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Universal Basic Income
Opinions from 234 influencers(add more?) of which:
Mark Zuckerberg CEO at FacebookAn 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.
Andrew Ng Baidu; Stanford CS faculty; founded Coursera and Google BrainIt would give individuals a safety net and a place from which to acquire new skills. However, we might not be ready to accept the idea of paying people for "no reason." I advocate instead providing this income in exchange for their studying
Yanis Varoufakis Former finance minister of Greece, is Professor of Economics at the University of AthensEither we are going to have a basic income that regulates this new society of ours, or we are going to have very substantial social conflicts that get far worse with xenophobia and refugees and migration and so forth.
Elon Musk Founder of SpaceX, cofounder of Tesla, SolarCity & PayPalI think we'll end up doing universal basic income. It's going to be necessary.
Robert Reich Former Secretary of LaborA minimal guarantee with regard to income, it seems to me as almost inevitable in terms the direction that the structural changes of our economy are taking us in.
Tim Berners-Lee Inventor of the World Wide WebIt is one of the ways of addressing massive global inequality
Christopher Pissarides Nobel Prize in EconomicsI am very much in favour, as long as we know how to apply it without taking away incentive to work at the lower end of the market
Brian Eno ArtistThe basic income is needed to serve the creative genius of the community (i.e. the ‘scenius’)
Tim O'Reilly Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media. Investor. Studied at Harvard University.I completely agree that Universal Basic Income is a good idea. But I think that’s just the beginning of the discussion.
Eric Ries Author of The Lean StartupEven an extremely modest universal basic income could pay huge dividends
Enrique Dans Professor of Innovation at IE Business School and bloggerUtopia? Not at all. We need to advance the discussion and make politicians understand that it is the only way forward. And if we don’t move forward, we’re going to end up in a place none of us is going to like.
Sam Altman President of Y Combinator. Investor at Reddit, Stripe, Change.org, Pinterest and many othersI think it’s good to start studying [basic income] early. I’m fairly confident that at some point in the future, as technology continues to eliminate traditional jobs and massive new wealth gets created, we’re going to see some version of this at a national scale.
Martin Wolf Chief economics commentator at the Financial TimesWe will need to redistribute income and wealth. Such redistribution could take the form of a basic income for every adult, together with funding of education and training at any stage in a person’s life
Molly Crabapple ArtistThe number one thing that would let more independent artists exists in America is a universal basic income.
Dustin Moskovitz Co-founder of FacebookHow can we help as many people as possible as much as possible with the resources we have?
Noam Chomsky Linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activistIt 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 peo... See More
Scott Santens Writer & Basic Income advocateThe question is not if technology is advanced enough to adopt it. The question is if UBI can advance tech. Basic income is the missing foundation upon which everything else should be built upon.
Ralph Callebert History Professor, Virginia TechWe usually focus on employment and production. Yet, much of the world’s population has no realistic prospects of employment, and we already produce more than what is sustainable. Basic income, however, separates survival from employment or production.
Richard Branson Founder of Virgin (400 companies)Policies like these can help people struggling just to survive and allow them to get on their feet, be entrepreneurial and be more creative.
Toomas Hendrik Ilves President of Estonia since 2006The rapid replacement of jobs by machines/artifical intelligence will lead to the need for a Universal Basic Income.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu Social Rights Activist Who Fought ApartheidThe basic income movement is designed to enhance the dignity and well-being inclusion of all people and move us closer to our vision of social equity
Martin Ford Futurist & NY Times bestselling author of #RiseoftheRobotsBasic income can be a solution to inequality and insecurity, not just mass unemployment
Pedro Domingos Professor of computer science at UW and author of 'The Master Algorithm'In developed countries, we don't let people starve or go without emergency medical care, so we effectively already have a basic income. Let's start by making it less random and inefficient.
Andy Stern Author Raising the Floor; Richman Center, Columbia University; Former President SEIUWe're about to lose some of the most basic programs we had [because of technology], like Medicare, potentially. I don’t think there's any proof that it's any more politically feasible to hold on to what we have than to build on a big new idea.
Jean-Yves Duclos Minister of Families, Children and Social Development in CanadaI think it’s the principles behind the idea [of a guaranteed income] that matter. These principles are greater simplicity for the government, greater transparency on the part of families and greater equity for everyone
Darian Shirazi CEO of RadiusWe have a small technological aristocracy and a middle class struggling to catch up with the demands of a more efficient economy. Basic income can bring a baseline and offer freedom to those trapped by our new economy.
Willem Buiter Citi's Chief EconomistUse the tax-transfer mechanism (e.g. through a guaranteed minimum income for all, or an ambitious negative income tax, public funding of health care and long-term care etc.) to support those left behind by technological advances.
