Wednesday, July 15, 2020

I watched

An impressive 5 minute message explaining why we need a world-wide Unconditional Basic Income, why we can do it, and why some of us don’t want it to be done. The video is based on the following text by Professor Guy Standing (SOAS University London), co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network:

In the past 40 years, in almost every country in the world, the owners of physical, financial, and intellectual property have taken a growing share of the income, while the share going to people reliant on jobs and labour has shrunk. Today, a tiny, obscenely wealthy plutocracy and a well padded salariat confront a growing precariat. Consisting of millions of people with bits and pieces lives, stagnant and uncertain fluctuating earnings and living on the edge of unsustainable debt. Those trends are the result of policy decisions that have made economies and societies more fragile and less resilient to shocks. They have raised eight giants that block the road to a good society: inequality, insecurity, debt, stress, precarity, automation, extinction, and neo fascist populism. Recurrent pandemics may become a ninth giant. To escape economic slump and tackle the nine giants, everyone needs basic economic security. That is a public good and it would improve public health. A modest regular basic income paid to all individuals as a right, without condition, would also boost demand for basic goods & services, kick-starting the real economy. It could be clawed back from the wealthiest through the tax system. While no panacea, a basic income as a right would rescue millions from economic hardship, curbing homelessness, suicides, and starvation. It would strengthen resilience, helping people to cope with shocks and setbacks better, and it would aid recovery by giving people the ability and confidence to spend. It would also be a much fairer use of public resources than the current morass of selective schemes. Longer term, experiments in various countries have shown that basic income security leads to better health, reduced debt, more productive work, improved status for women, and more harmonious family relationships. And it is affordable, especially if funded by eco-taxes and national capital funds. It can and must be done

(Lyrics copied from