Alternative Social Contract

The currently-existing “social contract” * has allowed the top 1% of the richest people in the world an unprecedented accumulation of wealth. At the same time, the middle class has shrunk, and an increasing number of jobs have been replaced by machines, while not nearly enough new jobs have been created.

Because of the discrepancy between the small number of jobs on offer and the huge number of people who are looking for work, by the rules of market economy, middle class wages have stagnated for a long period of time, and, in some cases, income has reduced, pushing some members of the middle class below the poverty line.

The current system, by demanding exponential growth, is causing an increase in population and consumption of nature’s resources. In this vicious circle of striving for more, we are creating unsustainable environmental pressures. It is evident that we cannot continue in this way any longer. The current economy is failing the working class, and the only one who is benefiting out of this is the richest 1%.

Having in mind that this is a persistent trend for the last 50 years, we have to consider the possibility that the same trend will continue in the future. With increasing levels of automation and drastically-improving Artificial Intelligence, if nothing changes, will lead to a denial of resources to those in need.

One solution would be to give everyone Universal Basic Income, an amount of money that would be enough for basic needs, reliving people of the stress of not having a job. This type of scheme would significantly change the social contract, allowing people to spend more time on education, and it would allow them to negotiate better salaries. For any company that relies on human labour for providing goods or services, this would cause a better distribution of wealth, as more of the profit would be distributed to wages, instead going into the pockets of a few investors, significantly slowing down the snowballing effect.

Currently, people usually pick any type of job that is on offer, as they do not have a choice. They will put aside any moral complaints they would otherwise have in regards to the nature of the business or the people who lead the company. With Basic Income in place, people do not have to worry about survival; they would choose more carefully and would demand higher salaries. The end result would be that companies who work unethically would gradually cease to exist.

In the 14th century, during the great Bubonic Plague outbreak, the epidemic diminished 30-60% of Europe's total population. As there were not enough workers for all the necessary jobs, wages of those who survived doubled and, in some cases, even tripled from the usual levels. Reason was simple; after the plague, there were significantly fewer workers than the number of jobs available, so the social contract changed in favour of the working class.

There are many ways to create a new social contract. There is no need to wait or create another Bubonic Plague, in order to get better wages. The only thing we need is to tweak the current system.

Although the idea of Universal Basic Income has been around for a few centuries, even now, for many countries, it is just a theoretical idea in a very early stage. For many others, in undeveloped countries, which do not have a GDP large enough to sustain Basic Income for the entire population, this is just a wild dream.

Basic Tax Control aims to fix this by creating a system and organisations that are built around solving sustainability issues related to the country’s resources, gradually overcoming the existing system by allowing everyone to work around a common goal. By building the necessary infrastructure, they could create enough wealth to sustain the population indefinitely with Basic Income and without causing major, negative, disruptive effects.

Nowadays, as the ruling elite has a stake in the majority of resources, they can manage the social contract in whatever way they want. With an appropriate social contract, it would be difficult for the ruling elite to acquire wealth at the same level they have today.

Largely, the issue we have now is because a majority does not have any involvement in a share of investments, and those who are managing investments at stock exchanges and banks were allowed to earn huge amounts of money by managing other people’s money without any legal or financial responsibility in case of a loss.

Basic Tax Control is a form of obligatory crowd investment, where all people, just as they are required to pay taxes, are educated to invest in different companies. In the same way as every person is obliged to pay taxes, every person should, in an obligatory way, receive investment money and should be obliged to make small investments and learn how to invest better. As everyone is working toward the common goal of Basic Income, any failure would be handled without stress or pressure.

Additionally, by changing the social contract, the Basic Tax Control would create a more democratic society. By transferring more responsibility to people by directly involved them in matters that concern them (without waiting for politicians or government to fix all the issues) would shift the focus from "them" to "us", and give people more freedom in shaping their own future.

Notes & References:

* Social contract

is the idea that individuals have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of the ruler or magistrate, in exchange for protection of their remaining rights. In this text it is used more as a synonym for the “nature of the current system.”