This is Labour Day weekend in New Zealand and it seems appropriate to blog about work. I read an interesting book recently entitled, How much is enough? : the love of money and the case for the good life by Robert and Edward Skidelsky. In it, the authors propose a different economic model where each citizen is provided a basic unconditional income by their government and work salaries provide anything over and above that. This way no one goes without the necessities and people may choose to work a lot or a little depending on their wants, e.g. how much leisure they would like, etc. In addition, there would be a tax on personal expenditures and a tax on financial transactions e.g., dealing in the currency market, shares, derivatives and bonds. They recommend less emphasis on consumption, even suggesting there should be a limit on advertising. They conclude that the result would be a better life, one which places importance on health, security, respect, personality, harmony with nature, friendship, and leisure. As far as the latter is concerned, the authors feel that today`s world does not afford enough leisure time and people don`t really know how to effectively use it anyway. They suggest that all schools (not just private ones) teach students what to do with their leisure time, instead of preparing them only for work. A good point!
Do you think this model could work? Does receiving an unconditional citizen income (not means tested) appeal to you – would it mean that you`d be inclined to work less and enjoy more leisure? Please share your thoughts….
Until next time,
Your Boomer Life Partners
Disclosure: Mention of the book in this Boomerlifetoday blog post was not solicited or paid for by companies or individuals in New Zealand or abroad.