Poverty is a massive and growing social problem. For generations, people have tried to solve poverty through entitlement programs. The results have not been good. They have created generations which have lost the experience of human productivity. These people have been locked into poverty from the perspective of personal development. But they have also locked people into poverty through overly complex and counterproductive structures. Blind people, for example, may be effectively prohibited from working because if they were to earn a living they’d been unable to replace the subsidies they depend on. As soon as they earn money, they lose their benefits.
Those on the right try to promote productivity by limiting the social safety net. They argue that by growing the pie, everybody will have more of it to eat. But there are dangers here as well: of a society driven by fear, of people being overwhelmed by circumstance and of the possibility that a rising tied might actually crush sea-front homes.
Perhaps most importantly, as our technological march continues there is an increasing risk that the unique human capabilities – to think and relate to others – are being replaced by computers that can do the same tasks. Whenever a new venture is started, one of the first tasks its founders carry out is a search for ways to replace people with automation. People cost a lot to employ. That reality will almost inevitably result in fewer people being employed. Even with entitlements, it will suck people into the non-productive vacuum of welfare life.
The Potentialist Party believes that people need to be productive to reach their potential. But they also need a measure of peace. We have to counter realities that deny people either one of these possibility. As a side effect, it’d be nice to counteract the fundamental economic forces that are fundamentally undermining the value of people’s production.
How can we fill this tall order?
Through the Universal Monthly Spending Subsidy, in combination with the Conservation, Creation and Charitable Incentive Tax.
Every individual, no matter how wealthy, will have their initial monthly spending subsidized through e-money based transactions. But they must come up with their own initial funds – either through productive work or private charity. Finally, the minimum wage will be eliminated, enabling greater competition with automation. This will not impoverish people, both because of competition for human resources, because of the greater ease with which small business can be established and because of the universal subsidy.
Taken together, these innovations will encourage productivity, protect the most vulnerable in society and encourage every person to climb the economic ladder.
To learn more read about the Potentialist Tax & Welfare System.