Scott Santens Profile picture
Founder & President of @ITSAfoundation. I focus on unconditional/universal basic income (#UBI) and have a crowdfunded basic income (
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May 17, 2023 5 tweets 2 min read
"People perceive national debt as a negative, Grey said. But instead, he argues, you can think of it as a savings account, because people are earning interest through the bonds that they hold."

Correct. The "debt" is assets, and the ceiling is just dumb.… It is a choice we make to issue Treasury securities $1 for $1 of federal spending that exceeds taxes. We don't have to do that, but it's popular because people like earning a US government guaranteed rate of interest.

The entire #DebtCeilingCrisis is just a hostage situation.
May 15, 2023 4 tweets 3 min read
This is good but I wish it also included how Medicare Part D doesn't even carry the same issue as the rest of Medicare because it was set up to use general revenue. It's the example that proves all that's required to "fix Social Security" is just a legislative change in wording. ImageImageImage If we decide to reduce Social Security payments in the future, that's a political choice. We certainly don't have to do that. We can keep making 100% of payments, and no we don't even have to lift the cap on payroll taxes. We can just spend the money.… ImageImage
May 4, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
At their annual meeting, the Southern African Quaker Community voted in support of the introduction of a universal basic income for all people legally in South Africa. Here they explain the reasons behind the resolution.… "The poverty-stricken masses have nothing going for them, see no hope for their future, and have nothing to lose. South Africa is a tinderbox that will catch fire if a match is thrown into it... South Africa may be considered a real-world example of where the world is going."
Apr 12, 2023 5 tweets 5 min read
UBI critics: If we give people money without conditions, people will stop working.

UBI pilot: Turns out the UBI group worked more than the control group.

UBI critics: Well of course giving people more money works. But it costs too much.

UBI pilot: Turns out the money spent on…… Sources:










#BasicIncome ImageImageImageImage
Apr 11, 2023 8 tweets 4 min read
A 🧵 of key takeaways from the final results of the @stocktondemo of #BasicIncome published yesterday:

✅No negative impact on work
✅Income volatility down
✅Mental health improved
✅Less fatigued
✅Improved physical functioning
✅More bargaining power… Image Pre-pandemic, employment increased quite a bit in the basic income group, but the increase did not remain significant during the pandemic. It's possible that this and other non-significant results were due to unexpected attrition by the end of the experiment. (more on that later) Image
Apr 10, 2023 5 tweets 3 min read
Universal basic income? But where does the money come from? I hear that all the time. The better question to ask is how best to remove newly created UBI money from circulation? This simulation says it's a transaction tax, which is one of my own favorites. Image If you want to mess with the settings of this simulation yourself, here's where it's located. Definitely try turning off the universal basic income and transaction tax toggle and watch society break as one person eventually ends up with all the money. Image
Jan 13, 2023 6 tweets 2 min read
Looking back at my ten years of basic income advocacy, here's one thing I thought would already be a thing but isn't: celebrity interest. Where are the people with millions of fans who have picked UBI to be their cause?

Sure the Pope is on board with UBI, but he doesn't retweet. The single least effort thing you can do to support the basic income movement is to click the retweet button. A bit more effort but not much is writing your own tweet, or sharing a link on Twitter or anywhere really. If you want to help more, please make a point of at least that.
Dec 20, 2022 20 tweets 5 min read
Lots of news articles are being written about this new study in Ireland of UBI, and as usual, the discussion is misinformed, as is the study itself. This is going to take a thread to get into why on both accounts, so here goes... 🧵 2/ First, let's start with the headlines. I'm seeing many choose to focus on the proposed tax rates of 40% to 60%. I haven't seen a single article talk about effective tax rates, the difference, or UBI as a tax rebate. This is basically lying by omission.
Dec 15, 2022 12 tweets 3 min read
It never stops being tiresome to see otherwise intelligent people make unsound comparisons about unemployment and UBI. There are important differences between 1) being jobless + having no income 2) being jobless + getting a conditional benefit and 3) getting unconditional income. As I say again and again, income comes before work. It's income that connects people to the labor market. It's income that fuels people. It's spending that creates jobs.

I am no "utopian idealist" for recognizing this stuff. I'm a realist.…
Nov 9, 2022 14 tweets 3 min read
2023 will mark 10 years of my advocating hard for unconditional basic income. At this point, one of the things that annoys me most is the new claim from conspiracy-fueled people that the rich and powerful fully support UBI and want to use it to make a subservient population. 🧵 2/ First of all, most obviously, UBI is unconditional. It's in the damn definition. If cash comes with strings attached, it's not UBI. So you can't make the argument that UBI will be conditional. That's like arguing against water because it's dehydrated and won't quench thirst.
Aug 20, 2022 5 tweets 1 min read
Unconditional basic income is freedom.

