There are three potential targets for a Basic Income. We want to ameliorate poverty with a big basic transfer. We also want to improve work incentives by lowering the clawback rate on income-tested benefits for low earners. Finally, we want to work within the existing envelope of income transfer programs so we don’t need to raise taxes. All three are attractive features, but it’s impossible to satisfy all three at once. That is, there is an impossible trinity—you can only satisfy two of the three attributes.
An entrepreneurial culture thrives when it’s easy to try lots of new ideas. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to give everyone a cushion to try new things. There is something wrong with our system when I can make billions of dollars in 10 years while millions of students can’t afford to pay off their loans, let alone start a business.
The first major intervention should be the announcement by the Federal government of a Job Guarantee, which would unconditionally provide a minimum wage job to anybody who could not find work elsewhere.
It comes from the right wing originally. Milton Friedman proposed it for example. From his point of view it was part of an effort to undermine welfare state measures. But it doesn’t have to have a reactionary component. It can be interpreted as something progressive. That people have rights. In fact if you read the universal declaration of human rights, 1948, take a look at article 45. It says people have rights to adequate food, nutrition, health, employment, security and so on. Those are minimal rights. Any society ought to guarantee that. Well, you know, one way to guarantee it would be through a socially acceptable form of a basic income. In fact, to an extent that’s what so-called welfare states try to provide in a certain way. So, sure, that’s something that could be proposed. I mean, I don’t think it goes far enough, but as a short-term way of alleviating major problems it’s fine. And there are elements in various societies that do provide things like that.
I’m not so sure we’re any more special than other scientists who have looked at the evidence involved, but we have considerably more visibility because of the prize. I think that this behooves us, that when we feel that science is not being listened to, that we speak out.
A carbon tax in the United States would not be an effective way of confronting climate change. The world needs an “energy miracle” in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions while expanding energy production around the world. The way that happens is to spend on clean-energy research.
Q: Proposte come il reddito di cittadinanza credi che possano aiutare a contenere il problema? A: Credo che sia una battaglia di retroguardia, se non addirittura di destra. Perché l'idea che lo Stato si inserisca in questa intermittenza e fornisca al lavoratore la quantità di soldi che gli serve per sopravvivere fino al contratto successivo può sembrare buona, ma nasconde a mio avviso parecchie ombre. Q: Quali ombre? A: All'inizio, quando si parlava di flessibilità del lavoro, si pensava a un modello in cui i salari sarebbero aumentati, in cui le aziende avrebbero dovuto pagare fino a quattro o cinque volte un lavoratore proprio perché in questo modo era l'azienda a prendersi carico del periodo di non retribuzione che sarebbe intercorso tra un contratto e quello successivo. Questo però non è mai successo, e nella pratica mi sembra un gigantesco regalo che lo Stato ha fatto alle aziende. E che ora sia lo Stato a metterci un'ulteriore pezza mi sembra grave.
Are the good, effective anti-poverty programs currently in place fully funded? I’m quite certain they’re not, and thus the question for progressives is what gets us the bigger inequality-and-poverty-reducing-bang-for-the-buck: a dollar to UBI, or a dollar to things like quality pre-school, the EITC and CTC (wage subsidies for low-income, working families), expanding Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), and housing supports? That’s not an arbitrary list. Each one of those programs has been shown to not just help less advantaged families today, but to have lasting effects on health, educational attainment, employment, earnings, and mobility. The reason I’m skeptical [on UBI] is that I’m afraid that such a program would inevitably take from these sorts of programs, reducing their actual and potential impacts.
A jobs guarantee may be a good aspirational goal, but we have a lot of messy work that we have to deal with first. If the push for a jobs guarantee distracts from this work, then it will be a major step backwards
While I favor policies to tighten the labor market, I'm not sure how a job guarantee would work. What if you can't do anything useful? What if you're terrible at your guaranteed job? There are things the government could be doing to foster job creation in recessions — deficit spending, nominal GDP targeting, a higher default level of inflation, countercyclical infrastructure investment — that strike me as likely to be much more efficient than a job guarantee.
