Over the past week I have been discussing various ideas around basic income. In a perfect world everyone would voluntarily adhere to the objective division our birthright, but we do not live in a perfect world. The world we live in is full of people looking to gain advantage over others through force or fraud. To combat this force and fraud men have created governments and imbued them with power and authority that no individual ever possessed. Government, being comprised of people, attracted to itself those seeking advantage over others. Today the governments of the world are the single largest source of illegitimate force and fraud.
Any implementation of a universal basic income (UBI) will naturally be subject to abuse. The two primary forms of abuse are identity theft and fakery. As a society we must accept that perfect is the enemy of good enough because regardless of how intrusive the identification process becomes, some IDs will be faked or forged. To some extent, the mere presence of a barrier to entry will deny some people their birthright.
Responding to Fraud
In the past I have discussed two approaches to blockchain security. The first approach is to lock down everyone's secret behind increasingly complex multi-signature hardware based solutions. The idea is to make your account bulletproof regardless of how much costs. The bulletproof approach will never be perfect and when it fails you die. The second approach is to make account recovery possible. The idea is to make your body self-healing even if a bullet goes through your brain. Self healing is't perfect because it still takes time, energy, and money. Obviously a combination of the two approaches provides the best tradeoff.
There is a third approach to blockchain security: insurance. Under the insurance model many different people share the burden to make someone whole again. Most cryptocurrency exchanges use a combination of insurance and body armor because only Steem allows account recovery (healing).
With a Universal Basic Income we have new options for dealing with people who violate the rights of others. Two men crash on an island. After they discover a fruit tree that produces fresh fruit each day. They agree divide the fruit evenly. Some time passes and one of the men decides to take more than his share by deceiving the other man. Eventually the deception is caught and the man is forced to pay restitution out of the next day's produce.
When someone steals something today, they typically consume or destroy the proceeds quickly. When they are caught they are unable to make the victim whole let alone cover the cost of the investigation. A Universal Basic Income changes the picture dramatically because all men have a source of income which cannot be disposed of. A thief can have their UBI garnished until restitution is paid.
Behind every identity theft or forgery there exists a real identity earning a legitimate basic income. Someone who is caught forging identities owes all of humanity restitution. Someone who is caught stealing identities owes the victim restitution. Because the lifetime UBI of a forgery must be consumed one day at a time, it would require forging many IDs for a significant period of time to consume one full lifetime of UBI. For example, it would require faking 10 identities for 7 years to consume one 70-year lifetime of basic income. If at any point over those 7 years the fraud is detected, then all 10 fake identities and the real identity could be revoked. Over time restitution would be paid in full.
Obviously some fraud will still occur and go undetected. If this happens then the burden is shared equally by all in the same way that would happen if everyone purchased insurance against this fraud. So long as the rate of fraud is low enough to keep the "insurance premiums" manageable then the system is still functional.
A new Justice System
The mere existence of a UBI means that every man, woman, and child is automatically bonded against bad behavior. If you take the life of another, you lose your UBI for life. If you damage property, your UBI is garnished until the victim is made whole. Everyone will have the ability to make their victims whole unless the number of victims is large or the victim was wealthy. A wealth individual can afford additional insurance.
Collectively all of society can insure against the effects of corrupt individuals by sharing the burden of injustice. This will make victims whole and give everyone confidence that their property rights will be honored and insured.