.. no one tells you what you have to do with/for it.. not a favor.. but a right..

5 min – free money for everyone.. has become a proven idea… results in lower poverty/inequality/infant mortality.. et al… cheapest and most civilized way to combat poverty..

7 min – 13 homeless men in london get free money… only thing they had to address – what do you think is good for you… men turned out to be frugal… 7 out of 13 had a roof over head … et al

8 min – most efficient way to deal with money and the homeless.. is to just give it to them…

our – perhaps we create a utopia… a more natural state… where we make money irrelevant.. perhaps radical econ as a jumpstart..

10 min – inspectors of inspectors.. bucky…

11 min – first objection – we don’t have enough money – actually.. we can now afford to give everyone a share…

or – quite measuring transactions.., and trust us

12 min – save billions on lower health care costs… less crime…

second objection – people will just sit around… but it’s always about other people and not us… experiments … that were conducted… and common sense.. tell us.. most people want to make something of their lives… shown poor people actually work more

13 min – third objection – too big… politicians too busy too short sighted…  well – almost happened w nixon…

16 min – stronger than a thousand armies is an idea who’s time has come – oscar wilde…

i believe free money for everyone.. time has come

or – disengage from money ..

perhaps key is combining ideas.. ie: free/no money and calm tech ness


feb 2015:

:) ‘@CasperWolfert Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp – overal raden mensen me vandaag innovatieverhaal van @rcbregman aan’

Original Tweet:


tweet stream sept 2015

De grootste misvatting achter Klavers definitie van ‘economisme’ is dat het efficiënt zou zijn. Integendeel. (1/4)
The biggest misconception behind Clovers definition of ‘ economism ‘ is that it would be effective. On the contrary. (1/4)
Meer markt en minder overheid betekent minder radicale innovatie.… (2/4)
More market and less government means less radical…(2/4)
Meer markt en meer flexibilisering betekent meer managers en een grotere planeconomie. (3/4)
More market and more flexibility means more managers and a larger planned…(3/4)
@rcbregman En meer ‘rendementsdenken’ in het onderwijs levert helemaal niet meer rendement, integendeel. (4/4)

And more ‘ rendementsdenken ‘ in education provides no longer returns, on the…(4/4)

i googled rendementsdenken and found this

the financialization of the university, something called rendementsdenken, neoliberalism itself.

tweet 4 linking to this on efficiency

This becomes much more understandable if you assume that output actually never been the goal. Employees with temporary contracts are not productive, but they are less cross.’Market forces’ health is not efficient, but you can as a manager or consultant or earn a nice living from it. Homeless on the street and children in poverty are very expensive, but the alternative is that more and more responsible citizens complain to your head.


Because why is a university that focuses on creativity, curiosity and Bildung defenseless?….


The latter group is bent on keeping teachers, nurses, factory employees and name it quiet.There is a proven stategie for: temporary contracts, low pay and a lot of paperwork. You saw it in the last few weeks at the University of Amsterdam, many teachers did not dare to join the protests for fear of their jobs. Others could not participate because their workload has become too high.

5th tweet

Links zou de woorden ‘groei’, ‘efficiëntie’ en ‘economie’ juist moeten heroveren, niet weggooien. Nieuwe definities, betere sommen.

Links would be the words ‘ growth ‘, ‘ efficiency ‘ and ‘ economy ‘ to recapture, not throw it away. New definitions, better sums.


amsterdam ness


Howard Rheingold? – spoke at utrecht uni april 2013..

the expeirment


“The solution to (nearly) everything: working less” – excerpt from my book in The Guardian!

Original Tweet: 

A worldwide shift to a shorter working week could cut the CO2 emitted this century by half.
Overtime is deadly. Long working days lead to more errors: tired surgeons are more prone to slip-ups and soldiers who get too little shut-eye are more prone to miss targets. From Chernobyl to the space shuttle Challenger, overworked managers often prove to have played a role in disasters.
Besides distributing jobs more equally between the sexes, we also have to share them across the generations. Older people increasingly want to continue working even after hitting pensionable age. But while thirtysomethings are drowning in work, family responsibilities and mortgages, seniors struggle to get hired, even though (some) working has proven health benefits.
t is precisely in overworked countries like Japan, England and the US that people watch an absurd amount of television.


money less

radical econ

money ness



utopia for realists..

@leashless Here’s a free and lgal download of said book.


p 11

a map of the world that does not include utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which humanity is always landing. and when humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. progress is the realization of utopias.     – oscar wilde 1854-1900

p 13

in country i live, netherlands, a homeless person receiving public assistance today has more to *spend than the ave dutch person in 1950 and four times more than people in holland’s glorious golden age…

*spend – key issue…success defined by this..? if measuring by this.. we’re missing it/us

p 15
last sentence before medieval section…  it is now 250 times what it was before the industrial revolution – when nearly everyone, everywhere was still poor, hungry, dirty, afraid, stupid, sick and ugly..
doesn’t matter if you’re rich and pretty and smart…. and still afraid…
ie: not good measures… they lead us to believing bi will solve things
p 17 – on 6 bill in 2013 have cell phone.. 4.5 billion had a toilet
cell phone yet w/no internet access..? of course.. way cheaper than toilet (as we know/insist it – ie: perhaps we all peepoople ness)
between 1994 and 2014 number of people with internet access world wide leaped from .4% to 40.4%…… fewer people going hungry
p 18 – all the while, we’re only getting smarter. in 1962 – 41% of kids didn’t go to school, as opposed to under 10% today..
? was questioning stats before this.. but this.. really? getting people into a school is helping us..?
p 19 – maybe this also explains how we’ve become so much more civilized, with the past decade rating as the most peaceful in all of world history…. the incidence of murder, robbery, and other forms of criminality is decreasing too..
whoa.. is this accounting for the mass refugees.. the mass incarcerations… the mass suicides..
perhaps ‘civilized’ criminalization gets a bypass on stats
p 21 – there’s no new dream to replace it because we dan’t imagine a better world than the one we’ve got. in fact, most people in wealthy countries believe children will actually be worse off than their parents. but the real crisis of our times, of my generation, is not that we don’t have it good, or even that we might be worse off later on. no, the real crisis is that we can’t come up with anything better.

a nother way. . as the day.

p 22 – should we simply stop dreaming of a better world altogether? no, of course not. but that’s precisely what is happening. optimism and pessimism have become synonymous with consumer confidence or the lack thereof.

in journalism..stakes are not ideals but careers; in academia.. too busy writing to read, publishing to debate… what counts is achieving targets.. quality replaced by quantity

p 23 – the public arena should be ‘neutral’ after all yet ever before has it been so paternalistic (limits person’s/groups liberty/autonomy for presumed to be person’s/group’s own good). … values suspiciously close to those touted by .. companies that can pay form prime-time advertising. if a political party or a religious sect had even a fraction of the influence that the advertising industry has on us and our children, we’d be up in arms. but because it’s the market, we remain ‘neutral.’

