Universal Basic Income

Universal Basic Income

Definition

Universal basic income is a social concept, the main idea of ​​which is to guarantee the provision of all basic material needs to every person without any conditions, constraints or coercion, for instance, to work.

Every person should receive money from the state on a regular basis simply by birth right, regardless of age, income or any other conditions. This money should be sufficient for living a decent life.

Universal basic income replaces all existing benefits, allowances and privileges, equalizing people in their rights and financial capabilities. It makes it possible not to spend money on the cumbersome budgetary system of administering money, thus saving it.

Universal basic income should become the bedrock of providing for the human material resources in the new fair form of society – the Creative Society.

Synonyms for universal basic income:

  • basic income;
  • unconditional basic income;
  • basic living income;
  • universal income security;
  • universal income;
  • guaranteed annual income;
  • basic income guarantee;
  • guaranteed basic income;
  • citizen’s basic income.

Features of universal basic income (UBI)

  1. It is unconditional. UBI is paid regardless of age, marital status, employment or any income from other sources. As such, it requires no confirmation, certificates or documents (no checks of the financial situation or confirming that it is necessary). There are no conditions, limitations or exceptions;
  2. It is paid at regular intervals, usually monthly;
  3. Payments are made on an ongoing basis throughout a person’s life and cannot be limited to any period or term. The amount of universal basic income has no changes or revisions, even if life circumstances of a certain person change;
  4. Monetary, that is, UBI is paid in money so that its recipient can manage it independently (no payment in points, vouchers or in kind);
  5. A certain amount is determined that is sufficient to meet all basic human needs (housing, food, clothing, utilities, etc.). The basic income should provide everyone with a decent standard of living;
  6. It is paid to every citizen, that is, to all people without any exception, including children, disabled people, and the retired. It is not set for households or families since each member is an independent recipient of universal basic income;
  7. Recipients are equal. As of today, people have not agreed on the amount of universal basic income: should it remain the same throughout a person’s life, or should certain amounts be set for different ages, for example, for children. In any case, everyone of the same age should receive the same amount of basic income.
  8. The state guarantees the consistency of payment of universal basic income throughout a person’s life.

Universal Basic Income

Mechanism and arguments for unconditional payments

Sources of money

The main source of funding for universal basic income should be the assets freed up as a result of eliminating all the existing social support programs and abolishing the entire bureaucracy that administers them.

Such programs exist in dozens. Most government officials distribute budget funds among people in the form of benefits, additional payments, pensions, scholarships. They also collect the necessary documents. Remember to take into account all kinds of payments (for example, when paying for utilities and housing maintenance services), mandatory medical check-ups, etc. Eliminating such social programs and drastically reducing the state machinery by dismissing officials engaged in them will generate the lion’s share of the money needed to pay out the basic income.

Instead, it is sufficient to develop software that will automatically make monthly payments, since all the documents required for calculating various benefits will be replaced with only one date – the person’s date of birth.

Additional sources of funding for universal basic income include:

  1. Natural resource royalty.
  2. Reducing government spending by rejecting inefficient government programs and government purchases.
  3. Tax payments: introduction of a progressive (differentiated) scale of taxation, environmental tax, or an increase in the existing taxes.
  4. Private donations and charity.

The experience of recent years has shown that the richest people on the planet not only support the introduction of universal basic income, but also finance it readily.

Co-founder of eBay Pierre Omidyar has funded an experiment with basic income in Kenya, and the co-founder of Facebook Chris Hughes, in Stockton, USA.

Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator, personally donated $10 million to YC Research foundation, which funded a basic income experiment in Auckland, USA.

Head of Twitter Jack Dorsey allocated $3 million in July 2020, and another $15 million in December 2020 to finance the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income project aimed at paying a basic income to disadvantaged residents of US cities.

These sources are available in the existing consumer society format. In the Creative Society, there is clearly no need to solve the issue of financing basic income through taxes, money emission, and seigniorage.

In the Creative Society, a society of a new format, enormous resources appear, which are currently being used inefficiently:

1) Resources used for armament. A Creative Society is a peaceful society with no wars and conflicts.

2) Maintaining customs. The Creative Society must have the freedom of movement and travel around the planet.

3) Spending on law enforcement. One of the foundations of a Creative Society is security, including economic security. Conditions are created when the need to commit criminal acts and offenses is minimized. Therefore, the police and other law enforcement agencies require minimal costs.

In the Creative Society, goods and services will cost significantly less. Thus, less money will be needed to ensure a decent life for every person. Further, a much smaller amount will be required to finance basic income.

Cost of production will be decreased in the Creative Society. The following processes will ensure this:

1) Cancelled interest rate. Currently, almost all businesses use credit financing, which leads to higher prices for goods due to the need to cover the interest paid on loans and borrowings.

2) Automated production: robots and machines will replace a significant part of manual labour.

3) Vanished advertising costs present in enormous amounts in the net cost of goods and services. Advertising is needed only to encourage us to consume; in other words, it is necessary only in the consumer society that exists today. In the Creative Society, it will be sufficient to simply share information on an online platform designed specifically for this.

According to Zenith agency, ad spending in 2018 totalled $537 billion, and by 2021 it should have grown up to $563 billion.

This amount is enormous – $537 billion! It is comparable to the GDP of 5 countries, such as Kazakhstan ($164 billion), Ukraine ($135 billion), Bulgaria ($67 billion), Belarus ($61 billion) and Slovakia ($110 billion). Just imagine: residents of 5 countries work for a whole year without spending a penny, just to cover advertising costs.

4) Eliminated unnecessary overproduction of goods: a reasonable planned economy will allow the production of just the necessary goods.

5) Abandonment of oil, gas and all the conventional energy sources in the form of hydrocarbons. The development of science will make it possible to use alternative energy sources.

The world has enough resources, more than enough. It is just that presently, people have distributed them unevenly and are spending them inappropriately. In the Creative Society, resources can be used to finance what matters most – human life.

Universal basic income will require a radical restructuring of the entire system of society’s income distribution. People will need some time to gradually and painlessly move to paying a decent amount to everyone.

Arguments for

Automation. The era before the advent of artificial intelligence

The main argument in favour of universal basic income is the upcoming robotization. Many consider it to be practically the only reason for the need to introduce basic income, intimidating people with the impending total unemployment. The following is becoming a normal part of life: parcel stations, self-checkout counters in supermarkets, and driverless remotely controlled trucks.

Let’s trace the trend.

A few decades ago, it was more profitable to move large production to Asia, a place with cheap labour. At the same time, the increased shipping expenses and capital investments in building a new facility would pay off in a big way. However, now it is cheaper for a manufacturer to automate production by moving it again. This time, closer to the consumer. For example, the company Adidas announced its plans to return shoe production to Germany and open robot factories in the EU countries and in the USA.

McKinsey Global Institute has come to the conclusion that it is possible to automate half of the work functions of 800 different professions, saving nearly $8 trillion on salaries. Please note: this is available already with the existing technology!

In the past, automation resulted in job losses. People remember how machine tools and factories appeared, replacing handicraft production. Mechanization has always led to new jobs appearing, which usually required more qualifications and paid better. New professions emerged, which required training.

It would seem, why be afraid? The Internet is replete with information about careers of the future: there is no threat of unemployment.

Alas, this is by no means the case. This time, everything is much more serious than inventing a new machine tool or a combustion engine. For the first time in history, we are faced with artificial intelligence, a technology that is capable of teaching a computer, which, in turn, performs the assigned functions quickly, efficiently, and accurately.

Media have been reporting that artificial intelligence will replace simple mechanical labour and certain algorithm-based actions, and that creative professions and “white collars” are not threatened with unemployment. Like, learn, develop and don’t be afraid to find yourself without work. Unfortunately, the pace of artificial intelligence development leaves no doubt that it will be able to drive out even “complex” professions.

