Does the baha'i faith has stipulations for a basic income?

Jan 2011
117
Detroit, MI USA
Basic income is a type of social security that guarantees a certain amount of money (usually every month) to every person as a right of citizenship within a given governed population, without having to pass a test or fulfill a work requirement.
 
Jan 2020
67
Middle United States
Not really. There are discussions in the Baha'i Writings and certain talks by 'Abdu'l-Baha regarding each community having a storehouse to care for the poor, sick, and incapacitated. Flat Tax or Graduated Tax?

…the income tax must be collected in the following manner, for example: When all the income of a person amounts to $500.00 and his necessary expenses amount to $500.00, he should be exempt from paying taxes. Another person whose expenses amount to $500.00, but his income is $1,000.00, should pay one tenth of his income for taxes, because he has more than he needs for his living and can afford to pay one tenth of his income without trouble. Another person whose expenses are $1,000.00 and his income, $5,000.00, should give one and a half tenths of his income, because he has more than he needs. Another person whose necessary expenses are $1,000.00, and his income is $10,000.00, should give two tenths because he also has more than what he needs. Another person whose expenses are $4,000.00 or $5,000.00 and his income is $100,000.00, should give one fourth. Another person, whose income is $200.00, and his actual needs, just to exist on, amount to $500.00, who does his best in his work, but has had poor luck with his crops, such a person should receive help from the storehouse, that he may not starve, but have a decent living.

In every village the necessary means of support for all the orphans must be appropriated from the storehouse. Also for the aged, the helpless, the unemployed, education, public health—for all these, appropriations must be made from the storehouse. – Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West, Volume 9, p. 347.


However, work is worship and to fail to work when capable is also not approved of by Baha'u'llah. 'Abdu'l-Baha did suggest that we should not support persons who are lazy or unwilling to work. Shoghi Effendi has indicated that the government should be responsible for ensuring people have a chance to work.
 
Jan 2011
117
Detroit, MI USA
Not really. There are discussions in the Baha'i Writings and certain talks by 'Abdu'l-Baha regarding each community having a storehouse to care for the poor, sick, and incapacitated. Flat Tax or Graduated Tax?





However, work is worship and to fail to work when capable is also not approved of by Baha'u'llah. 'Abdu'l-Baha did suggest that we should not support persons who are lazy or unwilling to work. Shoghi Effendi has indicated that the government should be responsible for ensuring people have a chance to work.
Thanks for the reply.

Yes, work is worship and there will always be opportunities to work and serve humanity.

But I do think as of right now, basic income can point us in the right direction and it is a moral, just and righteous thing to do and a tool to help people that is struggling against economic inequality.
 
Jan 2020
67
Middle United States
Thanks for the reply.

Yes, work is worship and there will always be opportunities to work and serve humanity.

But I do think as of right now, basic income can point us in the right direction and it is a moral, just and righteous thing to do and a tool to help people that is struggling against economic inequality.
I fully agree with the sentiment. The quote I provided does provide for progressive income taxation and there are extensive quotes regarding eliminating the extremes of poverty and wealth and insuring against loss. So much of that can be accomplished though through changing how we value work, how we treat those at the top in a business in terms of excessive compensation, the provision of profit-sharing, and providing meaningful work for those capable, etc. I have no doubt we will have minimum wages and probably certain public health and welfare benefits in the future. But a basic income provision (without a work requirement if capable) may be counterproductive and even contrary to what 'Abdu'l-Baha has said in a quote I recently read about giving to persons and encouraging lethargy in the process.

Do you really want to give benefits to support people making a living on organized crime?
 
Jan 2011
117
Detroit, MI USA
I fully agree with the sentiment. The quote I provided does provide for progressive income taxation and there are extensive quotes regarding eliminating the extremes of poverty and wealth and insuring against loss. So much of that can be accomplished though through changing how we value work, how we treat those at the top in a business in terms of excessive compensation, the provision of profit-sharing, and providing meaningful work for those capable, etc. I have no doubt we will have minimum wages and probably certain public health and welfare benefits in the future. But a basic income provision (without a work requirement if capable) may be counterproductive and even contrary to what 'Abdu'l-Baha has said in a quote I recently read about giving to persons and encouraging lethargy in the process.

