We need to stop talking about strategies to fight poverty and start talking about the abolition of poverty via a basic income guarantee. When you call for something to be “abolished”, you are making two declarations. First, that the thing that you want to abolish is bad and should be abolished. But second, you are also recognizing that the thing you wish to abolish is the type of thing that can be abolished. At marches to end cancer or racism, people talk about fighting cancer or fighting racism, and they talk about strategies to end cancer or racism, but no ever talks about “abolishing” cancer or “abolishing” racism. And the reason they do not say that is because it would make no sense. You can not just pass a law stating there will be no more cancer, and cancer will just disappear. And while you can pass laws abolishing slavery and Jim Crow, you cannot just pass a law stating there will be no more racism and racism will just disappear. But we could just pass a law, and poverty would disappear. And when people accept this fact, the next question will be, “Why don't we?”
“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.
The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty. “
- Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967