The time has come for us to civilize ourselves

January 16th, 2012  |  Published in Politics, Work

Commenter JKudler [alerted me](http://www.peterfrase.com/2011/07/stop-digging-the-case-against-jobs/#comment-412825465) to one of the less well understood aspects of Martin Luther King’s legacy. I knew that MLK had described himself as a democratic socialist, but I didn’t know that he [said this](http://www.progress.org/dividend/cdking.html):

> In addition to the absence of coordination and sufficiency, the programs of the past all have another common failing — they are indirect. Each seeks to solve poverty by first solving something else.

> I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.

Naturally [I agree](http://www.peterfrase.com/2010/02/do-they-owe-us-a-living/), and I encourage you to read the [whole thing](http://www.progress.org/dividend/cdking.html), which ends on the note I quoted in the title. It’s something to ponder as you go about marking the occasion of MLK day—or, as Ron Paul calls it, [Hate Whitey Day](http://crookedtimber.org/2012/01/08/in-my-family-we-always-toast-marshmallows/)—in whatever way you find appropriate.