According to McKinsey Global Institute, robots can replace:

  • 81% of manual labour,
  • 69% of data processing,
  • 64% of data collection.

In his book, The War on Normal People, the US presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who advocates for the introduction of basic income, has analysed trends in automation over the past decades and concludes that artificial intelligence can completely or partially replace:

– Office and administration staff up to 70%.

– Catering workers. An americano made by a robot in an automated coffee shop based on an SMS order turned out to be just as tasty, but 40% cheaper. The same is true for pizza made with a 3D printer. In addition, you will find no foreign objects in it, which, alas, happens to people, and you know the lead time for an order up to a minute. Which, in your opinion, will consumers prefer?

– Truck drivers, taxi drivers, warehouse workers and logistics workers.

– Health care providers. The computer was more successful in diagnosing diseases based on X-ray images and MRI data than a team of specialists. In September 2017, the first robotic dental implantation without human intervention was performed in China. The robot not only 3D printed out the two required implants, but also installed them independently.

– Lawyers. Artificial intelligence is better and quicker with searching for regulations and their interpretation depending on the situation.

– Pharmacists and therapists, including psychologists.

– Accountants, traders, bank and insurance workers, top managers.

– Workers in the creative field, from journalists to musicians. A symphony written by a robot turned out to be just as good and pleasing to the human ear.

– The huge list of professions continues.

Experts disagree as to when this will happen to us. Forecasts range between 2035 and 2055, with a margin of error of 10-20 years.

In any case, artificial intelligence will devalue human labour and lead to total unemployment.

 

The Russian business magazine Invest-Foresight provides the following forecast regarding the transformation of the labour market:

2020-2025:

1) Automation leads to job cuts, which reaches 10-30% in 2025;

2) Salaries of the remaining workers gradually decrease, leading to the disappearance of the middle class;

3) Governments look for ways to create new jobs, but “the moment and pace of creating ‘new forms of employment’ will be missed”;

4) At the same time, new jobs appear, mainly related to cognitive technologies.

2030-2035:

1) New jobs make up for no more than 50% of those previously forced out from the market;

2) In different countries, robots and artificial intelligence will take 20-50% of professions, including creative jobs;

3) If a number of conditions are met, robotization will lead to increased employment and a higher demand for the creative labour;

4) The risk of unemployment will move to rural areas, small and medium-sized cities and territories to which production was transferred in the previous decades.

 

Report of the World Economic Forum (October 2020):

As a result of adopting new technologies by 2025, 85 million jobs may be displaced. At the same time, new roles are expected to emerge.

In addition to unemployment, automation and the use of artificial intelligence will lead to another problem: increased inequality in society. A sharp decrease in production costs due to full or partial automation of production should lead to lower prices for goods, work and services.

 

The billionaire, founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Elon Musk confirms this:

“The output of goods and services will be extremely high. So, with automation, there will come abundance. Almost everything will get very cheap.”

Do you think business owners will agree to lowering prices? Why are they automating production and are actively developing artificial intelligence? If not to save on costs by maximizing their profit, then for what?

In a consumer society, robotization will lead to owners of capital become super-rich and multiply their profits, while the middle class will significantly shrink, and most people will slide into poverty without a livelihood.

Which is why we need universal basic income so much, which, by the way, Elon Musk supports. We also need a new format of society, the Creative Society, in which all resources are distributed evenly and fairly among people, and fraud and abuse are excluded due to openness and transparency of information for all.

In the Creative Society, it is machines and robots that should do all the hard work, especially in agriculture. In this case, automation has nothing but advantages. First, people will get rid of physically demanding work, which for some unknown reason is still low-paid. Secondly, people will be able to work less, distributing the rest of the load more evenly among everyone. Thirdly, more creative jobs will dominate, and work will become interesting and will begin to bring more psychic income. And universal basic income will provide means of sustenance.

Let’s combat bureaucracy with algorithms

Universal basic income replaces all existing social security allowances and benefits. Thus, there is no need to maintain a huge officialdom that administers all payments which can be subject to cancellation: pensions, scholarships, child benefits, disability benefits, benefits for utilities and others.

Can you imagine how much money is spent annually on developing regulations, collecting supporting documents, calculating, indexing, creating commissions for medical examinations, and other bureaucracy?

In this case, it becomes no longer necessary for people to collect documents, certificates, have annual medical check-ups, “camp on the doorstep” and wait for the promised benefits.

70% of people receiving government assistance in the Russian Federation in fact have no need for it.

This group includes the fake unemployed at the unemployment benefit office who actually work and receive an unofficial salary, the so-called “under the table” pay. Also, persons in fake or unregistered divorces and marriages receive benefits (for example, welfare assistance, state-owned housing and other benefits), to which they would be ineligible if their civil status had been registered correctly.

50% of people who require financial support from the state and who are entitled to it actually receive none of it.

50% of men who have to pay child support evade payments.

Many economists and political scientists argue that it is administrative deficiencies that cause this state of affairs. Universal basic income will eliminate all these defects and restore social justice in society.

No more humiliation in front of officials and the need to defend your legal right!

In the society of the new format, the Creative Society, the highest value is human life!

Basic income contributes to a revision of values ​​in favour of humanity.

This will lead to a number of positive transformations in society:

1) It will ensure a decent life for every person.

2) Such phenomena as poverty, destitution, and hunger will disappear.

3) It will help reduce corruption and embezzlement. After all, everyone becomes equal now: both a prosecutor and a single mother. There are no privileges, no benefits or indulgences in the form of benefits, to receive which you can bribe.

4) Work will turn into a hobby, not something you have to do.

5) Entrepreneurship will develop.

People are often hesitant to start their own business because they are responsible for their families and cannot put them at financial risk if their project fails. Basic income will become an insurance for such risks and a kind of safety cushion that you can always count on, under any circumstances. This will allow many people to start looking for new ideas, new areas of activity, and to open and test new businesses. How can we develop if we do not dare to do something new?

Mark Zuckerberg, speaking out in support of basic income, noted that had it not been for the network of financial security of his dentist father, he would have hardly dared transform Facebook into a business of his own, giving so much time and effort to develop it.

In 2005, Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard University to do business. Only 12 years later, the billionaire received his honorary law degree from Harvard.

Experiments with basic income in poor countries fostered entrepreneurship as people were able to acquire tools and inventory. This happened in Uganda and Namibia.

6) The unemployed will be motivated to find work.

Universal basic income will serve as an incentive for the so-called “professionally” unemployed to find work. After all, now when they have a job, they will receive a salary in addition to their basic income, and not instead of unemployment benefits, as is the case now.

Presently, opponents of universal basic income argue that a huge number of people live on welfare. When they see this, they begin to say that people are prone to idleness. The reality today is that in most cases, “professionally” unemployed people can only get lower-paying jobs. As a result, a person receives only an insignificant increase in income in exchange for labour, since the right to receive benefits disappears with employment.

Basic income will solve the problem of stagnant unemployment, since the “professionally” unemployed will be financially interested to work.

7) Crime will decrease, and safety and security will appear in society.

Universal basic income will significantly reduce the number of thefts and robberies, since the majority of potential criminals will lose the main reason (the need). It is not social law that prevents crime, but being satisfied with your living conditions!

In turn, this has a less noticeable, but another positive effect already in the public sector: it will reduce the spending on law enforcement and on maintaining the places of deprivation of liberty and so on.

Seventy percent of repeat offenders have committed their first crime as minors. (Source: Matters of Russian and International Law. 2018, Vol. 8, Is. 2A)

Seventy-five percent of respondents committed a crime because they had lacked money.

