¡ LIVE NOW @ live.novaramedia.com !
midwives nus Niki Seth-Smith lgbt london underground Secular Crisis student debt global debout british empire forest fire boko haram sussex fascism Dawkins print media marx legal aid christmas calais benefits travellers marketing catalan independence coalition UKIP david harvey unemployment news momentum mental health pasokification aboriginal detention privatization zero hours workers racism deflation post-fordism tuc care work religion economic left bloc evictions reclaim the streets eu referendum interest south america united left greek election arts ultras Elections another europe is possible education nuit debout demands care no borders charlie hebdo met gangs Economy charlie lahr soas budget2014 divestment ref cuts pablo iglesias sweden ge2020 climate london hospitality deportation adam stoneman Aaron Bastani intervention native steel industry diane abbott boycotts social democracy bae systems elon musk pay ACAB rmt trolling safety Scottish Independence stealing antiziganism freedom of movement telefonica desire borders nhs university of london cantona anxiety trans chris grayling magdalene laundries krugman millbank landlords privatisaton uffc holocaust food productivity antifascism grants electoral reform electoralism george osborne global warming wales justice renting citizenship money fortress europe al qaeda fracking whiteness nypd scotland jeremy hunt culture hydra rbi business ipr fees ulu mark zuckerberg rob ford genocide housing action television Claudia Jones unions organising social networks spanish election socialism precarity neoliberalism oil community organising tax evasion mcgettigan novaraeu miliband uber eric pickles jobs red wedge mitterand estate international development esol footwear islamophobia bouchart plaid cymru bds china budget start up airstrikes establishment protest catalonia canada internet left remembrance crimea student loans student movement eire treasury terrorism omar aziz carpenters populism drones pops sinn fein barcelona en comu class lse michel temer football armenians automation occupation west bank radical housing network housing crisis armenian genocide general election hollaback social housing 15m tampon tax house of commons deficit james meek pensions local media pay gap morality theresa may obama Police yes scotland blair pharmaceuticals BBC russia brazil technology rotherham tactics psoe anti-capitalism eurozone radical reformism age chuka umunna malawi free papua jo johnson degrowth law leaders debate orientalism christianity paul nuttall books yemen bis irish water sexual assault direct action green party ge2015 cop21 ferguson he white paper uaf reshuffle hsbc survivors social reproduction bonuses imf sexual violence capitalism IndyRef Labour Party revuelta de escaleras magna carta focus e15 rpi thatcher conference season uprising isis snp crime presidential race 2016c open democracy regeneration rusell brand womens liberation sussex five fbu house of lords gdp sian berry ecb immigration syria uk uncut theft iww suicide is tsipras mayoral election westminster zac goldsmith students anarchism iwgb far-right revolt of the ladders people's assembly buy-to-let free speech refugees fe natalie bennett columnism debt industry jeremy corbyn ubi portugal ahora madrid birmingham independent media james butler higher education revolution ello deep state ecology pfi government science youtube dover kerry zabludowicz indonesia tuition fees ireland social strike uk industry secret employee precarious europe hillary clinton mike brown war free education intersectionality iraq indignados environment publishing jesus health energy greens electoral fraud romanichal ncafc review gary barlow economics strike he martin lewis maria miller corbyn arms trade gender spanish civil war digital media bennett asn fianna fail golden dawn 22o easter rising clr james foreign policy cnd working class cooperatives dale farm dan whittall Policing police brutality nef paris attacks memes post-capitalism france ttip eleanor penny human rights help to buy rabina khan owen jones squatting unite mexico comedy dilma rousseff armenia employment mark duggan lobo libertarianism cities state grexit universities andy burnham bulgaria mental health week welfare state barts health Adam Ramsay Race manifesto visas future libdems frankfurt funerals communism political economy tef maps history daesh asia production mhairi black cost of living arab spring bnp eurovision housing journalism saudi arabia corruption europe kobane space nuclear banks romania tax nick clegg privatisation apps europe week malcolm x arms industry lawrence and wishart assad localism right to buy prison gaza palestine m18 depression andrew dolan free syrian army blockupy Gentrification queer ge2012 yarls wood ethics madness catalunya accessibility left unity Tom Abree student strike picketprofiteers conservatives barclays radical lives modi trident environmentalism london mayor palm oil spain occupy asylum mark carney novara10k Centre Left new labour financialisation industrial action international bingo tony abbott netanyahu oxi salmond olympics nato arran james property syrian civil war rape conchita primaries rape culture long read latin america middle east property guardians #copsoffcampus media national liberation ludova strana nase slovensko marxism miners strike hague new democracy Media bias junior doctors ukba isil data riots privacy edl YesVote hotels burnham roma subversion pluralism kurds labour heathrow northern ireland ukraine poverty living wage work refusal cup videos reappropriation engels spending tories results nurses balls councils university security eastern europe hamas tabloids sisi foreign aid psychiatry bjp pop culture greece police violence class struggle glasgow inequality sadiq khan homelessness loans legitimacy sophie lewis podemos egypt unionism tube climate change blockadia sport israel yes scotand trade unions freefede universal basic income eu warwick putin finance geography sturgeon tax reform Tuzla britain first nationalism tesla housing benefit kurdistan vaga de totes germany masons cable izquierda unida bias novara wire australia comedians rhodes projects aid transport wages ciudadanos solidarity mark regev synthetic hedge ual mubarak demographics world cup basic income rent strike migrants denis o brien angela mcrobie music obr public sector risk refusal of work clegg alienation work ethic pride morsi social cleansing tabitha bast bank of england young people newham consumption rent idf support cameron utopia individualism socialist full unemployment domestic violence willetts colonialism strategy of refusal England protests atheism troika reproductive rights athens social media feminism libspill cpi james meadway workfare strikes new york fuel poverty austerity labour movement migrant facebook local government student politics modern monetary theory crisis varoufakis pasok property rights migration international brigades growth democracy west papua david cameron not fair not safe costas lapavitsas value india slovakia politicians alia al ghussain bell hooks rojava usa communities bernie sanders spaceX interviews gypsies precariousness social movements mob tower hamlets uk autonomism erdogan silicon valley workplace reappropriation david willetts inflation sexism syriza democrats couriers orange order john mcdonnell migrant labour big pharma architecture romani bullshit jobs reparations politics brexit turkey star trek prevent women iran literature

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

submit to reddit
Pocket

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.