Spain: A ‘basic income system’ could be feasible in Spain

… but only by reframing the current debate – Published on London School of Economics LSE, by José A. Noguera, Feb 4, 2015.

… The concept of a ‘basic income’ is now at the centre of the political agenda in Spain: at least since the left-wing party Podemos, which has surged to the top of Spanish opinion polling in recent months, included the proposal in its political programme for the last European election. Under different names (‘Citizens Income’, ‘Universal Basic Income’, ‘Basic Income Guarantee’), the idea essentially involves paying an unconditional minimum income to all citizens.  

It has been widely discussed and debated on television talk shows, as well as by political and economic analysts in the media. Strangely, however, the social scientists who have carefully studied the proposal for many years feel uncomfortable with the situation, largely because most of the references to providing a basic income in the public debate are misleading.

The basic income:

  • The theory behind the basic income proposal has been analysed and discussed in the academic literature on welfare reform for decades (see, for instance, the anthology that has recently been published by Wiley-Blackwell, or the scholarly journal Basic Income Studies). Winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics, such as James Meade, Jan Tinbergen, James Tobin, Gunnar Myrdal, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman and Herbert A. Simon, have carefully considered – if not clearly supported – the basic income concept, or very similar ideas.
  • Many other renowned economists, such as John K. Galbraith, Robert Theobald and Anthony B. Atkinson, as well as political thinkers like Bertrand Russell, Erich Fromm, Philippe van Parijs, Claus Offe, Thomas Pogge and Philip Pettit, have been highly sympathetic to the proposal. Several governments and parliaments across the European Union, including the European Parliament, have requested official reports on the concept over recent decades. All this illustrates that while the idea of a basic income is contestable and would potentially be difficult to implement, it cannot be regarded simply as a utopian idea backed by those on the fringes of the political mainstream.
  • A common mistake in Spain is to confuse the basic income with some form of means-tested minimum income programme, which is targeted only at those families whose income level falls below the poverty line. It can be shown that under certain conditions of tax-benefit integration, the distributional outcome of both proposals would be similar. However the individual and unconditional nature of the basic income generates two particular innovations.
  • First, unlike a conventional benefit programme, recipients should be individuals, not families or households. Second, citizens would not be subject to conditions or tests to establish their eligibility. The basic income is built on the principle of ensuring progressive outcomes through the tax system, rather than through benefits: in other words, eligibility requirements are applied to those who already earn an income rather than those who lack an income of their own.

Assessing the feasibility of a basic income system in Spain: … //

… A more practical approach to the basic income debate: … //

… (full text).

(my comment on the whole matter: I am speechless how so many people, mainly the richer ones, are able to defend inhuman economic structures, as the rules of the troika dictated to Greek people. For rich ones, the actual economic system gives security – or at least they believe it – and the fact that just the same system is able to kill millions worldwide makes them not change their mind. Behind this is the old aged inhuman and deadly belief of Social Darwinism, thus making them unable to reflect on appropriate solutions. I guess, if we want overcome the whole economic mess this humanity is actually living, and if we do not agree that 2/3 of this humanity is killed slowly, one by one, we have to rethink first our belief-systems, for example about birth control (give every woman freedom from men’s income / freeing her from his money), … or about the question: do I agree that millions are killed to give myself a better life, forgetting that others not only eat our food, but also contribute by giving their best for all of us … finally, all that is a question of empathy and intelligence – Heidi).


Why Public Banks Outperform Private Banks, Unfair Competition or a Better Mousetrap? on Dissident Voice, by Ellen Hodgson Brown, Feb 10, 2015;

When Guerrilla Warfare Defeated Terrorism in Cuba, on Dissident Voice, by Mateo Pimentel, Feb 10, 2015;

Since the U.S. Military Lost the Last Two Wars It Fought, Is There Reason to Think “Boots on the Ground” Anywhere Is a Good Idea? on naked capitalism, by Lambert Strether, Feb 9, 2015: We are what we repeatedly do, and what our military repeatedly does is lose. Sending them into Ukraine or Iraq would be demented;

Et si la Grèce imitait le Brésil en adoptant le Revenu Garanti pour tous? par Paul THUNISSEN (son site), le 7 février 2015;

Politique en Sarthe: Mort d’un SDF, les écologistes s’indignent, dans Ouest France, le 7 février 2015;

Proposal for commitment and modified statutes of BIEN (the Basic Income Earth Network), on BIEN, by Karl Widerquist, Feb 7, 2015;

Tiers provisionnel – comment alléger ses échéances, dans les, par MARIE-CHRISTINE SONKIN, LE 06 février 2015; En savoir plus …;

A map of female genital mutiliation rates globally, on, by Joe Dyke, Feb 6, 2015: the UN estimates that over 140 million girls and women across the world have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM), a term that covers a ranges of procedures, from trimming the clitoral hood, to removing almost the entire genitalia and partially sealing the vaginal opening. To mark International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, IRIN has mapped out prevalence rates across Africa and the Middle East …;

The Town Where Everyone Got Free Money, on OpEdNews (first on, by Scott Baker, Feb 5, 2015;

Uncertain Radiological Threat’: US Navy Sailors Search for Justice after Fukushima Mission, on Spiegel Online International, by Alexander Osang, Feb 5, 2015 (Photo Gallery): In March of 2011, the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan rushed to Japan to help after the disastrous tsunami. Since then, many sailors from that ship have fallen ill, possibly as a result of exposure to radiation from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. They will soon have their day in court …;

VIDEO: Professor David Graeber Discusses Pointless Jobs and Basic Income, 6.08 min, Feb 3, 2015: In this video, David Graeber, Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics, is interviewed about the rising idea that people have “pointless jobs” where they do not actually do much work. Graeber discusses the reasons behind these pointless jobs and claims that while they fail to make sense in a truly capitalistic setting, they do make sense within businesses where people may be more powerful if they have more people working under them. Graeber then goes on to explain why he believes a basic income could solve the problem by freeing people from these pointless jobs in order to pursue their passions;

… et encore ceci – 2 Sites Web:

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