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.
Baidu; Stanford CS faculty; founded Coursera and Google Brain
It 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
Either 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.
Professor of Innovation at IE Business School and blogger
Utopia? 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.
President of Y Combinator. Investor at Reddit, Stripe, Change.org, Pinterest and many others
I 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.
Chief economics commentator at the Financial Times
We 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
We 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.
Linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist
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 peo...See More
Author Raising the Floor; Richman Center, Columbia University; Former President SEIU
We'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.
We 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.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development in Canada
I 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
Use 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.
I’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
Yuval Noah Harari
Israeli historian and a tenured professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Paying 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.
A 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.
A 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.
David de Ugarte
Economist and co-founder of the co-op Sociedad de las Indias Electrónicas
The 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.
The 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
Sociologist. Université Libre de Bruxelles Institut de sociologie
The 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
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
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
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
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
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
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, whi...See More
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
Professor of Economics at U. Missouri–Kansas City, Senior Scholar at Levy Economics Institute
I 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
Richard D. Wolff
Marxian economist. Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
UBI 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
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.
Venture Communist. Miscommunications Technologist. Telekommunisten Polemicist. ThoughtWorks An
UBI 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
Sociologist. Professor at the Hertie School of Governance. Director of Hans Böckler Foundation
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 societ...See More
Economist. Cnam.Centre d'études de l'emploi et du travail.LISE. Paris
The 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
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
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
To replace a social security system primarily financed by contributions and based on wage solidarity with a rent paid by the Government and financed by tax income seems a war machine against the welfare state. In addition, an income provided unconditionally to anybody can only be mediocre and cannot ensure the financial independence of the beneficiaries. These would be obliged to accept to work fo...See More
Political scientist. Editor of Les Zindigné(es). Observatoire International de la gratuité
To 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.