Do you really want to give benefits to support people making a living on organized crime?
You know, we do have to start thinking about how we value work. We as baha'is know that work / serving humanity is worship and that will always be. But you also have to remember we're an ever advancing civilization. Automation is on the rise and it can potentially displace a good number of repetitive jobs.

Like I said, basic income can be a start in the right direction until the baha'i faith really grows and becomes more recognized and then more solutions will come in to play.

basic income is a moral, just and righteous tool to fight income inequality. For instance a lot of big tech companies pay zero in taxes while your average person have to pay taxes. The shareholders of big corporations get their dividends, why can't the average person get a dividend for being a shareholder of the country?
The u.s. is probably the most richest nation on earth, why are some people striving and homeless in the u.s.
 
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Jun 2014
1,122
Wisconsin
No. UBI is not a part of the faith's Laws.

Also your concerns seem a bit US-centric. I'd encourage you to look at the issues of income inequality on a more global scale. A fact that is shocking to most Americans is the fact that anyone who makes more than about $30,000 a year is part of the 1% richest people on this planet. I feel like too much of American concerns for income inequality fall in promoting redistribution from the .01% to the 1%, which does nothing to help the majority of the world's impoverished.

I also don't think the fears about automation replacing jobs are founded. We can look to history as an example. People fear the idea that automation may soon replace 50% of the workforce, but we forget the fact that this already happened once in history. The agricultural revolution displaced 50% of all workers in areas affected by those technological advancements, and yet people found new work. The basic idea for why that was the case is that human labor is always valuable, and so machines replacing certain jobs only opens up the labor pool to focus on other areas. Perhaps we will see an increase in the arts, but looking into the future for specifics is uncertain. What is certain is that this exact same problem has happened before, and humanity survived through it easily enough, so why fear it happening again, when precedent is on our side??
 
Jan 2011
117
Detroit, MI USA
No. UBI is not a part of the faith's Laws.

Also your concerns seem a bit US-centric. I'd encourage you to look at the issues of income inequality on a more global scale. A fact that is shocking to most Americans is the fact that anyone who makes more than about $30,000 a year is part of the 1% richest people on this planet. I feel like too much of American concerns for income inequality fall in promoting redistribution from the .01% to the 1%, which does nothing to help the majority of the world's impoverished.
Well the thing is once ubi is implemented in the u.s., the rest of the world would follow.

Yes, it is a redistribution of wealth. It's kind of funny because when it's time give big corporations to receive money and resources no one bats an eye, but when someone wants to give power and resources to the citizens [especially directly in their hands] we're all up in arms about it.

If I'm not mistaking ubi is not talked about in the writings, therefore it is not like the writing says we can't implement it.

I also don't think the fears about automation replacing jobs are founded. We can look to history as an example. People fear the idea that automation may soon replace 50% of the workforce, but we forget the fact that this already happened once in history. The agricultural revolution displaced 50% of all workers in areas affected by those technological advancements, and yet people found new work. The basic idea for why that was the case is that human labor is always valuable, and so machines replacing certain jobs only opens up the labor pool to focus on other areas. Perhaps we will see an increase in the arts, but looking into the future for specifics is uncertain. What is certain is that this exact same problem has happened before, and humanity survived through it easily enough, so why fear it happening again, when precedent is on our side??
The agricultural revolution may have happened but the time we're living in is different. Some even calling it the 4th industrial revolution. We have advanced technology now which the The agricultural revolution didn't have, and things can move much faster.

To tell you the truth, I personally don't mind automation to replace certain jobs especially the repetitive labor ones that would be just fine. It will always be more meaningful work that people can do to serve humanity.
 
Apr 2011
1,104
Hyrule
A fact that is shocking to most Americans is the fact that anyone who makes more than about $30,000 a year is part of the 1% richest people on this planet.
And I am sure many young Americans graduating from college would be shocked to learn many Chinese in China don’t graduate with an average of 30,000 USD in student debt. Income alone may not be the best measure to distinguish between the rich and poor. Many Americans are “working poor” even though they make at least 30,000 USD per year.