Tim Höttges CEO of Deutsch TelekomWe have to shield our society. An unconditional simple income can be a basis to lead a decent existence.
Chris Hughes Facebook co-FounderI’m supportive of the idea of a basic income over the long term and believe that one day something of this size will likely be necessary to cope with the impact of automation and globalized trade on the United States
Keith Hobbs Mayor of Thunder Bay, CanadaIf you have a basic income, you have a certain degree of self-worth. A set income and a ‘housing first’ strategy would work wonders,
Bill Gates Philanthropist. Founder and former CEO of Microsoft.Even the US isn't rich enough to allow people not to work. Some day we will be but until then things like the Earned Income Tax Credit will help increase the demand for labor.
Joseph Stiglitz Nobel laureate economist based at Columbia UniversityYou want your government to think more carefully about targeting programmes that help those in need, rather than universal. That’s a trade-off given the budget constraints on the public sector
Branko Milanovic Economist. Development and inequality expert.Economically, states already guarantee a basic salary under certain conditions, for example in cases of unemployment or extreme poverty. With universal basic income, this assistance would no longer be temporary or linked to a certain condition, and I don’t think it would be sustainable. Moreover, I don’t like the idea of a world where work is no longer a form of self-realisation for citizens. I im... See More
Yuval Noah Harari Israeli historian and a tenured professor at the Hebrew University of JerusalemPaying people not to work will only increase inequality and rancor. [...] If universal basic income is aimed to improve the objective conditions of the average person in 2050, it has a fair chance of succeeding. But if it is aimed to make people subjectively more satisfied with their lot in order to prevent social discontent, it is likely to fail.
Bill Mitchell Professor of Economics and MusicianA basic income guarantee is a neo-liberal strategy for serfdom without the work ... In addition to a Job Guarantee we also demand a Services Guarantee. It is no good having a bare minimum income if the dentists and doctors and shops in your town are closed and the public transport system is deficient.
Louis-Philippe Rochon Full Professor of Economics; Co-Editor of the Review of Keynesian EconomicsA guaranteed annual income is not an end in itself. It should not be viewed as a replacement for a full employment policy. If the purpose is to reduce inequality and poverty, there are other solutions: bringing real changes to the tax system, getting tougher on fiscal havens, introducing inheritance taxes and of course, jobs, jobs, jobs.
Tony Atkinson Research Fellow at Oxford and Professor at the London School of EconomicsI don’t in fact favour a basic income as such, what I favour is what I call a participation income
David de Ugarte Economist and co-founder of the co-op Sociedad de las Indias ElectrónicasThe basic income is attractive: it’s individually empowering, it crosses ideological borders, it’s a technocrat’s dream… but it would have terrible social and moral consequences: xenophobia, inequality, and a rise in the power of Big Businesses.
Leigh Phillips Journalist & science writer (Nature, Sci Am, New Scientist, Guardian, Telegraph). Austerity EcThe UBI short-cut to more leisure time, less poverty, and strengthened unions delivered up on a platter by a corporate-captured state that has demonstrated for 40 years it is committed to the opposite of all this is a fantasy. If we want more leisure time, we have to get productivity growing again. And to get productivity growing again, labour has to become more expensive. And the only way for lab... See More
Scott Ferguson Asst. Prof of Film & Media Studies; UC Berkeley PhD; Research Scholar @ Binzagr Institute; BayWithout an associated public Job Guarantee, the Universal Basic Income is merely welfare by another name: a laissez-faire solution to contemporary social and ecological crises.
