These are what I consider to be the top policies and/or systemic changes needed to accelerate humanity forward:
1. Universal Basic Income
Benefits: ends poverty, more freedom, more happiness, more innovation (especially with elimination of need for profit motive)
Ease of Implementation: Easy, Impact: High
I can’t think of a single policy that would be as simple to implement yet have such enormous positive impacts on society. Universal Basic Income (UBI) would:
- End poverty
- End wage slavery
- Free people to spend their time how they want, whether that be charity, community service, entrepreneurship, research, increased political participation, better parenting, etc. Naturally this would lead to increased happiness and mental health since people like having autonomy over their work and time
UBI collectively moves society up Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs from survival to self-actualization. It evolves life from a survival of the fittest “profit or die” arms race against one another and the environment, to a community of free, wealthy, and autonomous humans. Instead of humans being forced to spend their whole lives in pursuit of profit in order to achieve stability, humans would be freed to spend their time how they wish – whether that be working on one’s own terms or simply enjoying life.
Although the profit motive will still exist, profit will no longer be the single biggest force driving most human activity. Currently humans have no choice but to dedicate 40+ hours/week (36% of one’s waking hours) to profit (usually for an employer) because they need to do so for survival (unless they’ve inherited a lot of wealth or achieved financial independence). With UBI, one’s life no longer needs to be driven by profit, and can instead be driven by other more altruistic causes like improving humanity, or just enjoying life.
UBI would fundamentally transform society so much that it wouldn’t be a stretch to call it the next stage in human evolution. If there’s a Stone Age, Medieval Age, Renaissance, Industrialization Age, and Internet Age, UBI is significant enough to warrant the “UBI Age”, or maybe the “free age”. Although democracy is an enormous advancement to freedom, true freedom does not exist without economic freedom.
2. Land Value Tax and Carbon tax to replace other forms of taxation (eg. income tax, sales tax)
Benefits: Taxation funded via unearned income and negative externalities rather than productive work (eg. labor), reward valuable work, better for environment, better use of land / more livable places,
Ease of Implementation: Easy, Impact: High
Nobody likes paying taxes, but perhaps that would be less the case if we taxed more fairly, and then let the people decide what to fund with the money (more on that in the next section)
The problem with our tax system is that it punishes productive work (labor, capital) and consumption (sales, VAT) rather than unearned income and negative externalities. Land Value Tax (LVT) and carbon tax (or other Pigouvian taxes) would instead tax unearned income and negative externalities, which would be better for productivity and the environment.
LVT would promote more efficient land usage, alleviating housing prices/rents and creating better neighborhoods / living spaces.
3. Delegative/Liquid democracy
Benefits: Better political representation, more politically active population, less corruption, end two-party system (in the U.S)
Ease of Implementation: Low, Impact: High
The whole point of democracy is that it’s supposed to allow people to govern themselves. Yet most people in countries like the U.S don’t feel like their governments reflect the will of the people. Delegative/liquid democracy fixes that.
Modern democracies tend to be representative democracies where voters vote on a limited selection of wealthy people (in the U.S, only from one of two political parties), who then end up becoming career politicians who spend most of their taxpayer-funded time begging rich people for money, and becoming more and more divorced from reality the older they get.
Direct democracy is the truest form of democracy because it gives each individual direct voting power. But direct democracy was never practices at scale due to it being considered inefficient and impractical, and elites being unwilling to cede too much power to the masses.
However now with modern technology like the internet and blockchains, and cryptography like zero knowledge proofs, it is finally possible to create a superior form of democracy combining representative and direct democracy – Delegative/Liquid democracy. Delegative or Liquid Democracy combines both direct democracy and representative democracy by giving each citizen the freedom to either vote directly on issues, or delegate their votes to a representative. It is the ultimate and purest form of democracy as it maximizes freedom ( DAOs are run like this).
Delegative democracy would finally give people complete freedom over their governance, empowering every individual to vote directly on issues rather than only being limited to voting for a crappy selection of rich politicians from two crappy parties every few years. Politicians would no longer be necessary, and the politicians that exist would truly be servants of the people.
We’d see significantly greater political participation and satisfaction with governments due to people finally having real democracy. Politics would become much more nimble and efficient, as well as representative of the common people rather than overly focusing on the 1%. The elimination of election cycles would save or at least curtail a lot of unnecessary waste on political campaigning and fundraising.
These three policies and/or systemic changes – Universal Basic Income, Land Value Tax, and Delegative/Liquid Democracy – would do the most to move humanity forward.
So why is nobody talking about them? I believe the major obstacles are:
- Lack of awareness and/or understanding
- People are too distracted by survival (solved by UBI), and find political participation too difficult (solved by delegative/liquid democracy)
With UBI and delegative democracy, people would be freed to directly govern themselves, dramatically improving the efficiency of governance and faster enabling us to accelerate humanity forward.
Most of what holds humanity back is not lack of technology, material wealth, or natural resources, but poor and outdated policies and government systems. These are human-made problems that can only be solved by human decisions. Although our rigid government systems offer stability, our marriage to these outdated systems and institutions like the electoral college and the two-party system has been holding humanity back.
UBI will be implemented first because it is significantly easier to pass a policy than to change a government system. UBI is almost a prerequisite for any serious government change due to the enormous amount of awareness and collective pressure that would be needed to change a 200+ year old Constitution, something a population of wage slaves will never be able to muster.