A Global Basic income? Yes or No?

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I have found this wonderful article written by two women who argue the pros and cons of an Unconditional Global Basic income. You really have to read it……..It’s in the April 2014 issue of the New Internationalist, I love it.

I really do love it and I have to say that through my experience, I am inclined to side with Barb on this one. To me Barb argues for a better Political Economic State; I see it as having a Socialist heart or core that could also allow for some capitalist activity and innovation just to keep people happy. (Oh and of course all of the other benefits that capitalism brings LOL)

Barb mentions that politicians keep talking about job creation with seemingly little regard to the impact these jobs will have on public health and the environment. While the private sector just maximises profit; over worker and consumer needs and wants and that they will continue to sustain this stance whilst people have no choice but to work wherever they can.

If a Global Basic income was put into action, worldwide citizens could choose when and who to work for. Human rights abuses committed on workers routinely around the world would come to a near end and environmental polluters could be avoided in favour of businesses using sustainable resources and technology. Consumers would get the products they really needed and wanted instead of the ones with big profit margins or a quick turnover.

The Global Basic income would mean everyone would be on an equal footing and have the power to work for the needs and wants of a global society as and where necessary rather than having to do jobs they feel are against their true beliefs, morals, bad for their health or just down right soul destroying, boring and monotonous.

Now to me that sounds pretty good but Francine argues otherwise; she says a better solution would be not to give out money universally, but that it should be means tested and people should receive a minimum amount of guaranteed income. (Much like the benefits available in the UK) She argues that the people that generate wealth should be respected and should not be asked to pay for those who do not absolutely need help.

Francine believes that “There will always be conditions to social benefits” and that for Universal Basic income to be of an acceptable figure to most of us it would cost for example the UK government at least twice the amount it currently pays out in benefits. That amount added to all the other expenses required of a good government would be unsustainable she says.

Well you decide? I believe that if governments took a mainly Socialist ideology and generated state wealth it could work in most countries; with citizen participation and cooperation. Costs of goods and services would fall and people would have time and energy to help each other out for nothing. I think richer countries would help out those with less resources and trade the old fashioned way with fair trade. We would all be winners with the exception of the greedy and the selfish or am I living in a fairy tale world again, I blame it on all the Walt Disney films I watched as a child.

ZOE LAKER

New Internationalist (NI 471 April 2014 issue) Debates from THE ARGUMENT “Should there be a basic income?”  http://newint.org/sections/argument/  Argued BY Barb Jacobson and Francine Mestrum

(THE PAPER ISSUE IS AVAILABLE NOW TO READ BUT THE ONLINE VIEW OF THE ARGUMENT MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE UNTIL APRIL 2014)

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