This is made clear by taking the argument to its logical conclusion and considering a government proposal that paid one set of workers to dig ditches and the other set to fill them back in. While there would be a virtually unlimited number of jobs that could be created under such a program, there is clearly no value creation of any kind. Thus, a government-mandated job omits the very thing that makes employment desirable in the first place — value creation
The CAP proposal [jobs guarantee] leaves a number of questions unanswered. For example, the report suggests turning the current pool of unemployed, displaced, and discouraged workers into teachers’ aides, EMTs, and elder-care assistants. But those are jobs that require a considerable amount of training and skill, and are generally long-term careers rather than temporary gigs.
Embedded in the idea of universal basic income is the assumption that some jobs are worthwhile, and others not. Some may sneer at “McJobs”—but cleaners in McDonald’s stop infections, just as cleaners in NHS hospitals do.(...) Proponents of UBI ignore the value of such work: it only makes sense to be emancipated from an obligation that is inherently undesirable. Yet the universal basic income institutionalises the gap between the disproportionate and increasing rewards for the few and stagnant wages and poor prospects for the many. It fails to broaden the scope of useful work, which includes activities that have a significant social benefit but an economic cost. (...) Its supporters do not see the enormous potential for social division that universal basic income would bring with it. For those on the right who are convinced that the world is divided between “wealth creators” and everyone else, it would be a brilliant tool to discard much of society.
To claim a share of such wealth without being willing to make this contribution is unfairly to free-ride on those citizens who do make the required contribution. If this unfairness is to be avoided, receipt of an equal share of the relevant types of external wealth must be made conditional on a demonstrated willingness to make the required contribution. And it is therefore inappropriate to redistribute such wealth in the form of an UBI precisely because doing so would disconnect enjoyment of this wealth from making the relevant contribution, and would thus permit free-riding. This is, of course, the exploitation objection to UBI.
I happen to think universal basic income and a high minimum wage work well in combination to produce tighter labor markets, more consumer spending power, and if McDonald's want to lure you out of your rock band or off your couch to go and cook french fries, they ought to have to pay a premium for that.
Una cosa è una proposta di basic income sulla base della convinzione (del tutto illusoria) che vivremmo in una fase di espansione quasi automatica della produttività sociale, per l’emergere di un ‘comune’ che esprimerebbe una spontanea cooperazione che si estenderebbe alla vita stessa in quanto tale: a quel punto, si può fantasticare che il basic income ti consentirebbe di scegliere tra lavoro e non lavoro, e retribuirebbe questa produttività del ‘comune’. Questa, insisto, mi sembra una illusione, molto pericolosa. C’è poi una seconda difficoltà, per così dire, sul piano pratico: il basic income viene prima proclamato ideologicamente come ‘incondizionato’, poi realisticamente lo si degrada a sussidio per i precari, come un passo in quella direzione.
Nel tempo, il combinato disposto di reddito garantito e precarietà lavorativa cristallizza i rapporti di produzione dati, elimina ogni residuo di «potere operaio» nella produzione, e dunque rafforza la divisione in classi della società capitalistica.In altre parole, in assenza di un salario minimo e, ancor più, di un piano per la piena occupazione, la semplice erogazione di un sussidio monetario rischia di tradursi in degrado ed emarginazione sociale. Dai ghetti dei nativi australiani alle periferie berlinesi, gli esempi di come politiche di elargizioni monetarie possano produrre effetti socialmente regressivi non mancano. Di certo, tali politiche non paiono in grado, da sole, di prefigurare alcun rovesciamento nei rapporti sociali scaturiti dai processi di finanziarizzazione e globalizzazione che hanno investito le principali economie capitalistiche nell’ultimo trentennio, rischiando anzi di fungere da foglia di fico (o addirittura da amplificatori) di tali processi.
