New Zealand: The case for a universal basic income

Video, 4.15 min, on NewsHub, Auckland, by Dan Satherley, March 23, 2016;

Up until now, the relentless forward march of technology has arguably created as many jobs as it has destroyed – if not more.

But there are growing concerns this balance is about to end. Researchers have suggested in the next two decades, nearly half of all existing jobs will be lost to automation.

There are also concerns inequality will skyrocket, with those who control the machines reaping the benefits of increased profits, and the rest of us fighting over a dwindling number of employment opportunities.

Author and economist Professor Guy Standing says thanks to neo-liberal economics, the latter group already exists. He’s labelled them the “precariat”, a portmanteau of the words “precarious” and “proletariat”.

“It’s about people who are having to do bits and pieces, types of odd jobs,” he explained on the Paul Henry programme this morning.

“They have no sense of occupational identity.”

The key differences between the precariat and the older concept of the working-class proletariat are:

  • members often find themselves working in jobs which don’t fulfil their potential and offer few – or zero – benefits outside of a wage;
  • they have to take part in a “growing array of unremunerated activities that are essential if they are to retain access to jobs and to decent earnings”, such as attending university, retraining and doing unpaid work;
  • they have fewer economic and political rights because their precarious position in the job market means they don’t join unions.

“We’re going to have to find a new form of income distribution in order to make sure that a lot of people down the lower ends of the labour market — call them the precariat, or whatever — are getting enough,” says Prof Standing, who will be a keynote speaker at Labour’s Future of Work conference this week … //

… (full text, related links).

Basic Income BIG – Revenu de Base – Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen BGE, March 1-31, 2016, (as every month) on this blog, related articles published during the month (continuously updated).


Flydubai leak: Outpouring of response from pilots as aviation groups keep mum, on RT (EXCLUSIVE), March 23, 2016: a report by a whistleblower from Flydubai published by RT, which cites fatigue as a factor in the Rostov tragedy, has been welcomed by some pilots familiar with the airlines’ alleged negligent practices, but aviation bodies have yet to respond to the leak …;

Labour, up your game – Andrew Dickens, on Newstalk ZB, March 22, 2016;

Fighting poverty in Canada, on Capilano Courier, by Kevin Kapenda, March 22, 2016;

When Robots Take Our Jobs, Should Everyone Still Get a Paycheck? om Smithsonian, by Randy Rieland, March 21, 2016;

Impôts à la source: Christian Eckert évoque la “justice” et la “modernité” pour réformer, dans Boursorama, le 21 mars 2016;

A Great Experiment in Finland, on Commentary, by John Steele, March 21, 2016;

Bold genius in Finland? on TBO, by Tom Jackson, March 21, 2016;

Le CDI, ce sésame qui ouvre l’horizon mais ferme le débat, dans Libération, par Jonathan Bouchet-Petersen, le 20 mars 2016;

Only 12 per cent of people can answer these economics questions – can you? on Independent,, by Caroline Mortimer, March 15, 2016;

Welcome To The Post-Work Economy, on Co.Exist, March 15, 2016;

Geopolitische Agenda der USA für Europa – Dirk Müller, 11.58 min, von Pokey WomanIlor;

von Macht Geld Sinn:

Frauen im Islam: von eswerdelichtTV:

… zur Erinnerung:

  • Die Qualität des Lebens der Kinder misst sich nicht an der Verzichtsleistung der Mütter, sondern Kinder haben ganz eigene Bedürfnisse”, sagt Jacqueline Fehr, SP Nationalrätin, in der Rundschau des Schweizer Fernsehens vom 16.1.2008 … (ich würde das Wörtchen nur anhängen … misst sich nicht nur … aber der Rest stimmt genau – Heidi.

… and this:

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