Universal Basic Income

The idea of a universal basic income is about to leap from the margins to the mainstream, bringing promises of a happier and healthier population.

Today’s Guardian publishes very positive article by John Harris, summing up the rising tide of interest in Citizen’s Income.

The positive consequences extend into the distance: women are newly financially independent and able to exit abusive relationships, public health is noticeably improved, and people are able to devote the time to caring that an ever-ageing society increasingly demands. All the political parties are signed up: just as the welfare state underpinned the 20th century, so this new idea defines the 21st.

And to anyone who can get to London on May 8th, there’s this interesting-looking CI event at Conway Hall.

[A] big theme […] is that of automation, and its effects on the place of work in our lives. A third of jobs in UK retail are forecast to go by 2025. The Financial Times recently reported on research predicting that 114,000 jobs in British legal sector would be automated over the next 20 years.

★ Buy the brand-new Issue 12 of New Escapologist at the shop; buy our most popular digital bundle; or get the Escape Everything! book.

About

Robert Wringham is a humorist and the editor-in-chief of New Escapologist.

2 Responses to “Universal Basic Income”

  1. spectre says:

    You are forgetting something basic: Someone else is paying for it. Its not Santa. Its not fair, healthy or moral to make other people work more hours, be more stressed to pay for others, not even mentioning that economically it doesnt make sense. Let people make more money from their jobs, so they will not need to work as much.

  2. Hi Spectre. I didn’t forget. This is only the latest in a longer string of posts at this blog on the topic, and there has been far more in-depth discussion about the ethics and practicalities of UBI elsewhere. Try Inventing the Future by Srniceck and Williams.

    Studies show that people actually don’t work less when given UBI, so your concern about people not working is so far unfounded. It would just create a world where people could come to work through a desire for meaning or to help society instead of being economically bullied into it through the threat of poverty.

    Moreover, under the current system we have today there are plenty people who don’t work and are economically propped up by the working population, usually through no choice of their own. UBI is for them as much as for us.

    There may be problems with UBI that we’ve not thought of yet, but the “moral” problem you mention isn’t really one and the funding issue is being studied carefully by greater minds than mine.

Leave a Reply

Latest issues and offers

1-7

Issues One to Seven

A bundle of our first seven issues. Featuring minimalism, Houdini, Leo Babauta, Bohemianism, Alain de Botton, Sartre, and Tom Hodgkinson. 567 pages. £35.

8-11

Issues Eight to Thirteen

A bundle of our last six issues. Featuring Luke Rhinehart, Flaubert, Mr Money Mustache, part-time work, Will Self, home life, Richard Herring, and E. F. Schumacher. 593 pages. £30.

Issue Thirteen

Our final edition. Featuring an interview with celebrity mortician Caitlin Doughty; Matt Caulfield on zen fool Ryokan; and Reggie C. King on David Bowie and Sun Ra. 122 pages. £7.

Escape Everything!

A hardbacked guide to scarpering. Essential reading for wage slaves and slugabeds alike. Published by Unbound. 230 pages. £12.