if you’re not following the blueprint of a docile, content citizen, the powers that be are happy to whip you into shape.. their tools of choice? control, surveillance, and repression.

meanwhile, welfare state has increasingly shifted its focus from the causes of our discontent to the symptoms. we go to a doctor when we’re sick, a therapist when we’re sad, a …. all these services cost vast sums of money, but with little to show for it.. in u.s. where cost of healthcare is highest on planet, life expectancy for may is actually going down…

deep enough – short

p 24 – not that we don’t have it good. far from it. if anything, kids today are struggling under the burden of too much pampering.

pampering..? or stifling..? suffocating from the day..

sharp rise in self esteem… a generation in which every kid has been told – you can be anything you want. you’re special explains twenge.. brought up on a steady diet of narcissism, but as soon as released into the great big world of unlimited opportunity, more and more of us crash and burn. the world, it turns out, is cold ad harsh, rife with competition and unemployment.

i would say this happens sooner than we think.. telling somebody they can be anything.. but making them spend 12+ years doing what they’re told first… not about not being able to make it in world we live in.. more about.. not being us.. (wilde not us law).. by the time we are freed up time to liven in that world..

setting a person free in an uncertain world.. leads to hard work we all crave (antifragility/entropy ness)..  telling a person they’re free then holding them in ‘civilized’ chains/supposed-to’s .. leads to increase in ie: suicides

twenge: ave child living in early 90s north america was more anxious than psychiatric patients in early 50s…

world health org: depression has become biggest health problem among teens .. ad will be number one cause of illness worldwide by 2030

p 25 – best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads – former math whiz at facebook recently lamented…

true progress begins with something no knowledge economy can produce: wisdom about what it means to live well.

p 26 – the word utopia means both good place and no place.. what we need are alternative horizons that spark the imagination. and i do mean horizons in the plural; conflicting utopias are the lifeblood of democracy after all

whatever we mean by democracy… but yes.. design for non repetitive ness.. et al.. entropy… 7 billion plus daily curiosities..

2 forms of utopian thought

1\ utopia of the blueprint (karl popper, hannah arendt) – individual ownership prohibited, everybody obligated to love everybody… private life controlled by state.. working toward favorable median..

2\ utopia of vague outline.. not solutions but guideposts.. perfect is enemy of good – voltaire..  ‘any serious utopian thinker will be made uncomfortable by the very idea of the blueprint.’ – george kateb…. throw open the windows of the mind..

utopias offer no ready made answers, let alone solutions. but they do ask the right questions.

history is not determined by machines, apps, and algorithms, nor is it predicted by trendwatchers. it is steered by humanity and its ideas.

rev of everyday life..  rev in reverse .. as the day.

p 29 – bertrand russell: it is not a finished utopia that we ought to desire, but a world where imagination and hope are alive and active.

p 31 – bertrand russell 1872 – 1970 – to be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization

let’s do this first: free art\ists.. leisure/luxury ness toward the energy we crave/need.

p 34 – keyes – predicting greatest challenge in 2030 – what to do with a sea of spare time.. working just 15 hours a week

yes industrial revolution.. brought about exact opposite of leisure..

p 35 – ford and 5 day work week – took a decade to catch on to his crazy idea..

p 36 – rand corp – foresaw a future in which just 2% of population would be able to produce everything society needed… working would soon be reserved for the elite

p 37 – asimov: psychiatry largest specialty in 2014 due to millions who found themselves adrift in sea of enforce leisure.. work.. would become the most glorious single word in the vocab

74, u.s. interior dept: leisure.. may become most perplexing problem of future

p 38 – 80s – workweek reduction came to a grinding halt. economic growth was translating not into more leisure, but more stuff.

even w individual reduction workweek, families more pressed for time – feminist revolution.. where they only contributed 2-6% of family income in 70.. now .. topped 40%…… ‘my grandma didn’t have the vote, my mom didn’t have the pill, and i don’t have any time’ – dutch comedienne

p 40 – in u.s. working mothers actually spend more time w kids today tha stay at home moms did in 70s..


p41 – work and leisure becoming increasingly difficult to disentangle.. hbs study.. 80-90 hrs week working/monitoring work. british research: smartphone has the ave employee working 460 more hrs per yr – nearly 3 wks…. asimov right that by 2014 ‘work’ would be most glorified word.. but for diff reason..we aren’t bored to death; we’re working ourselves to death… epidemic of stress…. as we hurdle 21st cent… biggest challenges aren’t leisure and boredom, but stress and uncertainty..

p 44 – the solution to (almost) anything… is there anything that working less does not solve..?

p 49 – psychologists have demo’d that protracted unemployment has a greater impact on well-being than divorce or the loss of a loved one. time heals all wounds, except unemployment. … but no matter how important work is in our lives, folks all over the world, … yearn for a shorter workweek..

perhaps they aren’t really yearning for employment..

look closer.

we can’t all just go ahead and switch to a 20-30 hr workweek. reduction of work first has to be reinstated as a political ideal. then, we can curb the workweek step by step, trading in money for time, investing more money in education, and developing a more flexible retirement system and good provisions for paternity leave and childcare.


perhaps.. we just leap to a nother way to live..

p 30 – it all starts with reversing incentives.

or perhaps it all starts w reversing the revolution.. (have you read this..?)

breaking the vicous circle (tabs on each others’ hours et al) will require collective action – by companies or, better yet, by countries..

how about by each individual.. as the day. at once. for (blank)’s sake

when people say – wouldn’t everybody just be glued to tv..?… the irony is that it was precisely in overworked, industrialized cities that more and more people sought refuge in the bottle.

p 51 – a 21st cent ed should prep people not only for joining the workforce, but also (and more importantly) for life.

perhaps ed should just be life. everyday life.

ie: anything schooling less does not solve (44) – stress, climate, aging, ineq, …

p 55 – experiment w 13 homeless men in london 2009 – only thing they’re asked is: what do you think  you need (ie: no strings)

p 56 – the economist: the most efficient way to spend money on the homeless might be to give it to them

p 57 – michael faye, founder of givedirectly…. doesn’t give people fish, or even teach them to fish. he gives them cash… in the conviction that the real experts on what poor people need are the poor people themselves..

imagine we abandon cash altogether.. the time/energy that would save… with this very same trust in people.

p 59 – lists, citations of positive results of giving free (but not nec no strings) money

plus, free cash greases the wheels of the whole economy: people buy more, and that boosts employment and incomes

whoa. huge mistake.

perhaps why we haven’t yet gotten to utopia .. for realists..

p 60 – the great thing about money is people can buy things they need instead of things that self-appointed experts think they need.

same thinking – for school. learn what they desire.. rather than what self-appointed experts thinking they need to learn. that degree of letting go.. could get us to utopia.. for realists.. real fast. exponentially/globally.

p 61 – the only condition.. is that you have a pulse.

