A thoughtful exploration of Universal Basic Income, 15-hour work weeks, and open borders with lots of data and examples. Although I have some issues with UBI, I liked Bregman’s energy and pragmatism, and I can see why he was invited to Davos to speak with the oligarchs.
Some nice quotes:
“If you were the GDP, your ideal citizen would be a compulsive gambler with cancer who’s going through a drawn-out divorce that he copes with by popping fistfuls of Prozac and going berserk on Black Friday” (pg. 105-106)
“The targets of our performance-driven society are no less absurd than the five-year plans of the former USSR.” (pg. 122)
“[T]he 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.” (page 11)
On page 41, Bregman explains that Richard Nixon’s Family Assistance Plan got definitively canned in 1978 because that found evidence (later proven wrong) that the FAP resulted in 50% more divorces. “A basic income, evidently, gave women too much independence.”