Universal Basic Income UBI could arrive in Europe faster than you think

Published on Business Insider.in, by Jim Edwards, Dec 14, 2015.

Several European countries are moving to adopt universal basic income schemes in the next few years. If any of them come to fruition we could finally get an answer to one of the most exciting questions in economics: whether basic income is the best way to end poverty and the welfare state:  

  • In January 2016, the Dutch city of Utrecht will do an experiment in which its population will be divided into different groups that receive different levels of welfare, including one in the form of an unconditional basic income. Payments will range from €900 ($1,000) to €1,300 ($1,450);
  • Later in 2016, Switzerland will hold a referendum on creating a universal basic income. (Its parliament is opposed);
  • In 2017, Finland will adopt a scheme that pays everyone €800 ($876) a month.

The theory behind a basic income scheme is that the government largely abolishes the costly, complicated, bureaucratic welfare state, where payments and transfers are based on status, personal circumstances, or the qualifications of the applicant. Then the pot of welfare money is simply divided equally among the entire population, no strings attached. Conservatives like the idea because it shrinks the state and removes the government’s micro-interference in the lives of the poor. Left-wingers like it because it provides a lifetime safety net for lower income people and gives workers more choices about what types of work to accept … //

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Global Capitalism: December 2015 Monthly Update, 84.34 min, uploaded by RichardDWolff;

a bunch of links about UBI, on this blog, December 2015;

Silicon Valley’s Basic Income Bromance, on BackChannel, by Lauren Smiley, Dec 15, 2015:  a cult of bros, brahmins and braintrusters is pushing the idea of a government-distributed living wage. You obsess about the robots taking the jobs. You like the robot part, but worry about the jobs. Your LinkedIn page says “using technology to benefit society with focus on the underserved” and “pour-over coffee makes me happy.” You are idealistic, fair-minded, generally not opposed to Star Trek;

Reflecting on Refugees, A Plea for Measured Debate, on Spiegel Online International, by Klaus Brinkbäumer, Dec 15, 2015: The debate over refugees in Germany has grown divisive. Those in favor are unwilling to recognize the difficulties ahead while those opposed too often veer toward prejudice and xenophobia. Neither is helpful. What’s needed is an atmosphere of critical empathy. In periods of structural change, books and learned professors tell us, those affected tend to align themselves into three groups. The first group, rarely larger than 25 percent, doesn’t shy away from uncertainty and welcomes change with expectant anticipation. The third group, often larger than the first, hates what is happening out of fear for the new. And the second group, in the middle, waits to see how things will develop …;

France: La publication des revenus agricoles fait polémique, dans La Croix, le 15 déc 2015: selon un document de l’Insee, le revenu de l’agriculture française par actif devrait progresser de 8,8 % cette année;

Namibia: Hage Geingob makes more promises, on namibian, by Shinovene Immanuel, Dec 15, 2015;

Quand l’UCL consacre Wiki, dans DH.be, le 14 déc 2015;

Le refus des risques, dans Libération.fr, par Laurent Joffrin, le 14 déc 2015;

LCGS partners with others to bring additional services to Logan County, on News Democrat Leader, Dec 14, 2015;

M’sia’s role in London property scene, on Daily Express, Dec 14, 2015;

Citizen’s income and economic ideas which are true and good, on The Guardian, Dec 13, 2015;

Le mythe de l’ubérisation du salariat, dans Contreépoints, par Ferghane Azihari, le 12 déc 2015;

Sur Libération.fr, le 11 déc 2015;

Et si c’était la fin de l’emploi, dans Boulevard Voltaire, par Marie Delarue, le 11 déc 2015;

Billionaire Bonanza: The Forbes 400 and the Rest of Us, on Institute for Policy Studies IPS.org, by CHUCK COLLINS and JOSH HOXIE, Dec 1, 2015: the wealthiest 20 people own more wealth than half the American population;

US: Why Did the Death Rate Rise Among Middle-Aged White Americans? on New Yorker, by JOHN CASSIDY, Nov 9, 2015;

Economic Update: Your Weekly Dose of Revolutionary Economics (Audio), on truth-out.org, by Richard D. Wolff, Aug 29, 2015: a revolutionary take on a massive set of problems: Capitalism’s failings and today’s global economic crisis.

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