nationality: human

now just take out the money part. and give everyone.. everyone.. the day.

basic income – an idea whose time has come

yes.. it’s time has come. but let’s leap over it to what we’re actually capable of today..  no money.


io dance/hosting life bits (blockchain/stack ness: replace server farms – chip energy efficient –dna\ness)
ps in the open (idiosyncratic jargon)
decision making/B redefined via self-talk as data
rna ness – entropy ness
on leap frogging – for (blank)’s sake
gupta roadblock law
short  [deep problem,simple mechanism,opensystem]


calm tech

mincome section and Evelyn

p 66 – on nixon trying to push bi in 71

p 68 – eradicating poverty in u.s. would cost only 175 bill according to economist matt bruenig’s calcs.. roughly a quarter of u.s. military spending.. a bargain compared to wars i afghanistan and iraq, which a harvard study estimated .. 4-6 trill

a system that helps solely the poor only drives a deeper wedge between them and the rest of society.

p 76 – on horses losing their labor job to cars.. and people .. on other had, can learn and grow.. so we pump more money into ed.. .. even people w framed piece of paper on wall have cause for concern.. 1830 william leadbeater well trained for job.. not that he wasn’t educated, but suddenly his skills were superfluous.

p 77 – good story on moore – moore’s law..   2013 – x box has 5 bill transistors…… in same way transistors standard unit of info in late 50s… shipping containers once upon a time became standard unit of transport

p 81 – inequality … in u.s… already wider than in ancient rome.. an econ founded on slave labor…. even wef, clique of entrepreneurs politicos and pop stars.. described this escalating ineq as biggest threat facing global econ

64 – each large company had 430 000 people by 2011.. only 1/4 that much despite being worth twice as much… ie: kodak.. 80s 145 000… 2012 – bankrupt.. while instagram. staffed by 13 people.. sold to facebook for 1 bill……takes fewer and fewer people and fewer and fewer benefit

p 82 – 100 74% of american’s were farmers… 1900 31% .. 2000 3%.. yet his hasn’t led to mass unemployment.. and when keynes writing in 30s about.. new disease of tech unemployment.. when he died in 46 – everything still peachy..

what about increase in illness… leass physical work… more processed food.. ie :  the apple (add apple age) – appleness feeding/perpetuating broken feed back loops

p 84 – first machine wave: 1765 james watt – efficiency of steam engine.. able to pump 60 ft of water out of a mine in just 60 min… second machine wave: chips algo’s… now

p 85 – 1800 water power supplied england w 3x energy as steam, 70 yrs later.. steam engines generating power of 40 mill grown men.. now 2 cent later.. our brains are next… on needing time ie: electricity 1870 innovations.. but not till 1920 most factories switched to electric… kurzweil and by 2045 – machines smarter than all of us.. have mad.. but ignore at our own peril.. wouldn’t be first time we underestimated power of expo growth

exactly… esp in expo potential in – a nother way

p 86 – million dollar question: what should we do? what new jobs will future bring? and, more importantly, will we want to do those new jobs..?

rev of everyday life.. live by whimsy… quit asking questions about jobs..

guy standing.. predicted emergence of new dangerous precariat… low wage/temp jobs w no political voice

p 89 – luddite rebellion at height in 1811

robot comes from czech robota meaning – toil… humans created robots to do precisley things they’d rather not do themselves.. according to wilde: the ancient greeks had known an uncomfortable truth: slavery isa prereq for civilization. ‘on mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends.’

p 90 – people used to judge by parentage.. now it’s diplomas on wall.. as long as machines can’t go to college – degree offers higher *returns than ever.. so .. more money for ed.

*returns – so .. what if.. returns isn’t what our souls are seeking..?

p 91 – anyone who wants to continue plucking the fruits of progress will have to come up w a more radical solutions… measures like a shorter workweek and uni basic income…

or.. disengaging from work for money.. from money altogether… ie: art for life

for us today.. still difficult to imagine future in which paid labor is not the be all and end al of our existence. but the inability to imagine a world in which things are diff is only evidence of a poor imagination, not of the impossibility of change. in 50s couldn’t imagine advent of fridges, vacuum cleaners.. washing machines..

p 92 – not tech that determines course of history… in the end it is we humans who decide how we want to shape our destiny…scenario of radical inequality taking shape in u.s. is not our only option. alt is that at some point during this century, we reject the dogma that you have to work for a living. … on hoice left.. massive redistribution… of money (bi) time (short work week) taxation (on capital instead of labor) and of cours of robots..

earn a living – a nother way – beyond bi

p 95 – inspectors of inspectors quote – bucky

Bucky– too much

bucky\eisenstein earn law

p 98 – jane costello studying great smoky mtns… 10 yrs after casino’s arrival.. younger the age at which children escaped poverty, better their teenage mental health

p 99 – extra 4000 per annum resulted in additional yr of ed attainment by age 21 and reduced chance of criminal record at age 16 by 22%…. but most significant improvement was in how the money helped parents, well to parent. .. parents lifted out of poverty now reported having more time for children…. energy spent worrying about money was now freed up for their children.. genes can’t be undone.. poverty can..

lovely.. jane‘s findings.. but perhaps even more.. her thinking on having a mech in place first – beyond bi

p 101 – people act differently when they perceive a thing to be scarce…. drawbacks of a scarcity mentality are greater than the benefits… scarcity consumes you.. less able to focus … poor people have an analogous problem.. context.. if you want to understand the poor.. imagine yourself w your mind elsewhere..

there’s a key distinction between people w busy lives and those living in poverty: you can’t take a break from poverty..

poverty – corresponds to between 13 and 14 iq points – shafir – comparable to losing a night’s sleep or the effects of alcoholism…. (mall experiment w car repair) – mere thought of a major financial setback impaired their cog ability…. mental bandwidth compromised..

p 103 – shafir – suggests .. time we also start considering our gross domestic mental bandwidth (rather than just gdp).. greater mental bandwidth equates to better child rearing, better health, … more productive employees..

great stuff.. always lost in assumptions – ie: more productive employees..?

great smoky mtns… casino cash … ultimately cut expenditures…

greg duncan uni of calif.. calculated lifting an american family out of poverty takes an ave of 4500 annually.. pays for itself by time poor children have reached middle age..a 2013 study estimated costs of child poverty in u.s. 500 bill a year….. investments in ed won’t really help these kids,… have to get above poverty line first..

or… we all disengage from money

p 109 – on poverty being relative.. gap is what matters more..  both (opportunity and wealth) matter.. two forms of ineq are inextricable.. frankly, there’s almost no country on earth where the american dream is less likely to come true than in the u.s.. anybody eager to work their way up from rags to riches is better off trying their luck in sweden, where people born into poverty can still hold out hope of a brighter future..

point in fact, society can’t function w/o some degree of ineq.. there still need to be incentives to work, to endeavor and to excel, and money is a very effective stimulus.. nobody would want to live in a society where cobblers eat as much as doctors..

