As job hunting becomes harder throughout Europe and the world, it’s good to hear that US think tanks endorse the idea of a universal basic income (UBI). That is, money given to every citizen, so that all people can have opportunities to define their lives how they want. In other words, “free” money.
Will it make people lazier, or will it motivate them? The debate on UBI is intense, especially since it comes at a time of great technological advances. High-tech companies’ achievements consistently redefine labour markets. At the same time, many Silicon Valley companies and US think tanks want people to have a guaranteed income. It seems right, but also ironic.
At DiEM25, we agree with the logic of a universal basic income. Critically, however, we believe that the money should not come from additional taxes or the government. It shouldn’t be people paying themselves; nor companies paying for something extra.
We think the money should come from a dividend, financed from the returns on all capital; a “public” percentage of companies’ profits, especially for companies that commercialise technology developed from public funding.
How would this be managed? We propose a fully independent and transparent institution that would act as the reservoir, distributor and regulator of this dividend. An institution that truly represents people’s interests without relying on capitalism’s superficial interest in social justice.
Think this is a good idea? Or want to contribute to improving it? Join us at DiEM25 to help us formulate our ideas and fight for them!
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