The article itself is focused around the biology of stress, and argues that by reducing stress with basic income, we can expect to see a wide-ranging improvement in our societies in regards to health, happiness, and overall prosperity.
Odds are this idea is new to you, but it’s not a new idea. It’s been considered for hundreds of years from as long ago in the U.S. by founding father Thomas Paine in the 18th century, to Richard Nixon, Martin Luther King, Jr., and free market-loving Milton Friedman in the 20th century, to a quickly growing list of new names here in the 21st century. Its advocates know no ideological lines. Supporters include Nobel prize-winning economists, libertarians, progressives, conservatives, climate change activists, tax reformers, feminists, anarchists, doctors, human rights defenders, racial justice leaders, and the list goes on.
For such an old idea that’s been endorsed by so many for so long and yet has obviously never yet come to be, you may be thinking, “Why now?” The answer to such a question has economic reasoning rooted in the globalization of labor and the exponential advancement of technologies capable of entirely replacing labor, but as important as this particular discussion is to have, it’s centered more around the idea of a future problem and less a present one.
However, our problems are very much in the present and to see why, we need to go deeper, much deeper, beyond technology and economics, and into human biology itself. To do that, we’ll first need to look at what we as humans have learned from some animals in the lab and in the wild, because I think doing so pulls back the curtain on our entire social system...