whoa. whoa. whoa.


huge flaw in theory.. huge matter.

incentive to make art – comes from within. period. thats the energy the world needs.. thurman et al

.. even rich people suffer when ineq becomes too great. … become more prone to depression/suspicion….

p 111 –  utah’s 2005 – answer to homeless.. free apartments…

p 112 – drifter living on street cost govt 16 670 a year (social services, police, courts, etc) and apartment plus professional counseling.. cost 11 000

like poverty, solving the homelessness problem is preferable to merely managing it.

p 113 – dutch cities in netherlands… action plan: 217 million.. free housing – feb 2006 to feb 2014 – unmitigated success… vagrancy reduced 65%, drug use down by half, beneficiaries mental/physical health improved significantly… by 2008 brought nearly 6500 homeless off streets.. then came financial crisis… budget trimmed…  in 2013 – more homeless than before program launched.. so estimated cost of  relief for homeless… and found it to be highest return.. solving homelessness.. will actually free up funds

p 114 – if you’re poor main problem is no money. if you’re homeless, main problem is no roof over head.. speaking of which – in europe..  number of vacant houses is double number of homeless… in u.s. there are five empty homes for each person w/o one.


.@monk51295 @KevinCarson1 The Netherlands: 27.000 homeless people… 400.000+ vacant homes.…

sadly instead of trying to cure ailment, we continually opt to fight the symptoms… w police chasing vagrants around, doctors treating rough sleepers only to turn them back out on the the streets…

p 117 – the past teaches us a simple but crucial lesson: things could be different…. the past can galvanize our imaginations..

p 118 – nixon’s advisor martin anderson… admired ayn rand.. free market… so bi ran counter… so he launched offensive to nixon… same day nixon intended to go public w his plan.. anderson handed him a briefing.. a case report about something that happened in england 150 yrs before… completely changed nixon’s mind… and changed course of history..

reminds me of queen noor – and convo that incited war

p 121 – nixon.. who dreamed of going down in history as a progressive leader forfeited a unique op to overthrow a stereotype rooted back in 19th cent england: the myth of the lazy poor….. so what was the real deal w speenhamland….on on welfare vs workfare to please congress.. didn’t please people

p 124 – critics of speenhamland had acquired towering authority…far into 20th cent.. eminent thinkers – …. tocqueville… hayek.. polanyi.. would denounce it… speenhamland was textbook ie of a govt program that had,… with best intentions.. paved the road to hell

in 60- 70s… another look discovered that much of text had been written before data even collected…  questions were leading..answers fixed in advance.. almost none of peopel interviewed were actual beneficiaries… … evidence came mostly from elite.. clergy… whose view was that poor were growing more wicked/lazy

p 125 – even said commission’s secretary edwin chadwick .. had the bill in his head befreo the investigation even started…………… more recent research revealed speenhamland was actually a  success

gray research law et al..

and if that’s not even … science of people in schools ness

on seeing that it had actually worked…

and to me.. on not needing to keep researching and validating… just trust people to do that 24/7

p 127 – many politicians accused of not using past.. nixon opposite.. .. using ver same misguided arguments applied back in 1834 (which ended up causing major bad oppressions – slaveries – abuse – oliver twist ness.. depression et al)

p 128 – these arguments echoed in wealth and poverty .. the 1981 megabestseller by george gilder that would make him reagan’s most cited author and which characterized poverty as a moral problem rooted in laziness and vice..

anywhere you find poor people, you also find non poor people theorizing their cultural inferiority and dysfunction –  even former nixon advisor daniel moynihan stopped believing in bi when divorce rates were initially/erroneously thought to have spike during seattle pilot program.. so did carter…

1996 – clinton finally pulled plug on welfare state…. first time since 1935.. assistance for poor seen as a favor instead of right. personal responsibility was the new buzzword

p 129 – history took a diff turn…shadow of speenhamland and nixon’s misguided rhetoric laid foundation for reagan’s and clinton’s cutbacks..

p 130 – orwell – the crux of poverty.. it annihilates the future.. all that remains is surviving the here and now.. he also marvels at ‘how people take it for granted that they have a right to preach at you and pray over you as soon as your income falls below a certain level..

131 – whole page… again and again….on war on poor… red degrading tape making us dependent on red degrading tape

p 136 – on missing garbagemen if they go on strike.. but not so much wall street traders or tax accountants.. or lobbyists.. or soc media consultants, telemarketers, .. lawyers

p 138 – the more productive agriculture /manufacturing became, the fewer people they employed.. at same time.. shift generated more work in service sector. yet before we could get ourselves a job in this new world of consultants, chefs, accountants, programmers, advisors, brokers, doctors, and lawyers, we first had to earn the proper credentials. this development has generated immense wealth. ironically,.. it has also created a system in which an increasing number of people can earn money w/o contributing anything of tangible value to society... paradox of progress: here in land of plenty, richer and smarter we get, the more expendable we become..

p 139 – bank strike in ireland where econ functioned w/o banks for 6 months.. 20 times as long as nyc sanitation workers’ strike.. which had been declared state of emergency after just 6 days..

p 140 – the fact that people began do it yourself banking makes it patently clear that they couldn’t do w/o some kind of financial sector..

i don’t know about that..

p 142 – graeber… on the phenom of bullshit jobs

graeber.. bullshit.. et al

p 143 – is it any coincidence that the proliferation of well-paid bullshit jobs has coincided w a huge boom in higher ed and an econ that revolves around knowledge.. making money w/o creating anything of value isn’t easy. for starters, you have to memorize very important sounding but meaningless jargon

p 146 – there is another way….. we can take a step toward a diff world, and we can start, *as such steps so often do, with taxes. even utopias need a tax clause.


*as such steps so often do.. ? have we ever taken a step toward (successful) finding of equity..? betterness..?

p 147 – higher taxes would get more people to do work that’s useful..


if there was ever a place where the quest for a better world ought to start, it’s in the classroom… teaching shapes something much bigger – course of human history… ie: ordinary elementary teacher.. 40 yrs at head of a class of 25 amounts to influencing the lives of 1000 childrens… moreover, that teacher is molding pupils at an age when they’re at their most malleable…


so missing it.

p 148 – f there’s one place, then , where we can intervene in a way that will pay dividends for society down the road, it’s in the classroom

well that sounds kind of true.. but only by disengaging from – classrooms.. and schools.. and teachers and students.. ie: in the city. as the day. all of us. assuming ‘paying dividends’ has nothing to do with money..

invariably, it all revolves around the question: which knowledge and skills to today’s students need to get hired in tomorrow’s job market – the market of 2030?… which is precisely the wrong question.

instead we should be posing a diff question: which knowledge and skills do we want our children to have in 2030? then, instead of anticipating and adapting, we’d be focusing on steering and creating… instead of wondering what we need to do to make a living in this or that bullshit job, we could ponder how we want to make a living.

