I would like to invite you all to contribute a few dollars a month to crowdfunding a basic income for a family in need.
Have you ever heard of the concept of a basic income? It’s the idea that everyone in a society receive the same unconditional amount of income to be able to meet subsistence needs. Manitoba ran a very successful basic income experiment in the ’70s. Finland is about is about to launch a basic income trial. The PEI legislature just unanimously passed a basic income motion. Basic income programs improve health as well as finances.
I’ve long thought that such a program could help my best friend Bast’s family.
Bast is one of the toughest people I know. She has a chronic illness that, unmanaged, makes it difficult for her to hold down a regular job. Living in a country where regular healthcare is practically non-existent to the poor (ie. the United States), she’s caught in a vicious cycle. She can’t maintain steady work because of her illness and she can’t get the medical care she needs that would allow her to work because she does not have sufficient income. Bast does work very hard, though, with her writing, zine, and proofreading business that allows her to earn money when she can and she is very resourceful. For example, she recently repaired the washing machine and she can do some work on the family car. I have no doubt that she is doing everything she can to provide for her family.
Bast lives with her elderly mother and her daughter, who both have their own medical challenges. Because they live in a rural area with no public transportation and don’t have a reliable car, her daughter can’t get a job either. However, because this is a family that has learned how to survive, her daughter is building her own transcription business to work from home. She’s doing well, but, of course, cannot support a family of three on her income.
What Bast and her family need is a basic level of financial security. To start, they want to make sure they can cover the mortgage every month, their medications, the bills, and food. In time, they would like to be able to afford a decent car and its maintenance and even some sort of health insurance.
If they lived in a socialist regime, like Canada or Europe, they would be doing just fine with a variety of programs available to them. But living in an individualistic country that hates those who cannot help themselves, they just keep falling through the cracks. I have known and loved Bast and her family for about fifteen years and I am so angry at how things for this family just keep getting worse as the few benefits they are eligible for are cut. They exemplify how the U.S. is not the best country on Earth, as evidenced by how it treats its sick, elderly, and disabled.
It’s been many years that I’ve thought that this family needs a crowdfunded guaranteed basic income and I finally found the platform to organize that.
Please visit patreon.com/bastravenshadow to learn more about Bast and her family and how Bast earns income every month. I know so many people who give hundreds of dollars a year in Kiva loans or who contribute to GoFundMes or provide donations in other ways to complete strangers. I would like to invite you all to help fund a basic income for this one family for as little as a $5 commitment a month. The idea is not for a few people to contribute a lot, but for a lot of people to contribute a little.
Bast has a list of goals on her page that show how her basic income will be spent to better her family’s condition. They’re not looking for a handout to live in the lap of luxury. They just want the same assurances we all do that they’ll have a roof over their heads every month, food in the pantry, and necessary medicines; things that should be taken for granted in a so-called first world country.
Bast is proud and has set modest goals. Her family needs so much that even just an extra steady $100 a month would help them tremendously. But I want more for them. I want to get them into better housing. I want them to have a reliable vehicle. I want them to have access to healthcare when they need it. I want them to be able to sleep at night without worrying about what new calamity they will face in the morning. And I want to save the the shame of having to go their friends every month to get help putting out a fire. So I’m hoping to crowfund them a basic monthly income of at least $1,000. Please help if you can.
Here’s a meme that Bast shared recently: