Activist Scott Santens is American and lives in New Orleans. Through a crowfunding campaign he lives from his own basic income.
Álvaro Orús and Mayte Quintanilla
“I’m dedicating my life to making this idea really come to light,” Scott Santens tells us in this complete interview that served as the basis for the documentary UBI, our right to live. “Since January 2016, I’ve been living with the basic income of a thousand dollars a month, so this is what really helps me to understand it from a personal perspective, not just something I’m talking about and saying, ‘I think it’s a good idea’, because of my various researches I understand that it’s a good idea because I live with it and feel the effects of it, and I know it works’.
Santens understands that technology should be at the service of people and that UBI is a measure that should have been adopted decades ago. In this interview, he reminds us how President Nixon wanted to implement a similar measure and Congress didn’t approve it. In any case, he is optimistic that more and more people are talking about basic income in his country and in others, even though each one is analysed from different perspectives.
He also sees it as a good thing that renowned people like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckergerg and Hillary Clinton are supporting the implementation of a basic income for the entire population.
On the other hand, Santens proposes to redefine work, clarifying that the best form – from his point of view – is the one that is done for free. “Like me, I am capable of fighting for this world that I build, I am capable of researching basic income, I am capable of writing about it, I am capable of traveling and talking about it, because I have the time and capacity, and the passion to do this work… There are many people with great ideas, a lot of meaningful work that they cannot do and who could do it with a basic income”.
Scott questions this system, which relies on private property, which means that some steal from others, and proposes building another system based on a basic income, convinced that this will build a civilization in which we develop everything we are capable of.