Where a welfare state responds to needs through the in-kind provision of specific goods or social services, rather than with a cash benefit, it liberates the recipients of these benefits from market dependency (at least to some degree) and thus arguably furthers the realization of their humanity. On this score, the liberal welfare state seems to do rather better than a basic income scheme would. In a great many instances, the liberal welfare state favors the in-kind provision of needed goods and services over cash transfers. For example, it provides such things as public housing, temporary shelter, food stamps, school means, education and health care. These provisions can quite seriously be said to lessen their recipients’ dependence on market mechanisms by meeting needs as directly as possible. Of course, the liberal welfare state also provides cash subsidies in the form of pen- sions, disability insurance and unemployment insurance.
It is hardly surprising in this environment that many progressives find the BI idea attractive. It promises important benefits that market economies rarely have been able to deliver. But if the right to work and income support proclaimed in the Universal Declaration can be secured at lower cost than a BI guarantee, the BI idea loses much of its luster. A society that used direct job creation to secure the right to work and conventional income transfer s to secure the right to income security could eliminate poverty with a much smaller allocation of public resources than a BI guarantee would require. The JI strategy also could secure most of the other benefits associated with a BI guarantee at lower cost . That being the case, the extra benefits uniquely attributable to a BI guarantee would be hard to justify.
Van Parijs would guarantee everyone the maximum unconditional basic income that could be sustained in a society (...) regardless of wether they were able or performing socially useful work. Lazy, able-bodied surfers would be just as entitled to that income as dependent caretakers or the disabled. (...) Van Parij's proposal effectively indulges the tastes of the lazy and irresponsible at the expense of others who need assitance"
But why insist on delivering that generosity in the specific form of "here's a make-work job for you to do in exchange for a check"? Why not just hand over the check? That way you don't need to cut as many checks to people supervising the work, obtaining the equipment to do the work, etc.
A guaranteed income and other proposals for major expansion of general cash transfers fail all three tests of feasibility: incentives, finances and politics. Taking even modest initial steps toward a guaranteed income is likely to further starve critically needed targeted cash transfers and diverse in-kind benefits. These initial steps are also unlikely to proceed very far or to be fundamentally effective in combating poverty. Thus, the siren call of a simple cash fix for poverty is likely to divert both policy developments and political efforts away from more realistic and effective paths. A far better strategy is to refine and better support policy instruments known to improve the lives of the poor in meaningful ways.
Getting a monthly cheque could mean not having to take the first crappy job that appears if you get fired or the economy tanks (...) Those crappy jobs might be easier to resist for a while but they might also get a bit crappier if employers know the state is effectively giving them a subsidy that keeps workers out of the most desperate poverty.
L’instauration d’un revenu de base impliquerait par sa philosophie et pour son financement la suppression de certaines prestations sociales : allocations familiales, minima sociaux, allocation de handicap, minimum vieillesse, allocations-chômage et même, pour les plus extrémistes des libéraux, l’assurance-maladie… Le revenu de base deviendrait ainsi un solde de tout compte qui remplace de multiples allocations et droits et livre les populations aux compagnies d’assurance pour leur protection sociale, nous rapprochant du système en vigueur aux États-Unis. Ces suppressions constituent la motivation principale d’un certain nombre de promoteurs du revenu universel. Elles entraîneraient une baisse très importante de la protection sociale. En revanche, selon certaines propositions, les impôts payés par les plus riches (45% d’imposition) se trouveraient allégés de façon parfois très importante.
The problem’s not only income, but what people have to spend it on. Paine didn’t talk about universal income, he talked about everybody should have the right to a place to live, a means of their own self-support. That’s independent from income. Once you economize and financialize it, you put in a distortion. You don’t want to give people income to buy what really should be public goods and services outside of the market. You don’t want to give people more income simply to pay monopolistic public utilities for extortionate charges for water, sewer, electricity, cable TV and education. These are things that should be removed from the marketplace, not giving people the income to buy overpriced and monopolized real estate and infrastructure services that should be public in the first place.