It's the freedom to say no

It's the freedom of work choice

It's the freedom to learn new skills

It's the freedom to create

It's the freedom to flee violence

It's the freedom to escape climate disaster

It's the freedom to breathe again Basic income is the freedom to pursue your dreams.

It's the freedom to pursue happiness

It's the freedom to be yourself

It's the freedom to not fear failure as an existential risk

It's the freedom to volunteer

It's the freedom to strike

It's the freedom to say, "Fuck you."
Jul 2, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
Pet peeve: When someone says they really dislike something but then ignore all the evidence of solutions that reduce that something, because something else is actually more important to them, but they don't say what that other thing is, because they know it makes them look bad. Example: Disliking abortion but not supporting things that reduce abortion, like highly effective contraception, affordable childcare, and monthly income for kids to help make being a parent more affordable, because you think a hierarchy of men over women is more important.
Jul 1, 2022 6 tweets 3 min read
"The only way to achieve political equality is to change the rules of the game—in ways that get around the conservative courts. This means breaking out, further, of the binary, two-party system, and becoming a proportional, multiparty democracy."

THIS IS THE WAY. @Fwd_Party "In a system of single-member districts, 60% of the vote in a district gets your party everything, 40% gets your party nothing. In multimember, proportional districts, 60% of the votes means 60% of the seats, and 40% of the vote means 40% of the seats."…
Jun 30, 2022 10 tweets 3 min read
Democrats need to stop playing the game. Make it clear that the game is over and it's time for something new. Don't run a Dem in any district that's GOP gerrymandered. Don't pretend it's possible to win it. Make it clear that the primary winning Republican has already won. Image Only put resources into competitive races. Make it abundantly clear that gerrymandering has already destroyed democracy. Use that spotlight to push for ending all gerrymandering. Make the promise that if voters give Dems two more senators this Nov, they will end the duopoly.
Jun 29, 2022 7 tweets 3 min read
Guy: "Look at that bum with the beer in his hand. He deserves to be poor cause he makes bad choices, not like me."

Same guy: "I'll take another pint and a shot. I've definitely had too much and I'll feel it tomorrow at work and may even need to call in sick, but I've earned it." That one's kind of inspired by Steve Hughes and his bit about giving money to the homeless.

"You don't give these people money. They'll just spend it on drink and drugs."

"Well what the fuck do you think I was going to spend it on?"

Jun 27, 2022 8 tweets 2 min read
I've heard from conservatives so many times that child poverty is the result of the poor choices of adults who couldn't really afford to have kids but had them anyway and yet here we are now where the choice to not have kids has been dramatically curtailed by those conservatives. Republicans need to immediately lean hard into family support policies. If you're going to impose birth, you'd better make sure you aren't also imposing poverty. You also can't force a woman to have a kid and then also force her into the jobs market without paying for child care.
Jun 16, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
🧵: UBI mainly operates along 3 effect pathways: people need enough money to pay for what they need, people need enough stability in their incomes to plan ahead and worry less, and people need to exist in environments where inequality isn't so extreme so as to erode social bonds. Universal basic income is not just about reducing poverty by increasing access to physical resource needs like food. UBI helps those who already have enough by increasing their stability. Knowing that no matter what, you're going to be okay, provides a real feeling of security. Image
Jun 15, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
My life does not belong to you. My life is mine. You don't get to support a system of private property that forces me to obtain money to exist, and tell me I don't have a right to enough money to exist. UBI isn't my request. It's my demand.

It's indemnification for civilization. Image It really REALLY pisses me off when job guarantee advocates insist that making sure everyone has a job is better than basic income in the mistaken belief that people are inherently lazy and must work for survival income or else the economy will collapse. It's bullshit + immoral. Image
May 29, 2022 7 tweets 2 min read
This article is just brutal to read. It's about a mom in Louisiana who donates her blood plasma twice a week in order to earn an extra $400/mo to afford inflation. She's a teacher and the enhanced CTC was paying her $500/mo before Congress let it expire.… While the monthly child tax credit was active last year, during those six months, parents donated less blood plasma. They weren't forced to out of desperation, because they were less desperate. They finally had some breathing room.

Congress took it away.…
May 5, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
If you say "Just jump through this hoop to get this," no matter how easy you think it is, there will be people you really think need and deserve the reward who won't succeed, and may not even try. Just give everyone what you think some need, and tax it back from those who dont. A frustratingly common response to #UBI is why provide it to the rich instead of picking some line like $150k and excluding those above that line? The answer is because that will end up excluding *MANY* of those earning under $12k who can't afford to prove they don't earn $150k.
Apr 9, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
They always pick a larger amount, then multiply by everyone, and pretend they've just calculated the cost of UBI. It's not that simple. They also never calculate the full costs of poverty, nor care about our $1.5 trillion a year in existing tax subsidies.… Here's the thing: most programs involving taxing from one person to provide something to another, but UBI is atypical. It taxes and provides to the same person so calculating cost requires subtracting one from the other to determine the net gain or loss.