or perhaps.. we forget.. making a living ness… and just live. trust that all of us together are enough.. and just live.

to answer this.. need to examine ourselves and our personal ideals.

yes.. but everyday. as the day.

do we want more solidarity across race, sex, and socioeconomic groups? start in social studies class..


start in the city. as the day.

if we restructure ed around our new ideals, the job market will happily tag along.

isn’t that how we got to where we are… some deciding on ideals for the structure.. for all?

p 154 – 2011 – japan – 20 000 die. great depression.. netherlands flood 53 2000 die.

whoa. sounds like shock doctrine talking… doing better after disasters..

p 156 – on counting gdp – child care – only if hire a nanny.. and this unpaid work.. is half of our work…… while on subject, only denmark has ever attempted to quantify the value of breastfeeding in its gdp. …. in u.s. the potential contribution of breast milk has been estimated at an incredible 110 bill a year – about the size of china’s military budget… and how lower costs of tech scarcely figure in gdp..

today the ave african with a cell phone has access to more info than pres clinton did in 90s, yet the info sector’s share of the econ hasn’t budged from 25 yrs ago, before we had the internet..

besides being blind to lots of good things, the gdp also benefits from all manner of human suffering… gridlock (goldmine for gas stations), drug abuse (rehab centers), adultery (divorce attorneys).. pollution does double duty.. one co cutting corners.. another cleaning up.. yet tree counts for nothing till you chop it down and sell it as lumber….. mental illness, obesity, pollution, crime… in terms of gdp the more the better…  that’s also why the country w the planet’s highest per capita gdp the u.s. also leads in social problems...

p 157 – the ceo who recklessly hawks mortgages and derivatives to lap up millions in bonuses currently contributes more to the gdp than a school packed w teachers or a factory full of car mechanics..

p 158 – we in land of plenty have come to end of long and historic voyage. for more than 30 yrs now, growth has hardly made us better off, and in some cases quite the reverse. if we want a higher quality of life, we will have to take the first step in search of other means, and alt metrics.

the ida that the gdp still serves as an accurate gauge of social welfare is one of the most widespread myths of our times…… given our obsession with it, it’s hard to believe that just 80 yrs ago the gdp didn’t even exist.

p 161 – it turned out, the gdp was an excellent yardstick for the power of nation in times of war… solid figures can even tip the balance between life and death… keynes 1940 essay – how to pay for the war

p 162 – start of 20 th cent… u.s. ovt employed on economist… less than 40 yrs later… 5000

p 163 – when people around 1900 talked about ‘the economy’ they usually just mean ‘society.’ but the 1950s intro’d a new generation of technocrats who invented a whole new objective: getting the ‘economy’ to ‘grow.’

p 164 – they (economists) .. became a fixture in the papers.. (after ww2).. they had mastered a trick no on else could do: managing reality and predicting the future.

1953 – guideline for figuring gdp – 50 pgs.. 2008 – 722 pgs..  gdp never presented as anything less than hard science… yet this apparent precision is an illusion..

during wartime, it makes sense to pollute the environment and go into debt. it can even be preferable to neglect your family…. and forget everything that makes life worth living.. indeed, during wartime, there’s no metric quite as useful as the gdp

p 168 – the richer a country becomes the more it should be spending on teachers and doctors..

? – the healthier.. the less we need doctors/teachers..

we can afford to pay more for the services we need – chiefly healthcare and education baumol writes.. what we may not be able to afford are the consequences of falling costs… ie: cars cheap.. but damage to people/earth

what are we defining healthcare and education as..? we’re not practicing them in a way that makes them basic essentials.. the way we practice them… is a bad consequence.. no?

p 169 – as kevin kelly says – ‘productivity is for robots. humans excel at wasting time, experimenting playing, creating, and exploring.’ governing by numbers is the last resort of a country that no longer knows what it wants, a country w no vision of utopia..

perhaps because we need to back of the deciding all together.. the consensus ness.. of a vision. perhaps we practice.. rev of everyday life..

what we need is a ‘dashboard’ complete w an array of indicators to track the things that make life worthwhile – money and growth, obviously



but also community service, jobs, knowledge, social cohesion. and, of course, the scarcest good of all: time.

let’s just focus on that.. perhaps all the others are irrelevants

let’s do this firstfree art-ists.

for (blank)’s sake

not money. not growth.


p 170 – it’s precisely because we need to change our actions that we need figures to guide us.


now it’s up to us to reconsider … what is growth.. what is progress… how do we as a country stack up… every era needs its own figures. in our land of plenty, we have to come up with something new.

how about – no numbers/figures. let’s disengage from measuring transactions and from validating people..

p 173 – and then there’s that nagging sense of guilt.. here we are in the land of plenty, philosophizing about decadent utopias w free cash and 15 hr workweeks, while hundreds of millions of people still have to survive on a dollar a day… shouldn’t we instead be tackling the single biggest challenge of our times: to afford every person on earth the joys of the land of plenty?

well, we’ve tried. the western world spends 134.8 bill a year, 11.2 bill a month, 4374 a second on foreign development aid..over the past 50 yrs… total: 5 trill

that’s trying? that should make us feel ridiculous…

sound like a lot…? actually the wars in iraq and afghanistan cost about the same. .. but sure.. it’s a lot… the question is.. has it helped? here’s where it gets tricky/ there’s really only one way to answer this: nobody knows….. who knows… w/o band aid and bono, it might have all been a hundred times worse. or not.. according to a study done by the world bank, 85% of all western aid in the 20th cent was sued differently than intended.

and then there’s the whole.. genotype-phenotype gap going on.. we can’t yet hear us like caleb can hear plants…. why is that..

p 174 – on bloodletting.. a case where the remedy is worse than the disease… does same apply to development aid…in 2003 – duflo helped found mit’s poverty action lab.. employs 150 researchers who have conducted over 500 studies in 56 countries.. their work has turned the world of development aid on its head.

i would hope so.. but are we seeing it..

p 176 – on control groups w placebos… on bloodletting and on free textbooks in africa… finding ie: free books had made no difference… test scores showed no improvement

good on them seeing variables that were being ignored… bad on all of us.. assuming test score improvement.. or ie: enough money… is success… is what we need.

p 177 – william easterly – the best plan is to have no plan at all… esther duflo… take the guesswork out of policy making..

perhaps.. the plan is whimsy (no one plan – 7 bill plus plans.. new everyday).. and perhaps we take the guesswork out of policy making.. by disengaging from policy making..

p 178 – duflo – if you want to know … you can armchair philosophize till you’re blue in the face.. or you can go out and do the research.

or perhaps.. esp with the land of plenty ness we have today… we can just set people free.. all of us… all at once.. and trust us each to experiment/research/listen.. as the day.

be\cause – having said experts/elites research the rest of us.. hasn’t worked out so well. too much for one results.. we need all of us … researching … daily.

