Here’s an excellent article by Frances Coppola on a late 18th century version of basic income in the parish of Speen in Berkshire, and more general history of poor relief in English parishes at the time. Sadly the perverted “morality” of the wealthy demanding work-for-welfare from the poor is still alive and well today. Consider how many people get plenty money for doing nothing (or doing nothing useful), living fat and happy while condemning those who have to rely on welfare to survive. We need to get it into our thick skulls that money is as much of a necessity as air and water, and we have an obligation to make sure that everyone has enough of it flowing through their hands to pay for the things that they need. A universal basic income is the most sensible solution that I’ve come across to keep money circulating throughout the economy.

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