Once universal basic income is introduced, both potential criminals and potential victims will feel safe. The former will commit no crimes, while the latter will live without the fear of becoming a victim.

8) Inequality will reduce among people, and the overall living standards will rise.

Implementation of universal basic income will create a basis for social equality. If there are fewer reasons for aggression in society, which arises as a result of any inequality, including the economic one, if children grow up in families where parents pay attention to them instead of working all the time and being annoyed by constant problems, our society will very soon be transformed beyond recognition. As soon as one generation grows up in love and prosperity (and this is only 15-20 years), it will give a new round of development in this creative direction.

It is not enough to be a well-off and wealthy person yourself when there are beggars and hungry people around you. It is much more pleasant to live in a prosperous society.

Universal basic income can be the first step towards restoring social justice and social equality in society right now, not to mention the Creative Society in which every person is comfortable to live.

9) Mental and physical health of people improves.

Experiments have shown that universal basic income improves the mental health of citizens and allows a person to look ahead with confidence. Whatever situations happen in life, everyone will know that they will not be left without a livelihood.

10) Healthcare costs will reduce.

11) It will lead to work-life balance.

While receiving universal basic income, many people will be able to spend much less time working and devote time to their family, children, hobbies, self-development, education, etc.

12) It promotes the development of volunteering.

Experiments have shown that recipients of universal basic income readily take an active part in social activities. With the introduction of universal basic income, volunteering will begin to develop at a tremendous pace in all areas.

Universal basic income will allow active citizens to implement local initiatives, which means that our planet will turn into a blossoming garden, as it should be. Have you ever wondered why activists in residential buildings are always retired people? They have free time for this!

13) Art, science and other areas of life will develop.

They are not profitable and bring no stable income, but they are necessary for the development of humanity.

Talent often remains unrevealed because of the need to make a living. When universal basic income is introduced, scientific and technological discoveries will follow. After all, modern science has been basically developing in areas that receive grants. And as you know, who pays calls the tune. How many “tinkerers” are currently forced to earn their living! When a person receives universal basic income, he will be able to develop his potential in any area of his interest.

Do you know how the most popular novel of the 20th century, To Kill a Mockingbird, appeared?

Its author, Nelle Harper Lee, was working as an airport clerk and writing short stories in her spare time. During holidays under the Christmas tree, she found an envelope with a substantial amount and a note, “You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas.” Connoisseurs of her creativity provided Nelle with money to live so that she could fulfil her potential. They were right. Inspired by this trust, Nelle completed the task in six months.

As of today, her novel has been translated into 14 languages ​​and published in more than 50 million copies. In the Library of Congress review, To Kill a Mockingbird is second only to the Bible among the most popular books.

14) Humans and society as a whole will develop in the creative direction.

Universal basic income makes people confident about the future and allows them to think rationally and make long-term plans. A person with no burden of material problems boldly looks into the future and strives for development. When the entire world consists of such people, the whole society transforms beyond recognition. People become creators and look for ways to improve their lives, discovering new opportunities.

15) Single-parent families and single mothers will get rid of the stigma.

Besides removing the current financial worries when raising a child, which is already important, single mothers will know that their children will always be provided with a basic income, regardless of their life circumstances. In such conditions, it is easier to give the child love and attention, when there is no need to collect alimony, sue, and gather certificates. The concept of a “defective family” will no longer be a stigma: a parent now can devote enough time and attention to each child in any family. A single mother will cease to be a blown horse, but will become loving and caring, raising a Human.

According to the Children’s Rights Commissioner for the President of the Russian Federation, by 2012 the number of incomplete families in Russia had grown to 30%, totalling 6.2 million. There are 5.6 million single mothers and 634.5 thousand single fathers in the country.

In 2010, 23,600 children were born to underage mothers, with a large number of child abandonment among them; almost 654,500 orphans were identified, of which almost 84,000 are children with living parents.

As of 2017, about 1/3, that is, 5 million out of 17 million Russian families, consist of single mothers with children, and 600,000 families have single fathers raising children.

16) Domestic violence will disappear.

When basic income is implemented, women and children will finally become less dependent on men. Domestic violence will disappear from our lives because the victim can always leave and live independently, having money for themselves and for the children. Realizing this, a woman can say no at a proper time and stop violence, ceasing to feel like a victim. How can a victim raise a free, open, benevolent, compassionate, and honest human being? Of course, this is possible, but rather, in spite of than thanks to.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation:

  • 36,000 women suffer beatings from their husbands every day;
  • 12,000 women die annually as a result of domestic violence: one woman every 40 minutes;
  • 26,000 children every year become victims of criminal attacks by their parents;
  • 2,000 children and adolescents commit suicide every year to escape domestic violence;
  • 10,000 children and adolescents run away from home every year.

60-70% of victims seek no help!

In the Creative Society, a society of a new format, every person is guaranteed freedom. Basic income contributes directly to this.

17) Harmful industries will disappear, which means that our world will become safer and more comfortable.

The introduction of universal basic income will bring honesty to everything in life. Then harmful industries, including manufacture of weapons, will disappear very quickly, since people enjoy no work that is dangerous to society. Unless some need forces a person, he can say no.

According to HeadHunter, 2% of Russians believe that their work is harmful to society.

The workers in the field of mining and processing of minerals (8%) and workers in the FMCG sphere (5%) are certain of this.

Perhaps, obtrusive and dishonest advertising will disappear. Doctors will stop prescribing treatment while closely following the guidelines if they disagree with them. Or perhaps we will finally have noiseless construction equipment and public transport? Who wants to work in such conditions and cause inconvenience to others?

90% of people say it is important to work for a transparent company.

92% would prefer to leave their current job if they received an offer for another job at a company with an excellent reputation.

50% of job seekers say they will not work for a company with a bad reputation, even with a high salary.

18) It will allow you to move freely around the world and change your place of residence, without the fear of finding yourself in the street in an unfamiliar place.

When universal basic income is paid in all the countries of the world and every person on the planet receives it, travel will become safe. Note that freedom, including freedom of movement, must be guaranteed and ensured in the Creative Society.

19) Thinking will change for the positive, and so will the media landscape. Mass media will start supporting positive content.

When a person has a financial safety net in the form of basic income and the opportunity to say no, he acquires the freedom, first of all, to act according to his conscience. Then media will stop the ordered propaganda, then journalists will have the opportunity to refuse. They will no longer be so afraid of losing their job in order to compromise with their conscience. It is useless to ask them to sweeten their expressions or hide some facts.

Can you imagine what it would be like to live with honest and open media, which should become an integral part of the Creative Society?

20) It will allow a person to be himself without masks and social roles.

Arguments against

Opponents of universal basic income argue against its introduction because of the following reasons:

  1. People will stop working

Quite common is the view that when basic income is implemented in an amount sufficient for a decent life, this will lead to people no longer working and wallowing in laziness. How then to provide for life, to produce the necessary amount of goods and services for society, and to earn the very money that will ultimately be used to pay for the basic income?

This issue is particularly acute in Russia, since it is believed that it is the Russian people who rely on chance and are very fond of the so-called freebies.

Opponents of this opinion argue that those who want no work do no work even now. Some of them are openly squandering time, while others do it for a large salary, hiding behind high and deliberately created positions, or they shift the entire workload onto others.

There is ample evidence that people will continue working while receiving a basic income.

The survey conducted in 2016 showed that only 4% of the European Union citizens will refuse to work once they have basic income.

In Russia, the Research Center of the Superjob.ru portal conducted a similar survey during this period.

Here are the results of the SuperJob survey in the Russian Federation (February 2016):

If you had the opportunity to receive a salary without going to work, would you be able to give up the pleasure of going to work?