The right-wing version of UBI (...) is that the government should provide its citizens with a basic income at the subsistence level, while providing no (or little) further goods and services. As far as I can see, this is the version of UBI supported by the Silicon Valley companies. I am totally against this. There are left-wing libertarians who support UBI, who would set its level quite high, which would require quite a high degree of income redistribution. But they too believe that collective provision of "basic" goods and services through the welfare state should be minimized (although their "minimum" would be considerably larger than the neo-liberal one). This version is more acceptable to me, but I am not convinced by it. 1st: if the members of a society are collectively provisioning some goods and services, they have the collective right to influence how people use their basic entitlements. 2nd: provision through a universal welfare state makes social services much cheaper-
Each job offered under a federal employment assurance would be at a wage rate above the poverty threshold, and would include benefits like health insurance. A public sector job guarantee would establish a quality of work and the level of compensation offered for all jobs. The program would be great for the country: It could meet a wide range of the nation’s physical and human infrastructure needs, ranging from the building and maintenance of roads, bridges and highways, to school upkeep and the provision of quality child care services. It would also function as an automatic stabilizer, a program that could expand with downturns of the economy and contract with upturns.
La natura progressiva e democratica del reddito di cittadinanza si rivela così un tragico equivoco. Costituendo una formidabile accoppiata con la tanto desiderata “meritocrazia”, questa ideologia della povertà instilla il falso convincimento che le diseguaglianze economiche e sociali siano qualcosa di naturale. La conseguenza è che coloro che si sono trovati in stato di povertà (i cosiddetti “neo-poveri”) siano spinti a seguire il flusso mainstream delle opinioni, e inizino così a chiedere meno tasse, meno spesa pubblica, meno Welfare, meno controlli su imprese e capitali (leggi i “lacci e lacciuoli” visti sempre come negativi e dunque da levare), meno diritti per i lavoratori. La povertà trova così un suo temibile supplemento psicologico consistente nell’aver interiorizzato il discorso del neoliberismo, confermato nella sua valenza morale e nella sua istanza pedagogica. L’espressione “reddito di cittadinanza” non è che l’ultimo anello aggiuntosi al dominante discorso del “meno”.
The job guarantee is a proposal that provides greater macroeconomic stability and secures a fundamental human right. The job guarantee would run through the social enterprise sector, which includes traditional nonprofit organizations and emerging nonprofit social entrepreneurial ventures.
The reason they adore UBI isn’t to do with their commitment to lift a growing underclass out of poverty; that’s just a bedtime story that helps the super-wealthy sleep. Instead, it’s more to permit spending on their goods by what remains of the American middle class. No one on a stagnant wage can currently buy the things that Musk—and the rest of Silicon Valley—wants to sell them.
The basic income will further divide society and prevent social mobility. Those who, due to their family background, have good prospects for interesting employment and high income will maintain their existing work ethic, engaging in school and study, and maybe taking a sabbatical or two in between. This is a good thing. However, life will become more difficult for young people from parts of society already at a disadvantage in terms of education – those from working class and migrant families. The sweet poison of the basic income will accompany them in every step of their school life and vocational training.(...) There is still a lot of work necessary to improve society that cannot be accomplished through the labour market, but that still needs to be acknowledged. But the unconditional basic income is the wrong way to accomplish this.
Government simply isn't capable of planning what should be done. And we can't just do really simple things because we don't have any really simple things to do with lots of labour. Thus the idea of a government job guarantee just isn't going to work.
Basic Income does not affect the causes of income inequality and wealth, of precarious jobs, of poverty and of unbearable life conditions. It would only mitigate their disastrous effects. Measures such as the Basic Income can, maybe, make precariousness and unemployment more bearable in the short term, but do not eliminate them.
