Many are now calling for a “universal basic income” (UBI)—where the state gives everyone enough to live on. This would put a floor under the class of people we’re calling the “precariat,” people for whom work doesn’t lead to increased financial security. It would free us from the bullshit, allowing everyone to benefit from automation, not just the lucky few. And it would leave us more time for creative, fulfilling things, enjoying the “abundance” that new technology affords (think how useful and cheap computers are today and imagine what they might let everyone do in the future). There are several UBI trials planned in Finland, Switzerland, and Canada (and, indeed, several reasons why the idea is attractive).
Critics of UBI says it’s unaffordable, impractical, and liable to lead to millions of layabouts living off the government dime—and perhaps they’re right. These criticisms are reasonable. But before dismissing UBI too quickly, it’s important to consider the idea not in the context of our current economy, but of what the economy could become in the future. UBI is not so much an idea for now; it’s an idea for an economy where capitalism isn’t as socially productive as it’s traditionally been.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Welcome To The Post-Work Economy | Co.Exist | ideas + impact
In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1406 Canadian voters, more than a third favour the introduction of a guaranteed annual minimum income to replace other state supports like social assistance, unemployment and pensions (36%), a sharp increase from the last time we polled this question four years ago … Continue reading
A Basic income or Guaranteed Income for Canada – Would cost the treasury more than $500-billion a year
The Finnish example is typical of the fiscal folly. The Finns propose a monthly transfer of €800 ($1,200) a person, which sounds nice until you do the math and figure out this would require a doubling of existing taxes to fund the program. This transfer would barely replace what low-income Finns already get under their … Continue reading
Universal Basic Income gets all this attention and popularity, but I haven’t seen one model that’s even on the planet of financial feasibility. These things are utopian. Finland is conducting an experiment in giving every adult a check for €800 a month, which would require spending far more than what the government raises in taxes. Whatever … Continue reading
So let’s run some numbers. Paying all 322 million Americans $10,000 a year would cost $3.22 trillion. Proponents claim this can be paid by redirecting existing welfare programs, but a quick review reveals this as nonsense. All state and local government social welfare programs are around $500 billion, and programs such as food stamps (SNAP) … Continue reading
Guaranteed Income in Finland – Paying 800 euros ($1,165) each month and scraping all other government benefits
Finland’s government is drawing up plans to pay every citizen a basic income of euros 800 ($1,165) each month, scrapping benefits altogether. Under proposals drafted by the Finnish Social Insurance Institution (Kela), the tax-free payments would replace all other benefit payments, and would be paid to all adults regardless of whether or not they receive … Continue reading
En Europe, la Finlande sera en 2017, le premier État membre de l’UE à instaurer un revenu minimum universel. Aux Pays-Bas, la ville d’Utrecht expérimente également cette nouvelle approche qui a également ses thuriféraires en Suisse. Les défenseurs de ce qu’on appelle chez nos voisins le revenu de base inconditionnel ont d’ailleurs obtenu une petite … Continue reading