Randall Wray Professor of Economics at U. Missouri–Kansas City, Senior Scholar at Levy Economics InstituteI do not support sending a BIG check to everyone. It is a devaluation of the currency, as prices rise so that the BIG payment essentially becomes the entry price to the marketplace. So we will need to target the BIG to those who do not (or cannot) work. Yes there’s some stigma. But, first we implement Employer of Last Resort so that anyone who is ready and willing to work has a job in the Job Gua... See More
Jean-Marie Harribey Economist. Conseil scientific d'Attac France. Economistes Aterrés. Fondation Copernic.Would the payment of a basic income to the whole population foster the same macroeconomic mechanism (i.e. a demand-led stimulation)? Yes if such payments anticipate additional production. But, by definition, the unconditional basic income is isolated from any anticipation and therefore from any social validation, as it is unconditional. The utility value of free work (for example the social link o... See More
Vincent Cheynet Journalist. Degrowth activist. Editor-in-chief de La Décroissance magazine.This puerile regression takes multiple forms : for example the desire of receiving without never contributing to the collective effort – the latter being typical of fetuses and infants. This proposition seems of course at first very nice for whoever remembers the principles of justice. Beyond all the criticism of the unconditional income […], its main flaw seem to us within this framework. This i... See More
People of the Swiss Confederation Federal republic in Europe, with a mix of representative and direct democracy.1.896.963 (76,9 %) electors rejected UBI, which was rejected in all the cantons as well
Dominique Plihon Economist. Spokesman of Attac France. President of Attac France Scientific Council.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... See More
Ha-Joon Chang Economist. University of CambridgeThe 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, whi... See More
Elizabeth S. Anderson Philosopher. University of Michigan.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 expen... See More
Richard D. Wolff Marxian economist. Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, AmherstUBI creates a new difference between those people who work and earn a living and those people who, for wathever reason, don't work but still earn a living. This is going to create two classes of people (...) and for me the big issue is why do that?. I like the idea of community building by not having people that are extremely wealthy or extremely poor, but I don't like this way of doing it, becau... See More
Pavlina R. Tcherneva Economist. Chair of the Department of Economics at the Levy Economics Institute, Bard College,There is almost a ‘neoclassical market equilibrating assumption’ behind most BIG analysis that says: “as long as people have cash, the market will magically provide the goods for them, allow them to acquire assets, provide them with the freedom to do what they please, etc. etc.” If the market hasn’t solved these problems now, why would it do so just because people get cash? All structures that ma... See More
Anke Hassel Sociologist. Professor at the Hertie School of Governance. Director of Hans Böckler FoundationThe 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 societ... See More
The Economist News and analysis with a global perspective.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 ... See More
Paul Palsterman Juriste au service d'études de la Confédération des Syndicats Chrétiens de Belgique (CSC).By applying to a fundamentally unequal situation a perfectly equal treatment does not create more equality: it reinforces instead existing inequalities. Far from being fair, it is on the opposite the negation of justice. Regarding social efficiency, we can easily demonstrate that the project has none
Dany Lang Economist. Associate Professor at University of Paris 13. Researcher at CNRS.I don't believe in the relevance of the universal basic income proposal. [...] Personally, it is a proposal that embodies the idea of the end of work, i.e. it will not be possible any more to ensure full employment for all. However, in a society where there are many social needs not yet fulfilled, because the market mechanisms do not manage to satisfy them and because the Government, both central ... See More
Stéphanie Treillet Economist. Université Paris - Est Créteil. Conseil Scientific d'Attac France-La possibilité (pour les femmes uniquement) de retrait du marché du travail grâce au Revenu d'Existenve semble constituer, dans les versions considérées comme « progressistes », la réponse en miroir aux incitations à accepter n’importe quel travail, dans les versions les plus libérales (proches des politiques actuelles de workfare) présentant une allocation universelle comme un outil de flexibilis... See More
Daniel Zamora Sociologist. Université Libre de Bruxelles Institut de sociologieThe popularity of universal basic income is in reality a triumph of the neoliberal ideology, an ideology that refuses, in any social policy, to put inequalities at the center of our democracies. Basically, it is an illusory fight against poverty without really fighting against inequalities
Seth Ackerman Doctoral candidate in History at Cornell. Editorial board of Jacobin magazine.Reducing work-time(...) is enormously preferable, because everyone benefits equally and together. The alternative – reducing the number of workers per capita (with an UBI) – amounts to the creation of essentially arbitrary classes of idle and segmented citizens, whose existence would be virtually guaranteed to divide and embitter the working class to the benefit of reactionary pro-work politics.
Dmytri Kleiner Venture Communist. Miscommunications Technologist. Telekommunisten Polemicist. ThoughtWorks AnUBI does not alleviate poverty and turns social necessities into products for profit. To truly address inequality we need adequate social provisioning. If we want to reduce means testing and dependency on capitalist employment, we can do so with capacity planning. Our political demands should mandate sufficient housing, healthcare, education, childcare and all basic human necessities for all. Rath... See More
Vincent Conitzer Professor of computer science, economics, and philosophy at Duke UniversityThe idea that recent progress in AI will prevent most people from meaningfully contributing to society is nonsense
Anne Eydoux Economist. Cnam.Centre d'études de l'emploi et du travail.LISE. ParisThe different approaches to UBI do not escape to criticism: either they don’t mention the gender issue or they more or less defend the idea of a maternal salary, with the risk of stating that the latter would be favorable to women emancipation. Hence, the risk is real – we use as a proof the analysis of a “universal” basic income measure already implemented (education parental income, targeting al... See More
Paul Ariès Political scientist. Editor of Les Zindigné(es). Observatoire International de la gratuitéTo exit the true/false debate on the universal basic income, let’s defend the free public service! (…) To defend and increase the weight of free goods is to give everybody what they need to live, in an unconditional way but with a revenue largely demonetized, diseconomized. It is therefore to exit from capitalism.
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