Humanity is one step away from experiencing another historic transformation due to technological development.
Companies like WhatsApp have a turnover of tens of millions of dollars with just 54 employees.
Many experts warn of future job shortages and estimate that in 20 years, 40% of jobs will have been replaced by machines.
Capitalism does not guarantee employment for all people. Moreover, a job doesn’t guarantee a decent life or a free existence.
Recent economic policy, including labour reforms, constitute an attack on working and living conditions on the majority and is increasingly causing instability.
As a result, layoffs are multiplying and the number of working poor is growing steadily.
The effects of these reforms are not only economic. According to World Health Organization, anxiety and depression disorders will be the leading cause of illness in the so-called “developed world” by 2020.
The ability of the richest to control governments and markets has led to levels of social inequality never before seen.
This is the current distribution of wealth in the world, where the richest 1% has as much wealth as the rest combined.
This economic and political model is unsustainable, we need another way.
What about a basic income?
It is an income at least equal to the poverty line, paid unconditionally by the state to the entire population.
Unconditionality has many advantages.
Administrative costs are saved.
At present, a very high percentage of taxes dedicated to monetary aid is being spent on the bureaucracy to decide who deserves to receive it.
Prevents people who are receiving a subsidy from being trapped in poverty,as they could look for other jobs to increase their income without fear of losing aid as a result.
Frees people who receive aid from social stigmatisation.
Above all, the unconditional guarantee of minimum resources provides a basis for people to have more freedom and less fear so we can decide how we want to live our lives.
To do this, we need to have income on the 1st day of every month. Not just to be assisted if we fall and are able to prove to a bureaucrat that we need help. In short, freedom.
Let’s think about the world of work.
To have a real right to work with dignity, one must be able to choose freely.
Labour contracts are not signed on equal terms when one of the parties is in need of resources and has no choice but to accept the contract.
Instead, basic income enables us to choose more dignified jobs, which are better suited to who we are.
It also opens up opportunities for us to work on our own projects.
On the other hand, people who work in their homes without receiving any money, will be able to free themselves from material dependence on their partners.
And people who require the care of others, will have the resources to think freely about their lives.
In general, basic income allows more of us to lead a life where leisure, care, volunteer work or other activities can be undertaken without need or fear.
Different international surveys and experiments indicate that, with a basic income, people would not stop working.
In Europe, only 4% of people say they would.
The dominant tendency in humans is to try to feel useful.
The basic income is a lever for enabling those jobs, paid or unpaid, that really give us purpose, in which we can also be better and more efficient.
In any case, let us remember that there are no longer jobs for everyone.
The fiscal system is the fundamental mechanism that causes inequality to increase or decrease.
With a progressive tax system, the percentage of tax a person pays grows as their wealth increases.
A basic income financed in this way produces a large redistribution of income from the richest to the rest of the population.
Yes, the rich, as citizens, also receive the basic income; but, so that it can be financed, they pay more than they receive.
We come from a world where employment was supposed to guarantee a livable income.
This world has been shattered.
Small adjustments are no longer enough.
Let’s not let fear hold us back.
There is an urgent need to distribute wealth in a way that frees us all.
Basic income can be an opportunity for us to take control of our lives once and for all.
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