Ten points about Citizen’s Income

We discuss Citizen’s Income in New Escapologist Issue 4 and 9, but let’s enjoy a quick summary.

1. Citizen’s Income would guarantee a basic, government-administered, living allowance to all citizens.

2. It would be paid for by existing rates of income and consumption taxes.

3. It would make work less essential but would not abolish it. All that would be abolished would be the pointless and demeaning work usually done out of economic necessity.

4. The idea of a bread line would become redundant.

5. Tax money would no longer be spent on the massive bureaucratic architectures that currently support the welfare systems.

6. The “stipend” (currently in the expensive and threatened forms of welfare, disability benefit, tax relief etc) would no longer be undignified or demoralizing since everyone would be in receipt of it.

7. People who still want to work, could afford to take their time over finding the right job.

8. Since people would no longer be desperate for work, employment standards would have to be higher. People would be able to take less shit in the workplace since they’d be better empowered to walk away from bad work situations.

9. Part-time work would become a more reasonable employment option. It might even become the norm.

10. People could spend their unemployed time doing something useful for themselves or for society instead of flipping patties in fast food outlets or watching the red hand of the office clock tick away their youth.

There’s a nice website about Citizen’s Income pilots around the world and its feasibility in the UK. And the Scottish Green Party are pretty keen on it, as explained in this handy PDF.

For clarification (since this discussion began with the Player Piano dystopia) we do not need a system of machine automation in order to make Citizen’s Income feasible. But Citizen’s Income could be a solution to the human employment crisis after the robot uprising.

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Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at www.wringham.co.uk/about.

One Response to “Ten points about Citizen’s Income”

  1. Oldfool says:

    If we could just introduce these ideas to the “tea party”.
    They would implode sucking themselves into a navel sized dot. A large dot as many of them have become obese being conservative.

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