Universal Basic Income. Starting to debunk the myths

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Our society is absolutely unfair and completely asocial. Let me give you some statistics.

According to Rosstat in 2018, more than 20 million people, or 15% of the population of the Russian Federation had income below the minimum subsistence level.

In reality, 80% of people in Russia are struggling for survival.

70% of people who receive state aid in the Russian Federation, in fact, do not need it.

This includes fictitious unemployed people who are employed at the labor exchange and in fact work and receive unofficial, so-called “black” salaries; as well as people who are in fictitious or unregistered divorces, marriages that allow them to receive benefits (e.g. material assistance, state housing and other benefits) to which they would not be entitled if their civil status were correctly registered.

50% of people who need and are entitled to material support from the state do not actually receive it.

50% of men who have to pay alimony avoid paying it.

Many economists and political scientists argue that this state of affairs is due to defects in administration. I will not object and continue with the list of numbers.

 

According to the UN in 2018:

– 1.3 billion people live below the poverty line,

– Of these, 612 million live in “extreme poverty”.

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

Another 879 million people are on the verge of poverty and can move into poverty fairly quickly if they lose their jobs, conflict or weather conditions.

The world’s poorest regions are sub-Saharan Africa, where 58 percent of the population lives in poverty, and South Asia (31 percent).

Is there enough data?

This list can be continued by those who need food, water, shelter, can’t read, and refugees, including those in the climate. Only the number of the richest people in the world will be very modest.

 

Is it also a defect in administration?

In my opinion, the whole social system is defective when people are literally fighting for survival. Some of them have to break the law to feed their children, and only a few do so out of envy of the rich.

Isn’t that a defect? On the one hand – in the distribution of resources, on the other – in moral values.

Are we not able to help those in need? Or is it too much financial burden on society and it is cheaper for us to maintain prisons and refugee camps, to fence ourselves off out of fear and consider ourselves something better than them? We also have reliable doors and locks that allow us to fence ourselves off from the outside world.

The problem of social inequality has been solved for a long time. This is a universal basic income.

Universal Basic Income or Unconditional Basic Income is a regular fixed payment, provided to all citizens without exception to meet basic needs.

Universal basic income is a form of social guarantee of the state, which replaces all existing social benefits, privileges and has the following characteristics:

 

Characteristics of the Universal Basic Income (UBI):

  1. Regularity – is appointed at equal intervals, for example, monthly;
  2. Monetary form – paid in cash for independent disposal by the recipient of universal basic income (not points, vouchers or in kind);
  3. Unconditional – paid regardless of the availability of work or any income from other sources, respectively, does not require any confirmation, certificates and documents (without verification of financial situation, without confirmation of need);

Thus, there is no need to maintain a huge bureaucratic apparatus that administers all existing benefits, allowances: pensions, scholarships, child allowances, disability allowances, benefits to pay for housing and communal services and others. Can you imagine how much money is spent annually on development of normative acts, collection of supporting documents, calculation, indexing, creation of commissions for medical examinations and other bureaucratic work?

In turn, the population does not need to collect documents, certificates, annual medical examinations, upholstery thresholds and waiting for the long-awaited benefit.

  1. Adequacy – is established in the amount sufficient to meet basic human needs (housing, food, household goods, clothing, communications, etc.);

In 2007, those 13 years ago, the amount of 30 thousand rubles was determined for these needs in the Russian Federation. If you work even for a small salary, then you definitely get more.  In other words, it is profitable to work even for a modest salary. As we know, every work must be rewarded with dignity. Accordingly, in addition to 30 thousand rubles of basic income, you will receive a decent salary corresponding to your profession.

  1. Individuality – paid to each citizen, that is, all people without exception, including children, disabled people, pensioners.

Why did I bring up this topic? Often this idea is shown unilaterally in the media. In order to understand it, you need to read economic literature, books and publications.

I will not lecture you and overload you with information. All the questions, and there are many of them, I will continue to consider in the next blogs.

Now, I just want to offer you this idea as a basis for ensuring the material base of man in a creative society, and debunk the first myth about the selective approach in payment of the universal basic income. Because almost all of the experiments that have been conducted, the failure of which is so loved by journalists, have been selective, providing assistance locally. Many people generally see this idea as a replacement for unemployment benefits, intimidating people with the upcoming robotization.

But of course, the very essence of the idea is that it is unconditional (as the name implies) and paid to all citizens without any restrictions. By the way, I’ve read somewhere that if you meet information about a selective approach to universal basic income, you should know that these are translation errors…

Anyway, despite all the arguments for and against, there is no doubt that the universal basic income is an investment in a human being, and therefore an investment in our future. What it will be like depends on us.

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