a miraculous method (randomistas)…? they don’t believe humans are rational actors.. rather sometimes foolish and sometimes astute.. and by turns afraid, altruistic, and self-centered. and this approach appears to yield considerably better results. so why did it take so long to figure this out.

p 179 – well – several reason. doing randomized controlled trials in poverty-stricken countries is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. often, local orgs are less than eager to cooperate , not least because they’re worried the finding will prove them ineffective. take the case of microcredit. development aid trends come and go, from ‘good governance’ to ‘education’ to the ill0fated ‘microcredit’ at the start of this century….. via esther duflo… all the heartwarming anecdotes notwithstanding, there is no hard evidence that microcredit is effective at combating poverty and illness.. handing out cash works way better… as it happens, cash handouts may be the most extensively studied anti poverty method around.

whoa. science of people in schools… we have no idea what humans are like…

and.. if it’s most extensively studied.. yet not working/catching on.. maybe we’re missing.. a nother way.. one w/o cash/money/measuring of transactions..

and yet – rcts aren’t a silver bullet… not everything is measurable. and findings can’t always be generalized.

rarely… no..

and then… since we have the means today to facilitate everyone’s findings/curiosities… why would we not..

we need to let go.

p 180 – on research into what increases school attendance – rct results free meals works better than free uniforms…

oh my

p 181 – we could even think on a bigger scale than that (after para on measures against tax havens).. imagine there was a single measure that could wipe out all poverty everywhere, … and in the process put a few extra months’ salary in our pockets too… would we take that measure?… no of course not. after all, this measure has been around for years. it’s the best plan that never happened. i’m talking about open borders. not just for bananas, derivatives, and iphones, but for one an dall – for knowledge workers, for refugees, and for ordinary people in search of greener pastures.

of course, we’ve all learned the hard way… that economists are no fortune tellers…. effectively, open borders would make the whole world twice as rich… this has led on ny uni researcher to conclude that we’re currently leaving ‘trillion dollar bills on the sidewalk…….

so why bother quibbling over the crumbs of development aid… duflo’w 100 bills – when instead we could simply throw open the gates of the land of plenty..

why bother quibbling over trillion dollar bills on the sidewalk.. and 65 000 000 000 000… ness.. when we could disengage from money and all it’s counting/measuring..

like the idea of no borders though.. right direction.. just not with money..

p 182 – on the eve of ww1, borders existed mostly as lines on paper. passports were rare and the countries that did issue them.. were seen as uncivilized… besides, that wonder of 19th cent tech, the train, was posed to erase borders for good….

and then war broke out… suddenly borders were sealed to keep spies out and everybody needed for the war effort in.

1920 – first agreement on use of passports… these days, anyone… have to apply for dozens of visas, pass through hundreds of security checkpoints, and get frisked more times than you could count… in this era of ‘globalization’ – only 3% of world’s pop lives outside their country of birth..

oddly though.. the world is wide open for everything but people…

p 183 – billions of people are forced to sell their labor at a fraction of the price that they would get for it in the land of plenty, all because of borders. borders are the single biggest cause of discrimination in all of world history. inequality gaps between people living in the same country are nothing in comparison to those between separated global citizenries.

p 184 – today the richest 8% earn half of all the world’s incomes, and the richest 1% own more than half of all wealth. the poorest billion people account for just 1% of consumption; the richest billion, 72%

p 185 – those seeking asylum are only allowed to stay if they have reason to fear persecution at home based on their religion or birth.. that’s downright bizarre..

take a somalian toddler. she has a 20% probability of dying before reaching the age of five. now compare: american frontline soldiers had a mortality rate of 6.7% in the civil war, 1.8% in ww2, and .5% in the vietnam war. yet we won’t hesitate to send that somalian toddler back if it turns out her mother isn’t a ‘real’ refugee. 

whoa is us. refugee ness

in the 19th cent.. ineq was still a matter of class; nowadays, it’s a matter of location.. even food stamp recipients in the u.s. live like royalty compared to the poorest people in the world…

we mostly reserve our outrage for the injustices that happen inside our own national borders. we’re indignant that men get paid more than women for doing the same work, and that white americans earn more than black americans. but even the 150% racial income gap of the 1930s pales in comparison to the injustices inflicted by our borders.

p 186 – the u.s. border effect on the wages of equal intrinsic productivity workers is greater than any form of wage discrimination (gender, race, or ethnicity) that has ever been measure… observe 3 economists. it’s apartheid on a global scale.. in the 21st cnet, the real elite are those born not in the right family or the right class but in the right country…

p 189 – opening our borders i not something we can do overnight of course – nor should it be… unchecked migration would certainly corrode social cohesion in the land of plenty.

oh my

but we do need to remember….. migration is the most powerful tool for fighting poverty. how do we know.. experience. … the riches country in the world, the u.s. is a nation built on immigration..

but immigration controlled by elites.. no?

we could open borders overnight.. if we disengaged from money.. and labels.. very doable today. we have tech to facilitate chaos/whimsy… but do we have the guts.. to let go..

now a century and a half later.. hundreds of millions of people around the world are living in veritable open0air prisons. three quarters of all border walls and fences were erected after the year 2000

p 190 – here we are, 25 yrs after the fall of the berlin wall, and from uzbekistan to thailand, from israel to botswana, the world has more barriers than ever..

humans didn’t evolve by staying in one place. wanderlust is in our blood. 

p 191 – these days if you want to get to cockaigne… you have to work your way…. through a mountain of paperwork

p 193 – the difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones…  john maynard keynes 1883 – 1946

old ones like… money..

money less ness

p 197 – cognitive dissonance he (festinger) coined it. when reality clashes with our deepest convictions, we’d rather recalibrate reality than amend our worldview. and.. become even more rigid in beliefs..

one factor certainly not involved is stupidity… research at yale… shown that educated people are more unshakable in convictions than anybody

that’s pretty huge – to say that.. and then still advocate for public ed.. no?

smart people, concludes … ezra klein.. don’t use their intellect to obtain the correct answer; they use it to obtain what they want to be the answer..

gray research law..

p 199 – on ch 2 & 3 – setting aside research… i even heard someone refer to me as mr basic income.. slowly but surely my opinion has come to define my personal and professional identity. i do earnestly believe that a universal basic income is and idea whole time has come. i’ve researched the issue extensively and that’s the direction the evidence points. but, if i’m being honest, i sometimes wonder if i’d even let myself notice if the evidence were pointing a nother way.. would i be observant enough.. or brave enough .. to have a change of heart?

nice.. and i hope the same is true of me.. because i’m believing… bi is not enough.. perhaps a placebo/temp jumpstart… but we have to let go.. of these measurings

perhaps what we’re seeking has no evidence.. because it’s new/not yet been tried.. ie: a nother way

the question is not can new ideas defeat old ones; the question is how..

how: hosting life bits via 3 ship et al

p 200 – if it si true.. that ideas don’t change things gradually but in fits and starts – in shocks – then the basic premise of our democracy, our journalism, and our education is all wrong. ti would mean… the enlightenment model of how people change their opinions. through info gathering and reasoned deliberation – is really a buttress for the status quo..

