Time to introduce the Unconditional Basic Income

Sunday, March 22, 2020

I speak once more for introducing a world-wide Unconditional Basic Income (UBI). The Covid pandemy is a good moment to start at least within the European Union.

The petition Emergency basic income for the EU - now! has already 46.982 of the targeted 75.000 signatures. I suggest that you sign it as well: https://you.wemove.eu/campaigns/emergency-basic-income

Of course this is a controversial question for which there are eager proponents and opponents. I’d roughly estimate that about half of my friends are against it and the other half are for it.

The first –and often the only– argument of opponents is that the UBI will make people lazy. They will increasingly drink coffee and alcohol, smoke Marijuana, play computer games, watch movies, surf around, chat with their friends, stay in bed, walk around, waste their time…

I fully agree that we don’t want this. If this would happen, the UBI would be shooting in your knee, biting the hand that feeds you, cutting the branch you are sitting on.

But it won’t happen. First of all there’s nothing wrong with staying in bed when you are tired or ill, there’s nothing wrong with reading or watching or hearing stories that might teach you something, there’s nothing wrong with chatting with your friends and neighbours, there’s nothing wrong with doing things that don’t give you immediate benefit.

Another challenge is of course addiction. Addiction means that you use or do something more often than is good for you. Addiction is caused by frustration, lack of education or appropriate information about the dangers.

If you really believe that addiction will increase if people no longer need to worry about their basic income, then don’t sign above petition. If you really believe this, then I can only say: Please use your ears and listen to stories about addiction! Please read more about the idea of basic income on https://basicincome.org/