Good News Everyone...
It's Thursday and if you're beginning to feel the week like I am then you know why we need to consider some big ideas. The mind, unfettered by the tedium of answering emails, replying to calls and taking about humdrum (but oh, so necessary) details takes flight and sheds fatigue.
In one such a moment, last summer I entertained a thought experiment where the wealth of nations actually meant something substantial for each one of us: http://goo.gl/XuLHrn
The idea did not go away from my head, and hoary as it may sound (and without getting into the game of political ideologies which, quite frankly is a mentally poor exercise) I think it has a lot of merit in terms of unchaining human potential and helping restore human dignity.
Since then I have been quietly looking at research of real-life experiments that are examining the effects of disrupting the traditional flow of money, much the same way my experiment did.
Trying to "do good" in the world we have set up charities and organisations and welfare systems that integrate themselves in the same system that exists now (because how else would you have them work?) and end up looking at figures and numbers and targets and the individual, an individual
, then becomes a stat on a spreadsheet that aims to produce results that make us feel good.
But that does not solve the problem.
A London charity for the homeless decided to break through all that nonsense and actually give the homeless money, directly. No check ups. No counselling. No social worker to guide them. The results were eye-opening: http://goo.gl/nRNWz
Even earlier than that the town of Dauphin, in Manitoba, spent five years carrying out a guaranteed minimum income experiment (not quite close to my $10 mill each, but still). The results are also thought-provoking: http://goo.gl/3cUk8H
The reason all this is in front of you today is because the debate is being re-opened. We know the system we have is not working quite the way it should. Maybe we can find a way to fashion another. By degrees. In baby steps and with a lot of trepidation and courage.
Here's to a thought-provoking Thursday. :)