it’s not diff in politics.. political scientists have established that how people vote is determined less by their perceptions about their own lives than by their conceptions of society. we’re not particularly interested in what govt can do for us personally; we want to know what it can do for us all.. when we cast our vote.. we do so not just for ourselves. but for the group we want to belong to.

what if voting … decision making.. is all wrong..?

p 203 – joris luyendijk.. of the guardian… it’s like standing at chernobyl and seeing they’ve restarted the reactor but still have the same old management.


the world ‘crisis‘ comes from ancient greek and literally means to ‘separate’ or ‘sieve’ a crisis, then, should be a moment of truth , the juncture at which a fundamental choice is made.  but seems in 2008.. we were unable to make that choice.. there were no real alternative available..

perhaps then crisis isn’t really the right word for our current condition. it’s more like we’re in a coma. that’s ancient greek too. it means ‘deep, dreamless sleep.’

again. indeed.

but if we’re going to wake people up (and i think we can/should).. we need to have a mech in place (and i think we can/should – before we diagnose/label/wake) beyond basic income. otherwise.. our grandchildren will be dealing with this same issue.

on hayek and friedman and their archival keynes… the mont pelerin society.. in 70s hayek handed presidency over to friedman…. essentially, there wasn’t a problem that friedman didn’t blame on govt.. and solution in every case was free market… privatize it all..

p 207 – we need thinkers who not only are patient, but also have ‘the courage to be ‘utopian”

p 216 – 31 – Adam smith.. working so moderate as to work always..
p 218 – 3 – on homeless exp in London…weren’t given money directly… had to get each expenditure approved…?…always approved promptly…..scrutiny was limited.. was confirmed… your choice… just here to help……raised eyebrow…
but also no mech in place to act natural… ie: rest of world not paying
p 224 – 55 – on prison punishment.. no work…and on many who do work for no pay
p 225 – 9 – Atlantic article on chip and shipping container
227 – 29 – whoa.   globalization has stalled tech advance.. not robotic arms making our clothes.. but the fingers of children in ie china, vietnam
229 – 7 – on jane’s research… from moment cash arrived… so not to do w buildings…. ie schools hospitals  – a couple earlier (5 or 4..?)… is Elizabeth related to Jane
230 – 18 – on Econ increase ceasing to bene life expectancy after a point
230 – 19 – read article of rutgers.. 99 and 1
230 – 20 – poverty greater impact than ineq
230 – 21 – on claiming (and not) ownership of success
235 – 26 – bi would re enforce institutions of marriage…?
236 – 11 – creation over distribution
239 – 17 – soul of man under socialism… Oscar Wilde
239 – 23 – invention of Econ
239 – 25&29 – Kennedy and Kelly
239 – 26 – why computers get cheaper and disease not
240 – 6 – Duflo’s Ted
243 – 35 – on moving away being best ….?
246 – 21 – popper… looking for counter rather than support

CBCSundayEdition (@CBCSunday) tweeted at 5:15 AM – 12 Sep 2016 :

If utopia feels unreal and out of reach, listen to @rcbregman, who argues it’s irresponsible not to dream big (

what’s irresponsible and unnatural is not dreaming big

on bi..on fighting .. with numbers..(measuring things et al) get more numbers/measures/money into hands of people.. to perpetuate.. that numbers matter most.. (makes me think of teacher ..donner..? on ellen.. and her applauding his having his kids hold 200 dollars.. and saying.. this is mine and i got it legally.. our god.. our os.. oy)

Rutger Bregman (@rcbregman) tweeted at 6:59 AM – 16 Jan 2017 :

Excellent piece by @scottsantens on universal basic income & what it would cost.

Get the official Twitter app at

back to graeber model law.. will these #s .. any #’s.. ever be convincing enough..? for things that matter

.. on scott saying like game of monopoly.. collecting 200 when pass go.. the title of the game alone should steer us away from that.. no?


Marc Gunther (@MarcGunther) tweeted at 6:18 AM – 7 Mar 2017 :

A great article on universal basic income by @rcbregman #ubi #globaldev (

Forget discovered that the people in Dauphin had *not only become richer, but also smarter and healthier. The school performance of children improved substantially. The hospitalisation rate decreased by as much as 8.5%. Domestic violence was also down, as were mental health complaints. And people didn’t quit their jobs – the only ones who worked a little less were new mothers and students, who stayed in school longer.

*our measures of people/success et al.. even forget‘s perpetuates not-us ness.. via broken feedback loop.. school performance..? people didn’t quit jobs..? (bowing to the 7 hrs a day to earn a living).. mothers stayed in school longer..? that’s success..?


The farmers scored much worse on the tests before the harvest. The effects of living in poverty, it turns out, correspond to losing 14 points of IQ. That’s comparable to losing a night’s sleep, or the effects of alcoholism.


of math and men and measure ing us.. oy


The reason, put simply: it’s the context, stupid. People behave differently when they perceive a thing to be scarce. What that thing is doesn’t much matter; whether it’s time, money or food, it all contributes to a “scarcity mentality”. This narrows your focus to your immediate deficiency. The long-term perspective goes out of the window. Poor people aren’t making dumb decisions because they are dumb, but because they’re living in a context in which anyone would make dumb decisions.

problem is.. your saying/implying.. good decisions are.. improve in school.. go to work for pay.. where’s the love for art/curiosity.. in that..?

we need rat park.. not cash..


The time for small thoughts and little nudges is past. The time has come for new, radical ideas.

indeed.. and we can’t afford to not go deeper than ubi.. ie: a nother way

If this sounds utopian to you, then remember that every milestone of civilisation – the end of slavery, democracy, equal rights for men and women – was once a utopian fantasy too.

end of slavery..? equal rights..? still a fantasy.. no?

because we keep not letting go.. we keep insisting on partial ness.. like ubi.. ie: money is made up.. not us

We’ve got the research, we’ve got the evidence, and we’ve got the means. Now, 500 years after Thomas More first wrote about basic income, we need to update our worldview. Poverty is not a lack of character. Poverty is a lack of cash.

really..? (fitting with vibe i get from your words on poor people.. and your/evelyn’s proof of betterment – ie: kids do better in school.. that’s so not us.. having cash.. so not us..)

perhaps poverty is more.. the absence of all shalom. – bryant myers

let’s do this first: free art\ists

beyond giving fake cash to real people..
rat park.. not cash..