  • No, work is not just money – 67%;
  • Yes, I would love to sit at home – 23%;
  • Cannot say – 10%.

Results of an online survey among 150 Moscovites (December 2016):

When they receive basic income,

  • They will not stop working – 65%;
  • They will get an education – 62%.

In June 2020, Otkritie Bank conducted a similar survey. The results were different. The table below shows a comparative analysis of the 2016 and 2020 surveys.

Table. Survey results in the Russian Federation in 2016 and 2020

Respondents’ answers Superjob.ru portal

February 2016

Otkrytie bank

June 2020

Will continue to work 67% 76%
Will quit their job 23% 2%
Other

 

10% could not say

 

27% intended to change jobs to do what they love

Results of many experiments confirm people’s desire to work. A prime example is the experiment with basic income in the Canadian town of Dauphin (1975-1977). During that time, a minimum annual income was established. If a person made less money than this minimum income, the experiment paid him enough money to reach it. This is exactly the case when people could refuse to work or work less, because they would still be paid extra for the unreceived income. People did nothing like that to compensate for their earnings with benefits.

Basic Income Experiment in Dauphin, Canada (1975-1977):

  • Most of those receiving money worked no less than before;
  • More teens stopped dropping out of school to look for earnings;
  • Young men began to work 40-50% less, devoting more time to education;
  • Breadwinners continued working at the same level instead of replacing work with benefits.

The fact that young people started to work less, devoting more time to education, testifies to the human desire for more qualified and interesting work, since education is an investment in future work.

An experiment in the USA (1968-1978) gave similar results: only 17% of women and 7% of men quit their jobs, mainly for education.

The Uganda Basic Income Experiment allowed participants to invest in training, tools and materials, resulting in an increase in business assets by 57%, hours of work by 17%, and earnings by 38%.

Iran is one of the only two countries in the world where, for a certain period, basic income was paid to all citizens without any conditions. The project results report states that people continued working, and in some cases became more active, for example, in the service sector.

In 2020, the World Bank issued a report on the idea of “universal basic income.” The report concludes that

“the available evidence indicates there is limited or no impact of UBI-type schemes on aggregate measures of participation in paid work.”

In the society of a new format, the Creative Society, each person should have the freedom of choice, including whether to work or not. Will a person, while using public goods, infrastructure and receiving basic income, be able to lie on the couch, realizing that everyone else has earned this income for him? Everyone can answer for themselves.

  1. Migrants will surge.

Experts seriously fear that universal basic income will cause a massive influx of migrants into the country. This is what is stopping many governments from introducing basic income at this time. Even when the funds for the project are available, politicians doubt they will be able to cope with the manifold increase in the surge of migrants from all over the world, which could generate social tension.

Some researchers believe that it is necessary to provide basic income not only for their own citizens, but also for people in the border areas. This will be necessary to minimize the cost of fighting illegal migration.

For this reason, universal basic income in individual countries should only be introduced at the initial stage. Further, this experience should be scaled all over the world, establishing the Creative Society, which is based on the human being and his needs.

If people receive universal basic income in all countries, moreover in the same amount, there is no need to fear an influx of migrants.

Then people will not have to go far away from their homes to search for earnings. Families will not wait for years for their breadwinners to return. And when deciding to move to another country, people will no longer be guided by purely material interests.

  1. There is no money for this – it is too expensive for the state treasury

There is a widespread belief that there is simply no money to pay off the basic income and that it can be implemented only by introducing new taxes or increasing the existing ones. Note that in the Creative Society additional resources are freed up to facilitate such payments.

  1. Inflation will rise

An opinion exists that basic income will increase the purchasing power of the population, which means that prices will start to rise. That is, an unreasonable conclusion is drawn here that introducing basic income will lead to inflation.

Inflation is a growth in the overall level of prices, not for individual categories of goods and services. Moreover, rising prices are not the only sign of inflation. It can also happen when prices are stable, but supply lags behind demand. This took place in the USSR, and inflation was suppressed there.

Inflation happens when the economy’s production potential lags behind the money supply available for spending. If the amount of accessible money grows, but the production potential fails to keep up with it, then for each monetary unit fewer goods and services are available.

Basic income assumes no emergence of additional money in the economy. It is paid through redistribution of the existing resources. Thus, no inflation happens.

The so-called “pandemic” payments in May-June 2020 actually confirm this. Despite the significant amount the state paid in a short period of time, no inflationary processes were observed in the country.

Another type of inflation is the inflation of demand and supply. It happens when goods are insufficient due to imbalances in the economy’s structure. This also has nothing to do with basic income. It is logical that with the introduction of basic income, the demand for some goods and services will increase, which means that the economy should respond to this and produce more of these goods. This definitely stimulates the economy.

Another inflation model, which people mistakenly associate with basic income, is the inflation driven by rising business costs. Three reasons can cause it: the rise in the cost of raw materials, higher wages under the pressure from trade unions or workers’ demands, and higher taxes.

An increase in one of these cost components does indeed lead to higher prices, since the manufacturer is not going to give up his profit. So, he simply adds the increased costs to it. Of course, different pricing methods exist, but the overall picture looks approximately like this.

But basic income is not a salary. It is the state who pays it, not the employer, and it is not included in the cost of goods and services.

If people approach the redistribution of funds wisely, there will be no need to raise taxes to pay the basic income either. In the Creative Society enormous funds become available, which are currently used inefficiently, and resources exist to reduce the cost of production.

With this approach to the economy and fair pricing, no inflation happens.

  1. Establishing a “welfare recipient dictate”

A “welfare recipient dictate” is a situation when an incompetent person can come to power only because of his promise in the election campaign to pay a substantial amount of universal basic income. The electorate, hankering after the promise, can vote for him in the election. At the same time, people may not even stop to think about where to get money for such payments and whether it is realistic to fulfil the promise.

The society of the new format, the Creative Society, rules out such a situation because it has no concept of power. In it, the pyramid of society turns upside down, when government is based not on one elected leader, but all people or a team of specialists in a certain area. Therefore, the issue of the “welfare recipient dictate” is relevant only in today’s consumer society.

How basic income is different from a guaranteed minimum income

Guaranteed minimum income means that the government pays people to a certain minimum, for example, the minimum subsistence level. At the same time, such indicators of basic income as unconditionality and individuality are absent, since the guaranteed minimum income is paid only to those persons whose income is less than the established amount (minimum). No basic principle of equality of recipients applies here either, since the amount of the additional payment depends on the amount of the recipient’s actual income.

Besides, such a complex bureaucratic system requires high administrative costs. Thus, red tape remains, and officials receive no basic income. What is more, a guaranteed minimum income leads to the creation of special services that collect evidence of the person’s right to a subsistence rate surcharge. This once again means the time-consuming bureaucracy, another delay of payment and, again, paying salaries to officials, additional to those they already have.

In the consumer society, where some financial decision depends on the person, sooner or later misuse and arbitrariness arise, moreover both on the part of officials and on the part of recipients, who can falsify data. But when it comes to basic income, everyone receives it in the equal amount, so the need to falsify is absent.

In addition, the guaranteed minimum income leads to the humiliating need for the recipient to prove that he is poor and that he needs money to survive. Why should someone be humiliated, while others should decide whether a person has the right to benefits or not, and ultimately, whether he has the right to life or not?

Comment to the video “Giving up basic income is no argument!”,

“I remembered my story, how during the difficult 1990s, when I was raising two children, I tried to apply for receiving extra payments. What humiliating questions the officials asked! They behaved so arrogantly that they discouraged me from turning to the state for help. It is really inhumane to ask people for a proof that they are poor.”

