Guest Blog: The Challenge of Universal Basic Income and Why Manna is a Solution

By: Dennis Harting (Mannabase)

Universal Basic Income (UBI) has spurred a great deal of debate the last couple years. As technological progress is made and the threat of automation takes place, many are starting to realize that alternate systems need exploring. The present system, which already does not favor the majority, is only going to negatively impact more people as jobs are eliminated due to this automation.

There are still a lot of misperceptions about people in poverty and what poverty really means. It is sad that so many are biased in spite of an increasing amount of data showing that their beliefs are untrue. Nevertheless, these individuals use these false perceptions to conclude that UBI is a bad idea.

Those who are against UBI have varying reasons, but opposition mostly stems from some type of belief that people “should pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” These opponents equate poverty to laziness, stupidity, or addiction. They fear that if people were “just given money” they would spend the day on the couch doing nothing.  

The evidence does not support this belief. Different trials show that people who receive a basic income use that security to engage in productive behaviors. Some people go back to school, while others take advantage of the decreased financial risk by starting a business. Still others choose to stay home and raise children, an endeavor that has been degraded in our society the last few decades but which has a tremendous return on investment to society in the long term.

Those who are in favor of basic income are separated by the question of how to pay for it. There are many who believe that it is a good idea yet they do not want “their tax dollars” to be given as handouts. Again, we see prejudice and bias in play. Nevertheless, this does cause many not to support the project.

In addition, we find a few who do not favor basic income because of the belief that dependence upon the government is not healthy. These individuals feel that it only further enslaves a person when he or she is beholden to the government for sustenance.  

We at Mannabase feel that the support for basic income can instantly be increased if we eliminate the discussion about government being at the center of it. Since the idea of using tax dollars and, more importantly, fiat currency as the means to fund a sustainable UBI only stimulates passionate debate, we opt to remove ourselves from that. We are also fully aware that the wheels of government turn very slowly. This problem is only magnified when we are looking at changing the basic makeup of how society operates.

Manna is a cryptocurrency that is given out on a weekly basis to anyone who signs up and verifies their account (to ensure that one is a unique human being and not a bot). Once that is completed, manna tokens are sent each week. The sign up and verification is done once and tokens are received ongoingly.

In keeping with the foundational principles of UBI, the tokens are given regardless of any characteristics of the individual. We do not deny anyone acceptance based upon financial status, geography, or present employment. It is available to everyone without exception.

Cryptocurrency is the ideal medium for the implementation of a sustainable basic income. It settles the funding debate, and it is a participatory endeavor, so if someone doesn’t want to accept the UBI, they are not forced to do so. By removing the government from the equation, we create an atmosphere where the basic income can operate without political debate. Government is subject to political whims, while the beauty of manna is that it can alleviate the political differences and break down the perceived barriers that we have been living in for so many years.

Manna utilizes blockchain technology. This is a public ledger that cannot be changed once a transaction is verified. All sets of transactions are linked together much in the same way as bricks form a wall. To change one of the blocks would require changing them all. The computing required to do this makes it virtually impossible.

A blockchain is a decentralized, open network of computers. Those who are responsible for verifying the transactions are located all over the world. Hence, it is outside the bounds of any government. Essentially, blockchain is nationless, borderless, and outside the control of any individual or group of institutions. This makes it the ideal technology to distribute a basic income; blockchain technology has the ability to empower every human on this planet and provide hope, instead of worrying about technology replacing jobs.

A challenge for developing nations is the fact that people have little to no access to banking. When residents are fortunate enough to live in an area with access, the banks may be corrupt. This cuts billions of people off from the global financial and economic system.

Manna, using blockchain technology, bypasses these issues. Anyone with a smartphone is able to receive manna. The tokens are sent directly each week to the recipients, with no middle men. This means that all value goes directly to the individual and none is siphoned away, which makes the distribution of the value far more efficient than if it were implemented in current banking systems.  

Blockchain technology offers banking capabilities to those who are without it. Most people use a bank to send, receive, and store money; blockchain technology provides these capabilities to anyone with a manna wallet.

Considering the challenges associated with implementing UBI, we feel that manna is the path of least resistance. It’s happening right now and providing amazing testimonies of hope to people across the globe. By eliminating the role of the government, we remove the tax payer dispute. At the same time, we are taking action instead of spending our time trying to convince politicians or conceptualizing ideas. The time is now to make a difference; people are suffering, and we invite you to join the story and be part of the solution! There is simply no reason why generational poverty should exist.


Image: “The Gathering of the Manna” by James Tissot

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.