Rutger Bregman (@rcbregman) tweeted at 2:50 AM – 9 Mar 2017 :

Even the Economist wrote: ‘The most efficient way to spend money on the homeless might be to give it to them.’
#utopiaforrealists (


via rutger rt

Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) tweeted at 7:38 AM – 22 Mar 2017 :

My review of @rcbregman’s excellent Utopia for Realists. A serious call to action for those tempted by timidity: (

haven’t been offering a vision of how we’d do things differently..‘underdog socialism’, where we accept the premise of the mainstream debate and fail to put forward serious alternatives’

a nother way

“It’s just a floor in the income distribution. Everyone will have the means to take risks. That’s what capitalism is all about”…*Only by setting the payments at a high enough level, and guaranteeing additional help for those who need it, can we ensure that it’s not hijacked.  A successful Basic Income should be, by its nature, taking us away from consumerist capitalism – not propping it up.

*let’s try payments at zero.. because.. 10 day cares ness


Why the biggest freeloaders are at the top (and living off teachers, nurses, and waste collectors)

Original Tweet:

Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook … a new breed of rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry

this piece is about one of the biggest taboos of our times. About a truth that is seldom acknowledged, and yet – on reflection – cannot be denied. The truth that

we are living in an inverse welfare state.


So entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.

In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as “successful” and “innovative” are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it’s a non-issue.

*To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. work is to create new wealth… a second way to make money. That’s the rentier way: by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others’ expense, using his power to claim economic benefit.

*and/or why.. is that we are all assuming/depending/holding on to made up money


There is no longer a sharp dividing line between working and rentiering. In fact, the modern-day rentier often works damn hard. .. Many a CEO toils 80 hours a week to multiply his allowance. It’s hardly surprising, then, that they feel wholly entitled to their wealth.


a big part of the modern banking sector is essentially a giant tapeworm gorging on a sick body. It’s not creating anything new, merely sucking others dry. Bankers have found a hundred and one ways to accomplish this. The basic mechanism, however, is always the same: offer loans like it’s going out of style, which in turn inflates the price of things like houses and shares, then earn a tidy percentage off those overblown prices (in the form of interest, commissions, brokerage fees, or what have you), and if the shit hits the fan, let Uncle Sam mop it up….And debt, of course, is a means of earning rent.


So what do these companies own? A platform. A platform that lots and lots of people want to use. Why?… main reason why we’re all happy to hand over free content to Facebook is because all of our friends are on Facebook too, because their friends are on Facebook … because their friends are on Facebook.

sounds like we we’re keeping on with school as means to ed


Don’t be fooled by endearing pilots with free internet in Zambia. Stripped down to essentials, it’s an ordinary ad agency. In fact, in 2015 Google and Facebook pocketed an astounding 64% of all online ad revenue in the US.


rentier..tollgate along a road ..transposed to the digital highway. Using technology funded by taxpayers, they build tollgates between you and other people’s free content and all the while pay almost no tax on their earnings.


1\ average rich freeloader manages to masquerade quite successfully as a decent hard worker..second thing that keeps rentiers safe is even more insidious. 2\ We’re all wannabe rentiers. They have made millions of people complicit in their revenue model.


feudalism has been democratised. To a lesser or greater extent, we are all depending on handouts….Don’t get me wrong, most homeowners and retirees are not benefiting from this situation.’s hard to point fingers at a kleptomaniac when you have sticky fingers too…So why is this happening? The answer can be summed up in three little words: Because it can..Rentierism is, in essence, a question of power.


why bankers get fined peanuts for preposterous fraud, while a mother on government assistance gets penalised within an inch of her life if she checks the wrong box.

the divide


The biggest tragedy of all, however, is that the rentier economy is gobbling up *society’s best and brightest. Where once upon a time Ivy League graduates chose careers in science, public service or education, these days they are more likely to opt for banks, law firms, or trumped up ad agencies like Google and Facebook. When you think about it, it’s insane. We are forking over billions in taxes to help our brightest minds on and up the corporate ladder so they can learn how to score ever more outrageous handouts.

*ugh..burke freedom law ness.. has to be that we all (or none of us) are best.. brightest..

This may explain why the big dreams of the 1970s, like flying cars, curing cancer, and colonising Mars, have yet to be realised, while bankers and ad-makers have at their fingertips technologies a thousand times more powerful.

But such a revolution will require a wholly different narrative about the origins of our wealth. .. All we need to do is to give real hard-working people what they deserve.

rather… give all of us.. a nother way to live.. free

And, yes, by that I mean the waste collectors, the nurses, the cleaners – theirs are the shoulders that carry us all.


Here’s what I think the British Left desperately needs right now: new ideas, new language.

Original Tweet:

post from aug 2016 .. tweet from apr 2017

The greatest sin of the academic left is that it has become fundamentally aristocratic, writing in bizarre jargon that makes cliches seem abstruse. If you can’t explain your ideal to a fairly intelligent 12-year-old, it’s probably your own fault. What we need is a narrative that speaks to millions of ordinary people. It all starts with reclaiming the language of progress.

ie: a nother way booknot even necessary..

but also to unleash ourselves to idio jargon.. maybe that’s what we’re missing


Freedom? It’s what the left has dreamed of all along. As we speak, 37% of Brits are stuck in “bullshit jobs” that even the people doing them consider meaningless. It’s high time we all got the freedom to strive for our full potential. How? Universal basic income.

bi as temp placebo.. or we go circular

to really unleash… ie:  no made up money
graeber f&b same law


Ultimately, what the underdog socialist lacks is the most vital ingredient for political change: the conviction that there truly is a better way.

a nother waydeep/simple/open enough



Thanks for all your kind words about my TED Talk today – was probably the most exciting thing I ever did. WHEW! #TED2017 #basicincome

Rutger at ted

“Poverty is not a lack of character. Poverty is a lack of cash,” he said, before the TED crowd of 1,000-plus rose to its feet.

Bregman’s standing ovation reflects the particular appeal that basic income is gaining among America’s technologists.


ted 2017

everything i thought i knew about poverty was wrong

scarcity mentality – people behave diff when believe things are scarce – long term perspective goes out the window

not a bad computer.. too much to do

poverty is not a lack of knowledge

via iq tests


orwell – essence of poverty.. it annihilates the future

what can be done: 1\help poor w/paperwork – hugely positive w politicians – treat symptoms 2\change contexts where poor live..

monthly income for basic needs.. unconditional.. no one tells you what to use it for

dauphin canada 1974 – bi – 4 yrs all went well.. then new govt..  when no money left to analyze.. packed results away for 25 yrs.. then evelyn forget.. spent 3 yrs studying.. success.. 1\ school success increased… 3\ crime down 4\ people didn’t quit jobs


when it comes to poverty.. we .. the rich.. should stop pretending we know best

the great thing about money.. people can use it for things they need

bi as vc for the people

child poverty in us 500 bn per year.. incredible waste of human potential

175 bn to eradicate poverty in us..

time for small thoughts.. little nudges is passed..

re think what work actually is.. will not only free poor.. but rest of us

only 30% of workers like their job

how much we’re wasting by telling our kids they have to .. earn a living

earn a living ness

things could be different.. we need new ideas

a nother way

here we are.. we’ve got the research/evidence/means

poverty is not a lack of character.. poverty is a lack of cash