Universal Basic Income

Different views on universal basic income

Destructive behaviour

It is widely believed that universal basic income will lead to a deterioration in morals and ethics in society. This belief assumes that the poor are exactly like this because they are unwilling to work, they tend to be lazy and lack self-organization. It is thought that such people should receive no free money, since they will be unable to properly manage it and will spend it thoughtlessly, including on alcohol and entertainment.

Opponents appeal: following this logic, one can turn to statistics on poverty and declare that all these people are morally unstable, can make no right decisions, which means that they should even be banned from participating in elections. According to statistics, this is true for every 10th person in Russia.

What determines a person’s behaviour is his personal interests and personal integrity, and not the financial resources available.

When people receive extra money, they usually use it to make up for some deficit. And everyone has their own deficit.

About 75% of Russians save on the following:

Universal Basic Income

Note that people save on food and clothes. It is logical to assume that it is this deficit that they will begin to make up for in the first place when they receive basic income.

Someone may notice that savings on entertainment are in the third place. Entertainment may include taking a child to the zoo or to the cinema. Given that only half of Russians can afford a vacation, their children see a zoo only on TV.

Numerous experiments revealed no propensity of basic income recipients to behave destructively. Observations everywhere confirm that people began to devote more time to education. You can agree that this is the safest investment. If you know that you will be receiving a basic income for a certain time, and all experiments are limited in time, then the best thing you can do is to gain knowledge and excel in a profession that will feed you in the future.

Universal basic income is an investment in a person, which means an investment in our future. What it will be depends on us.

Unemployment

Many are convinced that when people have enough money for life, they will stop working, and total unemployment will overtake the entire society.

However, it is basic income that is intended to solve the problem of stagnant unemployment. The unemployed assistance system existing today creates the following situation. A person will benefit more from living on welfare than from having low-paid work that involves additional costs (travel, appropriate clothes, food). Benefits are often more economically advantageous than part-time employment. With a basic income that is paid to everyone in the same amount, work becomes financially attractive even in case of a small salary and part-time employment. It now supplements basic income, instead of replacing benefits.

A simple real-life example

When a person loses his job and finds himself at an unemployment benefit office, he is full of enthusiasm and is actively looking for a new job. But the vacancies the employment center offers are not interesting either in terms of qualifications, or in terms of official duties, or in terms of pay. Time passes… There are fewer and fewer job offerings, he loses his qualification, hopes fade, and the saved money runs out. Spurred on by need, the person is forced to agree to what is more or less suitable. Thus, valuable potential and the desire for productive work are lost, and the person becomes unhappy. Basic income allows the person not to grasp for the first job available, but to spend as much time as he wants to find work and, if necessary, get retrained.

A freshly unemployed person may have a modestly-paying skill set at first. In this case, lengthy searches for a suitable job may lead to the following. He may not only lose his skills and hopes, but also grow accustomed to getting by with the minimum and living on welfare. Refusals from employers give rise to self-doubt and doubts about the possibility of finding decent work. And this is how the so-called “professionally” unemployed people appear.

Attitude to work

Some believe that with basic income, people will no longer see value in work. If everyone receives money for no special reason, then the attitude towards labour as something important and truly worthwhile will disappear. It is hard work that must bring money for life – it is only then that a person values it. It is additionally argued that while receiving basic income, people will agree to work even for a small salary, which will deteriorate the value of labour in the literal sense, that is, in monetary terms.

Opponents hold a profoundly opposite opinion. It is not the salary that should determine the value of work for a person, but the amount of happiness and moral satisfaction that it brings.

Only 15-20% of people in the world love their job.

Only 15-20% of people in the world love their work. This means that all over the world, just like in Russia, people are forced to work for salaries in order to provide for themselves and their families. It turns out that 80-85% of people in the world are simply unhappy. Every day they have to do things they don’t like, working at jobs they don’t like.

Surveys confirm this.

Results of a survey by the Public Opinion Foundation in the Russian Federation (2016): 

While choosing a job now, what would be the most important thing for you? 

Universal Basic Income

People are forced to work for a salary, regardless of the following: whether their salary will be official, if their working conditions will be good, and whether they will work according to their previous education.

Basic income will make it possible to give up the hated and forced work and do your favourite and interesting thing instead, even if finding a new job takes time, or if retraining is required, or the salary turns out to be small.

59% of the working Russians surveyed by HeadHunter are confident that they benefit the society through their work.

The following categories have the strongest sense of being useful: employees of the housing and communal services, services for the population (repairs, service – 84%), healthcare providers (83%) and educators (79%).

On the other hand, these workers have the strongest belief that their work is useless (%): 

Universal Basic Income

When a person realizes the benefits of his work for society, he has the opportunity to develop his full potential and is engaged in an interesting job, and work brings him more of psychic income. This is the true value of labour.

In the new Creative format of society, the value is not money, but the happy life of every person.

Efficiency of labour

Some people believe that when universal basic income appears, the quality of work will deteriorate, since people will have no material incentive to work productively.

Opponents of this opinion object: only those need material incentives who are forced to work where they receive money and dislike their work. Universal basic income would allow such people to do what they like. After all, they can live on a basic income for some period of time until they find a suitable and interesting job or they retrain.

When a person loves his job, work brings joy and psychic income. With this approach, the productivity will spike. Basic income will radically change the approach to work: from compulsory and forced employment to a favourite occupation that benefits society.

Also, some of the people who receive a basic income will actually stop working. Employers will be forced to raise wages slightly to compensate for the reduced labour supply. In turn, a decent wage is a work incentive for those who, nevertheless, see only a financial interest in their work.

An argument exists that “free” money deteriorates labour productivity. The following example is often given to illustrate this point – the Speenhamland Act in England (1795-1834), which introduced a guaranteed minimum income. However, people forget that it is the employer’s actions that made the situation worse, and the money was not so free, but rather, on the contrary, the cheap labour of the poor turned out to be free.

What do you think happened? Employers started to abuse the situation. Poor people had not been considered people before receiving hardly any money, but the Speenhamland Act enabled employers to lower salaries even more. Why spend your own money if your worker will receive a guaranteed minimum income anyway in the end? As a result, the aid to the poor became a subsidy for employers.

This happened at the expense of honest citizens who had been paying the tax in favour of the poor on the regular basis, but it stayed in the pockets of employers in the form of money saved on wages. Not very fair, right?

Economic growth

Many economists consider that a basic income will boost the country’s economy, since, unlike one-time payments and benefits, it will be able to stimulate consumption. When people receive a one-time or short-term payment, you can be sure that they will set aside some of this money for an indefinite future, because they have no confidence in tomorrow. However, if a person knows that he is guaranteed to receive a basic income every month in a fixed amount, he will be able to distribute his expenses and be less afraid to spend the money received.

The money paid to citizens will be returned to the country’s economy, that is, it will “work” in its favour.

Many experiments have shown that basic income recipients spend more time studying. In this case, the basic income is not only used to meet the current subsistence needs of the recipient, making part of the country’s economy, but it is also a long-term investment in the future.

An alternative point of view is based on the idea that unearned money will deteriorate the efficiency of labour, which means that economic growth will slow down.

See the previous section for the two opposing views of the efficiency of labour in case of basic income.

Freedom

It is assumed that universal basic income will give people more financial freedom, which means it will free them from being dependent to act according to the established rules. This can lead to people’s uncontrolled behaviour.

An alternative opinion is based on the difference between freedom and permissiveness. Here, freedom becomes synonymous with personal responsibility for oneself and for others, since the freedom of a responsible person ends where the freedom of another one begins.