Make no mistake: modern welfare states leave plenty to be desired. Disability benefits are for many people an unsatisfactory version of a basic income, providing those who will no longer work with enough to get by. But rather than upend society with radical welfare reforms premised on a job-killing technological revolution that has not yet happened, governments should make better use of the tools they already have.
Establecer un salario ciudadano cuando nuestro Estado del Bienestar está tan poco desarrollado es comenzar la casa por el tejado. Hay que garantizar que todo ciudadano y residente pueda tener los recursos necesarios para vivir una vida digna y ello implica que el estado debe garantizar que los ciudadanos y residentes puedan alcanzar tal nivel de renta, bien a través del trabajo, bien a través de otras fuentes, incluidas las transferencias públicas, a la cual tenga derecho por sus circunstancias. Y esta renta debería ser superior a la que se cita frecuentemente como renta básica, que es más parecida en España a una prestación asistencial antipobreza que no como derecho universal.
Ha costado mucho llegar a tener algunos derechos básicos, y ahora el neoliberalismo lo rompe todo: el sistema educativo, la sanidad... Dando un dinero a cada ciudadano estás trasladando la responsabilidad desde el Estado a las personas, para que se las apañen como puedan. No tiene sentido darle lo mismo a todo el mundo, lo que necesitamos es un sistema de bienestar completo e integrad
Yo defiendo que el Estado garantice que todos los ciudadanos sin excepción dispongan de ingresos suficientes para vivir con dignidad. Pero no creo que la mejor forma de lograrlo sea la renta básica porque desvincula derechos de obligaciones y supone tratar igual a los desiguales, principios que no comparto, como creo que le ocurre a muchas personas. Porque no tiene en cuenta la individualización de las capacidades humanas y su desigual alcance y porque me parece que establecerla sin modificar la división sexual y social del trabajo o los procesos de socialización multiplicaría la desigualdad, sobre todo entre mujeres y hombres. Además, creo que la experiencia demuestra claramente que para combatir la pobreza y la exclusión son mucho más eficientes el pleno empleo masculino y femenino, la desmercantilización y el reparto del trabajo, los salarios dignos, las pensiones públicas...
Cari amici che sognate il rifiuto del lavoro, questa non è la stessa cosa che la liberazione dal lavoro ed è una cultura di destra e tutt’altro che antagonista al sistema. Voi aspirate a vivere con le briciole che cadono dal banchetto dell’ipercapitalismo finanziario, ma durerà ancora poco. E poi, vivere senza lavorare non è questa idea così nuova: da secoli lo fanno padroni e rentier alle spalle degli altri. E’ per questo motivo che sono e sarò sempre contrario ad ogni forma di “reddito di cittadinanza” che è solo un espediente delle classi dirigenti neoliberiste per gestire questa fase di passaggio senza correre rischi di rivolta sociale.
Hamon est peut-être plus radical, dans son approche, il cherche à proposer un autre modèle. D'où son idée de revenu universel, qui part du principe que l'emploi se raréfie, ce qu'on peut constater effectivement. Mais je ne pense pas que ce soit la bonne solution. Il y a une demande de travail, c'est un besoin exprimé par la population. Le travail, c'est la participation à la société, à la cité. Et la valeur créée dans l'économie vient du travail. Le capital, pour reprendre des termes marxiens, c'est du travail mort.
La proposition avancée [par le revenu universel] ne contribue à résoudre ni le problème du chômage ni ceux de la pauvreté et des inégalités. Elle s’appuie sur l’idée fausse que le travail serait en voie de disparition, que les protections sociales seraient obsolètes et que nous serions condamnés à vivre dans une société de plus en plus ‘uberisée’
S’il règle le problème du non-recours et réduit la pauvreté monétaire, s’il permet d’éviter la stigmatisation et de supprimer les contrôles humiliants, le revenu de base a un coût financier important, non pas dû à son objectif principal, aider les personnes en situation de précarité, mais à une conséquence latérale, verser une somme importante à tous. Vu ce coût, la crédibilité de sa mise en place est faible.