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Fri Feb 27, 2015, 10:31 AM

Unconditional Basic Income explained by Barbara Jacobson, European Citizens' Initiative


Published on Mar 24, 2014
World Finance interviews Barbara Jacobson, one of the organizers of the European Citizens' Initiative for an Unconditional Basic Income, about whether such a system is feasible for Europe.


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Reply Unconditional Basic Income explained by Barbara Jacobson, European Citizens' Initiative (Original post)
mother earth Feb 2015 OP
Newest Reality Feb 2015 #1
yallerdawg Feb 2015 #2
panfluteman Feb 2015 #3
chervilant Feb 2015 #4
yallerdawg Feb 2015 #5
mother earth Mar 2015 #6

Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Feb 27, 2015, 11:01 AM

1. K&R

This is worth considering and has potential to check the rapid decline into poverty for many.

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Feb 27, 2015, 11:45 AM

2. Why would anyone work a low pay menial job?

Great explanation!

We have evolved an inverse regard and pay scale for 'work.'

"If all the nurses went on strike, it would be a disaster. If all the bankers went on strike, we wouldn't notice."

If you didn't have to do meaningless slave wage drudge labor because you have a choice, those wages would go up, wouldn't they, to attract the needed labor?

This is valued labor in a free market, rather than the rigged exploitative system we have now, where the poor and the disappearing middle class are ground into nothing and the rich get richer.

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Feb 27, 2015, 11:57 AM

3. Unconditional / Universal Basic Income

is a very good idea, I feel, but the devil might be in the details. For example, we have about 350 million people living in the US. If you paid them all a basic income of $2,000 per month regardless of whether they worked or not, that would amount to some 700 billion dollars per month! And that would be 8.4 trillion dollars per year! So, maybe that's not the way to go. But the idea of guaranteeing a basic monthly income to all people of working age if they can't find work, or choose not to work, would be a lot more workable. Anybody have any idea what our GDP is? Then we could take my 8.4 billion per year figure and see what percentage it represents of the GDP...

Although the implementation of a Universal Basic Income, or UBI, may be more doable in Europe, I think that it may be a real pipe dream here in the US. After all, the very idea of having the work force liberated from the necessity to work would empower the common people so much that it would scare the pants off the major employers, who depend on the harsh conditions of economic necessity to get people to work for them at way below what they're worth. From what I've heard, Koch Industries is one of the major users of prison virtual slave labor.

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Response to panfluteman (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 27, 2015, 12:41 PM

4. Building on the point you're making,

I find it disheartening that some folks automatically assume that people won't work if we pay them a basic income. History shows that our species works, and works hard--to achieve personal goals, as much as to "earn a living." In fact, Abraham Maslow (my fave social psychologist) asserted that creativity (historically linked to "work" is as essential to our species as water, food, and shelter.

What this UBI initiative says to me is that more of us are exploring ways to change our economic behaviors in ways that benefit vaster numbers of us. Of COURSE, the uber wealthy are going to oppose this. And, the water carriers for the uber wealthy (the "you can be rich, too" crowd) will grumble.

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Response to panfluteman (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 27, 2015, 01:04 PM

5. UBI would not pay every living American $2,000 a month.

Most people would continue working for higher wages.

In your scenario, if you made $1,999 dollars a month, you would get a very affordable $1 a month in UBI. Your 2 month old child could have some other social support if necessary, just like your 66 year old parent. Can we afford that? Why yes, we are doing that already!

What I can't stand is the idea put forward in a calm, rational manner that we can't afford to take care of each other like the Republicans keep saying.

We absolutely could if we wanted to.

Why don't we want to?

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Response to panfluteman (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 1, 2015, 06:20 PM

6. Well, if Syriza holds true we may soon have an example.

I have to admit when I first heard of this I wasn't really sure what they meant by the term.

Even after you listen to the two videos I've posted on this, you have to really let it sink in and set for awhile, and you get more and more questions that pop into your head, and more and more reasons why this really is something that is not only thinking outside the box, but is a very simple concept to boot.

What is most amazing, is that it could change everything and all for the better. This is why I am so inspired by Varoufakis, and as bleak as things are in Greece, this forward thinker seems to be the real deal. Only time will tell, but it is completely inspirational that this concept may be what the future holds.

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