The example of developed countries shows that, despite the apparent prosperity, the established rules rigidly constrain people, and they live depressed, fearing for their jobs. Depression is a disease of exceptionally prosperous countries, in which the concepts of “quality of life” and “economic freedom” are not identical.

According to Guy Standing, a British economist who founded the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) in 1986, the “chronic economic vulnerability” of populations in developed countries leads to the advancement of populists and far-right politicians. The latter will continue to strengthen their positions until citizens gain more financial freedom.

Feminism

Supporters of universal basic income believe that it will save women from male dominance in society and in the family. In many countries across the world, women stay married because they are financially dependent on their husbands. When a woman receives money for living, she will be able to get rid of the coerced dependence and decide to live independently.

Experiments confirm this. For example, during the first basic income experiments in the United States (1968-1978), the divorce rate increased, as previously people had stayed together because of the need and the family support programs.

With small incomes, it is easier to both survive together and get help from the state. Which is why people have to adapt. As a rule, it is women who compromise.

Other people argue that a basic income can lead to a woman refusing to work and participate in public life, since, when her material needs are provided for, she can be content with her traditional role. Some feminists fear that thus women will lose those achievements they gained in the struggle for gender equality in the labour law and in the social sphere. However, basic income experiment results (for instance, in the Canadian town of Dauphin in 1975-1977) indicate that people volunteer more and become more socially active.

Self-identification

Another fear exists that universal basic income can lead to the issue of self-identification as well as to people losing their focus in life. People usually consider themselves specialists in certain fields, and they inseparably associate themselves with their profession: engineer, designer, manager. If a person receives a basic income and loses the need to work hard, then his profession will cease to be the central link and the foundation of his life.

Others see this as an advantage, not a disadvantage. A person will finally be able to think about his true nature, about who he really is, and about the meaning of life. When a person has more free time, he will be able to understand that statuses and social roles in no way correspond to his essence. “Who am I and why did I come to this world?” are the main questions to which every person in his life must find answers.

In the society of a new format, the Creative Society, every condition must be created for a person not only to stop to think about it, but also to find an answer. Reducing material problems to a minimum and having free time for family and self-development should create conditions for a happy life for people without fears and anxiety.

“Unearned” money

This is one of the most common arguments against basic income. “Unearned” money has no value and is spent thoughtlessly.

If we follow this logic, then the entire system of social support of the population that exists now is aimed exactly at distributing such money, including child birth benefits, not to mention unemployment benefits. In fact, basic income is redistributed money, not “unearned” money. It is paid from the fund (budget) formed from the income of the entire society (state). Collectively earned funds are redistributed in such a way that society has no problems related to poverty, hunger and lack of a roof over people’s heads. It is easier to allocate a part of the earned money to the basic income so that no one dies of hunger and cold, in order to rid society of the “diseases of poverty” so that hardship or envy put no one up to a crime. This way, there will be no need to maintain an army of law enforcement agencies and crowds of lawbreakers. If you want to live better, go work, thus contributing to creating a fund for paying basic income.

Universal Basic Income

Political aspects

Efficiency of management

Basic income replaces all existing benefits and payments, from maternity grants and unemployment benefits to pensions. Everyone receives it in the same amount. The only debated question is the reduced amount of basic income for children.

This is the easiest system to organize and the cheapest one to administer. Its implementation requires only computer software, which will automatically make monthly payments to all citizens.

The only information necessary for allocating basic income is the date of birth and the date of death. The software should receive this data automatically based on the issued certificates of birth and death.

Basic income is the only system today that makes it possible to completely exclude officials interfering in the administration process and eliminate abuse and fraud.

It is easy to determine the required annual budget for paying basic income. It requires population figures and the birth rate.

An important benefit of basic income is transparency.

Transparency

Basic income makes the welfare system as transparent as possible. No one has any questions about the amount of state aid for a certain person or a group of persons, since everyone has the same amount. This lessens the severity of social tension in society, caused by unfair supporting measures, and eliminates doubts about whether the accrued amount was calculated correctly.

No complex recalculations, indexations and extra payments! Everything is open and transparent.

Transitional stage

Obviously, it is impossible to introduce a basic income in is its classical form in many countries immediately. People propose introducing it gradually, starting with small amounts and then increasing. For instance, the Russian party For Truth proposes giving 2.5 thousand roubles at the beginning. In this case, at the initial stages, the basic income will complement all the available welfare system programs. As its amount increases to a level that meets the vital human needs, various provisions will be phased out. A decent amount of basic income, which ensures a high quality of life for every person, is possible in the Creative Society after the end of the transitional stage.

Why pay the rich?

The main advantages of basic income are simplicity and lack of administrative costs (see the sections Efficiency of Management and Transparency). In order to maintain these important aspects, while respecting the principles of equality and unconditionality, it is much more efficient to, first, pay basic income equally to everyone, and then to regulate payments through higher tax rates for high-income earners.

If we group people by income level, providing payments selectively, then we come to a guaranteed minimum income.

Post-capitalist economic system

Today it becomes obvious that capitalism has fallen into decline, since it had brought people to the consumer format of society. System develops only when consumption constantly increases. This leads, first of all, to unreasonable and excessive use of resources, secondly, to an overproduction crisis, and, thirdly, to a devaluation of moral and ethical qualities and the person himself, who turns into only a consumer. As a result, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Facebook co-founder, millionaire Chris Hughes:

“The problem is not that our new economy has fueled the rise of… mega-winners. But that it has come at the expense of everyday Americans.”

The rug is being pulled out from under the middle class and lower-income Americans.

Humanity is forced to look for a new form of social system that values ​​human life, ensures an even and fair distribution of resources, and reduces inequality among people.

This becomes possible in the Creative Society in which human life has the highest value, where each person is equally important and significant for society. That is why everyone has the right to an equal share in the collective resources – to the same basic income for all.

Ekaterina Schulmann, political scientist:

“I think that universal basic income is a very real future of the post-industrial economy…”

Conservatism

Traditionally, everything related to resources redistribution is believed to belong to “left-wing” ideas, since the “right-wing” ones favour preserving the existing system and are against dishing out money.

However, basic income is not a socialist invention. Suffice it to recall socialism in the USSR, which operated along the principle “who does not work, does not eat.” It was exactly this socialist idea that led to the low efficiency of forced labour, the evasion of which led to criminal liability and the stigma of being a parasite.

In fact, basic income corresponds to liberals’ perspective, who usually advocate progressive changes and consider human freedom to be the highest value. However, many conservative politicians have also repeatedly expressed their support in favour of basic income. It needs to be introduced not so much because of the political views but due to the vital necessity and the processes taking place in the economy and on the labour market.

Reducing poverty

Undoubtedly, basic income will eradicate hunger and poverty.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

“I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.”

In general, two types of poverty exist: absolute and relative. Absolute poverty (or extreme poverty) occurs when a person is unable to meet their basic living needs: food, including safe drinking water, clothing, and housing, including safe sanitation.

The World Bank defines absolute (or extreme) poverty as “living on less than $1.25 a day”. This is less than 100 roubles a day.

According to the UN, in 2018:

– 1.3 billion people lived below the poverty line, of which 612 million lived in “extreme poverty.”

– More than half (662 million people) of those living below the poverty line are minors.

– Another 879 million people were on the verge of poverty and could slip into it quite quickly if they lost their job or if a conflict or adverse weather conditions happened.

In April 2020, the World Bank declared that due to COVID-19, up to 60 million people fell into extreme poverty.

Universal basic income can save the lives of over a billion people! Millions will be able to afford sufficient food and healthcare services.

This will lead to less social tension in society caused by dramatic inequality in quality of life.

In European countries, relative poverty is more common, when a person’s income and material base are lower than what is “considered normal or acceptable.” However, even developed countries have such concepts as hunger and spare diet. According to Eurostat, 115 million people were at risk of poverty in the European Union in 2009. Not every Russian can afford three meals a day!

