¡ LIVE NOW @ live.novaramedia.com !
comedians videos organising property rights treasury nato spending workfare comedy Scottish Independence no borders employment west bank Tom Abree gaza is interviews podemos post-capitalism economics books direct action Gentrification feminism cities football intersectionality music uk uncut uprising living wage secret employee mcgettigan workers uk privacy workplace reappropriation canada social reproduction culture uffc womens liberation kerry higher education police violence people's assembly nurses precarity start up ukraine 22o student movement synthetic hedge money crisis consumption george osborne morsi met depression bonuses marketing wages technology nypd romanichal cameron brazil solidarity nef free education financialisation paul nuttall catalan independence neoliberalism pfi focus e15 strike thatcher conchita gender sussex crimea labour he cantona migrants electoral fraud mental health reproductive rights mubarak tabitha bast demographics london crime results stealing class atheism Claudia Jones YesVote social networks suicide maria miller autonomism ello clr james romani ireland publishing eu sisi basic income Adam Ramsay Media bias England Tuzla hydra modi malcolm x Labour Party chuka umunna anarchism ncafc health israel palestine big pharma vaga de totes holocaust facebook asia libdems lgbt jeremy hunt bingo anti-capitalism Economy Policing rusell brand asylum isis politics bnp tax reform newham Race mark carney cable europe dale farm conservatives syria architecture Police red wedge pluralism digital media sophie lewis putin greens education public sector mark regev rent rape privatization antiziganism ubi willetts ulu arab spring Secular Crisis morality cuts racism right to buy conference season strikes women universal basic income rob ford syriza marxism finance cpi yes scotand madness arran james cost of living catalonia eire tax evasion estate andy burnham refusal of work warwick Elections spain sexism nus david willetts Aaron Bastani inequality left geography student debt germany obr bouchart apps gypsies property libertarianism roma interest james meek iraq theft future olympics student loans radical lives eric pickles ultras trolling native airstrikes unions demands homelessness Centre Left owen jones socialist uaf irish water riots trans care loans capitalism ACAB UKIP catalunya rpi hague social cleansing marx Dawkins zero hours idf projects rape culture silicon valley anxiety evictions andrew dolan james butler britain first 15m rbi hollaback eurovision natalie bennett boko haram antifascism pablo iglesias business world cup balls eleanor penny help to buy obama political economy mark zuckerberg trident glasgow miliband ge2012 politicians pay adam stoneman housing unemployment memes fees reappropriation production millbank asn ethics james meadway journalism scotland tuition fees pop culture national liberation star trek growth inflation angela mcrobie strategy of refusal communities yes scotland ge2015 edl rent strike government aboriginal austerity mike brown precarious europe Niki Seth-Smith birmingham desire usa bias IndyRef internet general election immigration occupy egypt carpenters david harvey france alia al ghussain space green party care work dan whittall literature coalition martin lewis sport hamas history refusal new york greece cup value psoe midwives fascism productivity manifesto psychiatry footwear uber data student politics queer occupation ttip middle east china prison international calais protests #copsoffcampus social movements orientalism mark duggan localism mob university of london engels social housing bjp gary barlow columnism post-fordism benefits pharmaceuticals funerals landlords travellers tories nhs utopia india colonialism housing crisis buy-to-let masons review rotherham nationalism charlie lahr krugman young people tax bell hooks television Craig McVegas al qaeda work ferguson police brutality university russia protest populism open democracy intervention welfare state orange order salmond lawrence and wishart trade unions ipr isil debt budget2014 BBC david cameron privatisation

Do They Owe Us a Living? 7 Reasons the Universal Basic Income is Worth Fighting For.

submit to reddit

The Universal Basic Income (UBI) – sometimes called the Unconditional Basic Income, Citizens’ Income or Social Wage – has in recent times become a focus of economic discussion across the political spectrum. While column inches in the Financial Times and The Economist have been racking up, academics such as Stuart White have been articulating how valid cases for the UBI can be made from communist, liberal and republican perspectives. Here Andrew Dolan offers 7 reasons why the UBI should matter to people who want to move beyond capitalism:

1. Wages aren’t working.

Since the 2008 financial crisis it has become increasingly impossible to survive on wage labour. In real terms, wages in the UK have declined 9 percent in the last 5 years, whilst in the same period the cost of living has risen 25 percent. Combined with mass unemployment and the reduction of welfare the situation is worse than any in recent memory. Whether in or out of work, poverty is a reality for millions of people living in the UK, the world’s sixth largest economy.

2. Full employment is neither possible nor desirable.

From Conservative to Labour to the TUC, the solution offered to this problem is reducible to one dominant idea: economic growth. Grow the economy and jobs will follow, or so the logic goes. Yet as automation accelerates and human labour becomes ever more unnecessary for the production of goods a return to full employment is quite simply impossible, with or without growth. As for an expanding service sector, neither Costa nor Credit Suisse can employ everyone and nor is it desirable that they do. A new response is needed, one that recognises and seeks to overcome these contradictions. A universal basic income is one such response.

3. It’s unconditional.

A universal basic income would ensure that everyone, regardless of employment, earnings, age and gender, receives an income from the state: a single weekly or monthly monetary payment with no stipulations as to how it, or the time of its recipients, is spent. A universal basic income would guarantee a minimum standard of living and relief from poverty where work and current welfare cannot. In this sense, it is an extension of the social democratic promise; as a non-reformist reform, however, it sets the stage for the further transformation of society.

4. It undermines the necessity of work.

However it is funded, as a wage separate from production a universal basic income not only recognises the impossibility of full employment but also has the potential to undermine the mythical sanctity of work—a controlling ideology of capitalism—and accelerate the discussion and struggle over what work is necessary, how it will be done, and for whom. More immediately, a universal basic income could provide the money and time with which to collectively create spaces that embody alternative cultural and social values to those currently dominant.

5. UBI is going mainstream.

Admittedly, the introduction of a universal basic income swims against the seemingly unstoppable neoliberal current, which has accelerated the dismantling of the welfare state and elevated an ethic of entrepreneurial individualism. There are, however, a growing number of mainstream politicians and economists, most notably Paul Krugman, who have voiced support for a universal basic income as a possible solution to the impact of automation and a means through which to redistribute some of the gains of capital and stimulate market demand.

6. UBI represents an opportunity.

Although the vision of Krugman et al remains subservient to economic growth, it is the appeal of a universal basic income to those seeking the maintenance of capitalism that renders its implementation relatively feasible. In other words, the requirements of capitalism—in this instance the need for consumers—create opportunities that can be exploited by those looking to transcend it. If capitalism is to be stabilised once more then let it be on terms more favourable to society and with consequences that lay the foundations for a post-capitalist future.

7. We need to make the case for a UBI on our terms.

One cannot, of course, rely on the largesse of economic and political elites, nor mistake opportunity for inevitability. A universal basic income will not simply be given; it must be demanded, as it has been by growing numbers in Berlin, Rome and in particular Switzerland, amongst others. A universal basic income is not a panacea for the social and economic problems of capitalism and its transformative potential is dependent on greater democratic control of the state and a reduction of the working week. Nor should campaigning for it supersede workplace organising; it should, on the other hand, compliment it. Yet organising for a universal basic income presents the possibility of the employed and unemployed uniting around a shared demand that, whilst recognising the inadequacies of work, seeks not its improvement but the creation of a sphere independent from it.