The biggest obstacle to universal basic income has nothing to do with money

Published on Business Insider UK, by Will Martin, June 9, 2016.

… Earlier this week, the UK’s Labour party even said that it is closely looking at UBI as an idea, with shadow chancellor John McDonnell saying it might be an idea whose time has come.  

More and more cities are rolling out experiments with a basic income, with Utrecht in the Netherlands experimenting, Finland planning a study next year, and, despite the rejection of a nationwide UBI scheme, the Swiss city of
Lausanne could also give the idea a go … //

… The most important obstacle for basic income is a moral obstacle. It is in the ideas that we still have about work. We still work with a very outdated definition of what work is. We define work by getting a salary in a hierarchical relationship with an employer, and you have to get paid.

“All the other things, caring for the children, caring for the elderly, doing housework and volunteer work — we don’t consider that as work, even though obviously it is. Try and stop doing those things, go on strike as a careworker or stop doing the dishes, and you’ll see that it is going to be a problem.”

The fear that UBI will disincentivise work — that we’ll all stay home watching TV instead of working if we get free money — turns out to be empirically unfounded. Pilot studies of UBI schemes have shown that given the choice to work or not, people still go out to work, but they often change the work they choose to do. Net labour productivity goes up under UBI, proving that the economic impact of UBI is positive not negative to growth … //

… (full text, related links, VIDEO 1.59 min).

(see my comment on this blog, June 9 /Why the Swiss rejected basic income – Heidi).


Gutting the Scientific Establishment – Australia’s Business Model, on Dissident Voice, by Binoy Kampmark, June 12, 2016.

Work for a living – or live without work? on The National, UAE, by Nima Abu Wardeh, June 10, 2016;

Are we approaching a Minsky Moment? #Gold is the new #Gold, Check out NV’s NuLegacy #Gold, on Conting Pips, Forex and Finanial Trading, by Peter Epstein, June 10, 2016;

on en.wikipedia: Minsky Moment is a sudden major collapse of asset values which is part of the credit cycle or business cycle. Such moments occur because long periods of prosperity and increasing value of investments lead to increasing speculation using borrowed money …;


about Economic Thoughts, Collapses, Minsky Moments etc:

Dangerous Thoughts, Julianna Forlano speaks with economist Richard Wolff, uploaded by the Julianna Forlano Collection, Feb-March 2013:

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