Pause for thought:

In September 2000, heads of all the global states signed the UN Millennium Declaration. They agreed to join forces to end extreme poverty by 2015. They defined the Millennium Development Goals. The first goal reads, “eradicate extreme poverty and hunger”, and another seven are also aimed at reducing poverty.

In 1961, the European Social Charter (ESC) was adopted. Article 30 of the Charter guarantees everyone “the right to protection from poverty and social exclusion.”

The Charter provides for a range of human rights, including:

– the right to decent housing, according to which everyone should have their own or rented safe and secure housing, in which “one can live in peace and dignity”;

– the right to appear in public places without feeling ashamed, which presupposes the presence of adequate and generally accepted clothing. It is invariably associated with a person’s right to participate in public life. How else can it be exercised?!

Why do all these goals and rights remain only on paper? Provide a person with universal basic income, and a number of rights will be instantly implemented, and hunger and poverty will become a thing of the past!

Nelson Mandela:

“Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. Poverty is man-made, that is, created by people, and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”

Freedom

Constitutions of all countries of the world guarantee human freedom. In practice, people often find themselves limited in their freedom of action and choice.

One concept claims that if a certain group of people limits and controls resources, then the remaining society, which is guided by common sense and driven by the survival instinct, is forced to do what the group that controls the resources requires. Therefore, resource owners must pay compensation to the rest of the society, which owns no resources. The amount of this compensation (basic income) must be sufficient to enable people to acquire the required resources and satisfy their needs.

According to Forbes, the wealth of 1% of people in 2016 exceeded the wealth of the remaining 99% of the world’s inhabitants.

According to Oxfam, “the richest 62 people own the same amount of assets as the poorest half of the world.”

Back in 1836, the French writer Charles Fourier wrote about such a compensation for the lack of access to natural resources in La Fausse Industrie, gallantly calling resource owners “civilization”. He wrote that civilization robs a human of the first natural law, that is, the right to harvest, fish, pick fruits and vegetables, and tend cattle; therefore, it must compensate people for these losses.

Medical expenses

Financial struggle affects the human health negatively, both on the mental and the physical levels. Depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus and other “diseases of poverty” caused by stress and poor nutrition will become much less frequent with the introduction of basic income. In turn, this will lead to lower health care spending.

Participants in every basic income experiment reported having less anxiety and a gain in health, both in developed countries (Canada, Finland, USA, etc.) and in developing countries (Uganda, India, Brazil, etc.).

One experiment with the basic income in the Canadian town of Dauphin in 1975-1977 resulted in a hospitalization rate decline by almost 9%.

Experiments with basic income in developing countries have shown that better nutrition and better housing and living conditions improve people’s health. Eliminating financial struggles shows a particularly strong gain in children’s health. At the same time, people spend less on destructive goods such as alcohol and cigarettes.

The basic income experiment in Namibia saw the level of child malnutrition decrease from 42% to 17% after 6 months, and a year later, a decline in households poverty level from 76% to 37%.

The experiment resulted in boosting economic activity, decreasing crime, and improving the health of children due to proper nutrition.

Unfavourable living conditions often lead to the spread of diseases such as enteric infection, tuberculosis, pneumonia and malaria. People can avoid the “diseases of poverty” in a simple way: by introducing basic income.

In developed countries, basic income will also help reduce morbidity. Research confirms the high correlation between deteriorating human health and the presence of financial problems.

Proven:

* a major financial crisis (job loss or bankruptcy) preceded melanoma in 20% of patients;

* financial debt results in increased obesity and back pain.

Research by Nettleton, S. and Burrows, R. has demonstrated that people visit general practitioners more in case of loan debt.

Financial hardship and job loss are the most common causes of depression.

Studies in Germany, the United States, and Japan confirmed the high correlation of suicide with unemployment levels.

People can avoid such tragedies if basic income is introduced, when a person becomes certain that he will not be left without subsistence.

Hippocrates bequeathed, “Prevention is better than cure.” Basic income should be seen as a means of preventing many diseases. The result will be manifested in improved public health and reduced medical expenses.

Universal Basic Income

Universal income around the world: which countries are introducing and which ones have refused

In 1986, Basic Income European Network (BIEN) was founded to promote and research the topic of basic income.

By 2004, the organization, which consisted of a small group of young economists, philosophers and activists, grew into the largest community of supporters of the introduction of universal income and was transformed into Basic Income Earth Network.

BIEN’s activities are largely educational in nature: the network holds an international congress every 2 years; it supports research and organizes conferences, publishes their results, as well as news and articles. BIEN maintains neutrality and endorses no certain basic income scheme, aiming to accumulate all opinions and suggestions.

At the time of writing, 132 organizations from more than 45 countries appear on the Global Map of Basic Income.

Europe

To read more about universal basic income introduction in Europe, visit this link: https://bazovyidohod.ru/bezuslovnyy-bazovyy-dohod-v-evrope/

There, you can find information on the following countries: Austria, Armenia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Finland, France, Czech Republic, and Switzerland.

Asia

To read more about universal basic income introduction in Asia, follow the link: https://bazovyidohod.ru/bezuslovnyy-bazovyy-dohod-v-azii/

The information there is on the following countries: Israel, Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Japan.

International organizations

Basic Income Earth Network

In 1986, Basic Income European Network (BIEN) was founded to promote and research the topic of basic income.

By 2004, the organization, which consisted of a small group of young economists, philosophers and activists, grew into the largest community of supporters of the introduction of universal income and was transformed into Basic Income Earth Network.

BIEN’s activities are largely educational in nature: the network holds an international congress every 2 years; it supports research and organizes conferences, publishes their results, as well as news and articles. BIEN maintains neutrality and endorses no certain basic income scheme, aiming to accumulate all opinions and suggestions.

At the time of writing, 132 organizations from more than 45 countries appear on the Global Map of Basic Income.

World Bank Report (2020)

In February 2020, World Bank presented a report on the idea of ​​”universal basic income.”

UN Development Programme Report (2020)

In July 2020, United Nations Development Programme published the report TEMPORARY BASIC INCOME: Protecting Poor and Vulnerable

People in Developing Countries.

The report suggests that an urgent need exists to introduce temporary basic income immediately for the poorest people in 132 developing countries. 132 countries make just over half of all the countries and territories which exist today!

Public opinion

Supporting the introduction of basic income

In many countries people participated in opinion polls on the topic of introducing universal basic income.

Notable supporters of basic income

Entrepreneurs and scientists

  1. Bill Gates, an American entrepreneur and public figure, one of the founders of Microsoft. According to Forbes, in 2020 he ranked 2nd among the richest people. He is one of the persons who has donated the most amount of money to charity.
  2. Elon Musk, an American entrepreneur, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, a billionaire who in 2020 became one of the top 5 richest people in the world, according to Forbes.

Elon Musk:

“I think ultimately we will have to have some kind of universal basic income. I don’t think we’re going to have a choice. I think it will become necessary.”

  1. Mark Zuckerberg, an American billionaire, programmer, IT entrepreneur, founder of the social media Facebook. According to Forbes, in 2018 he ranked 5th among the richest people in the world.

Mark Zuckerberg:

“We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”

  1. Pierre Omidyar, an American entrepreneur, billionaire, programmer, founder and head of eBay. He took the “Giving Pledge”, promising to donate at least half of his fortune to charity.

Pierre Omidyar funded a basic income experiment in Kenya by donating about $500,000 through his charitable organisation Omidyar Network.

  1. Sam Altman, American billionaire, entrepreneur, investor and programmer, former president of Y Combinator, currently CEO of OpenAI.

