Universal Basic Refund

What if we would always have the basics of what we need? What if our birthright was to know that we would always have air, water, food, warmth, and community? Would we sit on our butts and wait for everyone else to take care of us? I didn’t think so.

This is an imagining of The Land Office a project of the Imaginal Services Bureaux which is in turn a project of Cooperation Humboldt. We are imagining the most just use of property for sale in Humboldt County. This is a work of art. You can read our Principles or just read on…

The argument goes that if folks don’t need to work for the basics — for the right to live, then they would get lazy and not do anything or that the work they did would be uninspired and shoddy. We’re not here to argue, so nevermind that. But we do have a solution for folks who need a little inspiration. We call it the Universal Basic Refund.

317 Third Street in Eureka, California.

Walk through this door to apply yourself.

Universal Basic Income has gotten some press due to presidential campaigns and viral outbreaks, but here at The Land Office we’ve been talking about the idea of each person in the country (or the state, or the city, or the World) receiving enough to cover basic needs for a long time.

So why are we calling this the Universal Basic Refund? Well, because the money that would be used for such a project has actually come from us, the workers! And we’re not just talking about blue collar factory workers and white collar office workers, but all those folks working their unpaid butts off to take care of kids and keep our homes running (and, yes, this group is almost entirely female).

The point is that the wealth of the world comes from the people working, so those taxes paid by companies and individuals come from the value created by the workers making the stuff and providing the services charged for in our economy. And it comes from the fact that those folks can go do that work when someone is taking care of kids and home. The money came from the working people. Distributing it back to those workers is a refund. It’s not some generous donation from some loving philanthropist. It’s… our… money.

317 Third Street in Eureka, California interior.

So many doors to choose from. So many paths to take.

Just a side note here: Of course, resource extraction is a way to accumulate value as well. We know. That money should have some going back to the nature that it came from. We’ll go more into this in a later post. Onward…

317 Third Street in Eureka, California.

Looking down Third with a glimpse of Opera Alley…

So, at this expansive office folks can pick up their Universal Basic Refund (UBR) and visit with one of the many local organizations with volunteer work opportunities. Think of it as career counseling, only we’ve taken out the desperation of how you are going to pay your food or energy bills.

Imagine a world where folks provide for some common good with their labor, where we do the work that needs to get done, where people understand that we all need to step up and do some things that aren’t our favorite, but also follow our calling in the areas that speak to us.

How can you imagine this system working?

Extended material and more perks are available for Patrons. Please contact us to start a conversation about how you can support The Land Office of the Imaginal Services Bureaux.

Here are some links to the background material:

Assessor’s Map for 001-093-008:






There are a few ways to do this:


Here’s an old favorite where the future has already passed (for us). Looking Backward 2000-1887 started a movement looking for a better world. Look for the Universal Basics in there.


Previously was 224 Beach Drive in Trinidad, California.

Next is 8455 Centerville Road in Ferndale, California.