As president of Y Combinator, Sam Altman personally donated $10 million to fund a basic income experiment in Oakland, California, USA.

Sam Altman:

“What I would propose is a model like a company where you get a share in US Inc. And then, instead of getting a fixed fee, you get a percentage of the GDP every year.”

“Although unconditional basic income today seems a financially difficult idea, in a world where technology replaces people in the workplace and AML becomes necessary, technological progress and an abundance of resources will drastically reduce the cost of living.”

  1. Richard Branson, a British billionaire, entrepreneur, founder of the Virgin Group corporation.
  2. Stewart Butterfield, a Canadian billionaire, entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Slack, a co-founder of Flickr.
  1. Jack Dorsey, an American billionaire, entrepreneur, software architect, founder and head of the microblogging service Twitter. Named an “outstanding innovator under the age of 35”, he appears on the Forbes Rich List every year.

In the summer of 2020 Jack Dorsey allocated $3 million and then another $15 million in December 2020 to fund the Universal Basic Income in the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income project, USA.

  1. Chris Hughes, an American millionaire, entrepreneur, one of the co-founders of the social media Facebook, author of the book Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn.

Chris Hughes:

“The problem is not that our new economy has fueled… the growth of the ultra-wealthy, [but that this] has come at the expense of everyday Americans.”

The rug is being pulled out from under the middle class and lower-income Americans.

Chris Hughes believes that employed lower-income US citizens need to receive $500 a month in basic income. He proposes a simple way: first, increase taxes for rich Americans, who, in his opinion, are those with annual income more than $250,000. Second, expand, that is, increase, tax credit (or deduction) for the poor, whose income is less than $50,000.

  1. Albert Wenger, a German-American entrepreneur and venture capitalist, partner of Union Square Ventures. Albert published the book World After Capital (the book is available on this website). He graduated from Harvard College with a degree in economics and computer science and holds a PhD in information technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Albert Wenger:

“Basic income is the solution if we want to survive in an automated environment.”

In his book World After Capital, he describes how eras changed when a certain resource was lacking: food during hunting and gathering, land during agriculture development, capital during the Enlightenment and industrialization, and attention in the era of informatization and robotization. It is lack of time and attention that is the main problem of modern society, and not capital, which is currently in sufficient supply.

Albert Wenger:

“Material capital is sufficient in the world, but it is not properly distributed.”

Proper distribution of capital will enable everyone to have a basic income. With it, you will be able to independently manage your time and pay attention to people and processes that are really important to you.

  1. Götz Werner, a billionaires and owner of a German pharmacy chain.
  1. Tim Cook, an American top manager and CEO of Apple.
  1. Andrew Ng, an American computer scientist and entrepreneur, assistant professor at Stanford University, co-founder of the online learning startup Coursera. In 2008, he was named one of the top 35 most influential innovators under the age of 35 years.
  1. Raymond Kurzweil, an American inventor and futurist, co-founder of Singularity University.
  1. Tim O’Reilly, an American publisher, founder and head of O’Reilly Media.
  1. Guy Standing, a British economist, sociologist, professor who in 1986 founded the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN).
  1. Philippe Van Parijs, a Belgian political philosopher and political economist, founder of the Basic Income European Network (BIEN). In co-authorship with Yannick Vanderborght, he published the book Basic Income: A Radical Proposal for a Free Society and a Sane Economy.
  1. Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian, author of books on history, philosophy and economics, including History of Progress (2013), Utopia for Realists (2017) and Humankind (2020). One of the most prominent young thinkers in Europe. He outlines idea of ​​introducing universal basic income in his bestseller Utopia for Realists, which became famous not only in the Netherlands, but all over the world.

You can watch Rutger Bregman’s speech on basic income in the TED video “Poverty isn’t a lack of character; it’s a lack of cash”.

  1. Evgeny Gontmakher, a Russian economist, Doctor of Economics, professor, scientific leader of the European Dialogue expert group, member of the Civil Initiatives Committee and the Board of the Institute of Contemporary Development.

Ekaterina Schulmann, a Russian political scientist and publicist, Candidate of Political Sciences, Associate Professor of Department of Public Administration and Public Policy of the Institute of Social Sciences of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Ekaterina Schulmann’s YouTube channel has videos where she voices her opinion on basic income:

+ Universal Basic Income: A New Experiment

+ Universal Basic Income and Class Society: Why UBI is dangerous for the state

+ Ekaterina Schulmann on the Possibility of Introducing Universal Income in Russia: “St. Petersburg”, February 22nd, 2018

  1. Matt Zwolinski, a professor of philosophy at the University of San Diego (California, USA). He writes a lot about the libertarian version of the universal basic income.
  1. Sergei Guriev, a Russian scientist, Doctor of Economic Sciences and Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. After emigrating to France, a professor of economics at the Paris School of Political Science. Chief Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 2015 to 2019.
  1. Thomas Piketty, a French economist, PhD, professor of the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences and the Paris School of Economics, author of the bestseller Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which explores the causes and consequences of income inequality in society over the past 250 years.
  1. Ben Shapiro, an American political commentator, writer and lawyer.
  1. Richard Wolf, an American economist, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts.
  1. Thomas Sowell, an American economist, social theorist, and historian who received the National Humanities Medal for an innovative scholarship combining history, economics, and political science.
  1. Sam Harris, an American writer in the fields of philosophy, religion, and neuroscience.

Religious leaders 

  1. Pope Francis, 266th Pope, elected in 2013.
  1. Martin Luther King Jr., an American Baptist preacher, public person and activist, leader of the civil rights movement in the United States (1929-1968).

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

“I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.”

Nobel Prize Winners

  1. James Meade (1907-1995), an English economist, 1977 Nobel laureate for his pioneering contributions to the theory of international trade and the international capital movements.
  2. Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi banker, founder and head of Grameen Bank, professor of economics, and the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner for his efforts to create economic and social development from below. According to Foreign Policy 2008, he was ranked 2nd in the list of “100 Global Thinkers”.
  3. Peter Diamond, an American economist, 2010 Nobel Prize Winner in Economics, together with Dale Mortensen and Christopher Pissarides, for “analysis of markets with search frictions”.
  4. Christopher Pissarides, a Greek Cypriot British economist, Head of the Department of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the 2010 Nobel Prize winner in Economics, with Peter Diamond and Dale Mortensen for analysis of markets with search
  5. James Mirrlees (1936-2018), a British economist, 1996 Nobel prize winner for research on asymmetrical information.
  6. Angus Deaton, a British-American economist, professor at Princeton University, and a professor of economics at the University of Southern California since 2017, a Knight Bachelor since 2016, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Economics “for his analysis of consumption, poverty and welfare.”
  7. Abhijit Banerjee, an American economist of Indian origin, professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics, together with Michael Kremer and Esther Duflo “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.”
  8. Esther Duflot, a French economist, professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.”
  9. Michael Kremer, an American economist, expert on development economics, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2019, together with Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.”

Political leaders

  1. António Guterres, a Portuguese statesman, UN Secretary General since January 1, 2017.
  2. Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States from January 20, 2009 until January 20, 2017, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. You can find US ex-president’s opinion on basic income here.
  3. Zakhar Prilepin, a Russian politician, writer, philologist, publicist, chairman of the political party FOR TRUTH, member of the Central Staff of the All-Russia People’s Front.
  4. Andrew Yang, an American entrepreneur, inventor, and politician, a Democratic candidate for the US 2020 presidential election, who suspended his presidential campaign. He is the author of The War on Normal People.
  5. Ricardo Anaya Cortez, a Mexican lawyer and politician.
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Universal Basic Income: pros and cons, countries with UBI