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  • HF: For those who don't know about it,

  • can you briefly tell us what basic income is?

  • ES A basic income is the base of income for the basic needs,

  • and the thought is:

  • that these basic needs

  • must not be strictly bounded to some conditions;

  • it's necessary to have it for everybody;

  • and it's much better to give it free

  • as basic, unconditional, for everybody.

  • It does not depend

  • on what you are doing, how much you are earning,

  • its not dependent on if you are working or not,

  • employed or not employed, living alone or living in the community.

  • It's just focused on the individual, focused on the human being,

  • not circumstances, not functions.

  • And that, I guess, is a necessary basis for the challenges of work we have,

  • and the challenges in the world we live in now.

  • HF: You've been very successful with the media hype,

  • you just recently set the Guinness Book World Record for the largest poster,

  • you dropped 400,000 Swiss francs in the square in Bern.

  • E.S.: It' was eight million, to represent 8 million residents in Switzerland,

  • and there was about 50 tons of money.

  • It was a golden mountain,

  • and it was to show that the money is there.

  • It's not about the money:

  • it's about the unconditional, it's about abolishing ideologies,

  • and to make a carpet for the people, a carpet for life,

  • [a symbol] that we can all [afford to] spend up to this amount.

  • H.F.: My favorite picture from that is the man vacuuming up the money

  • E.S.: Yes, again, it was not for free.

  • it had to come back to the National Bank.

  • H.F.: Do you have any figures for us about how many people are for it?

  • E.S.: Yeah.

  • Everybody is for it, in the whole world. But they don't know it yet.

  • And..

  • (Laughs)

  • (Applause)

  • H.F. How many people want it?

  • How many people would work?

  • How many people wouldn't..

  • E.S.: Ah, OK.

  • That is really a question, and we also wanted to know that,

  • and so we did a survey, last December in Switzerland.

  • There are many [surveys] in other countries, and many pilot projects:

  • but the result of this

  • was that two percent of the people

  • will quit their job.

  • So, thanks God, it's good for them,

  • they don't stand in their factory or in their company,

  • and make something bad.

  • And eight percent will think about it.

  • So at least ten percent of the people will quit the job,

  • or think about it,

  • and that does not mean they won't work oo anything.

  • They'll work on other things.

  • And all the rest, 90 percent, want to continue working.

  • And ask yourself:

  • will I stop working if my basic needs are taken care of?

  • So, not you yourself, but it's always the others.

  • More than 50 percent there said they want to have more time

  • for the children, for families, for social things.

  • 50 percent of the people said they want to have more time to study.

  • And 40 percent of the people said

  • they want to have more time for free working, voluntary work.

  • So there's a demand by everybody to do something good for others,

  • and that's the reason to work:

  • to have a responsibility, to do something good for others.

  • And 13 percent said they want to change their job.

  • 22 percent said, they wanted to become a freelancer, self-employed.

  • H.F: You mentioned jobs that people don't want to do.

  • What does this mean for people doing the dirty work?

  • E.S.: An unconditional basic income?

  • H.F: Yeah.

  • E.S. They can say no.

  • That's the first, and that's brilliant.

  • You see, freedom is not always about being able to do what you want

  • but [also being able to] know what you really don't want to do.

  • You cannot be forced to do anything or everything for money,

  • and that's a brilliant thing.

  • And the question, who cleans the toilets or who would do this work

  • what especially we both don't want to do.

  • But the others, you know,

  • it's an old thought of the time of slavery,

  • the others have to do the work I don't want to do but it has to be done.

  • So think of it, be a bit creative:

  • You have to pay it better!

  • If this work is necessary and its valuable,

  • it has to be appreciated.

  • An unconditional basic income

  • creates a huge incentive to create better work conditions,

  • more appreciation, more equal "eye-level".

  • And it's not so easily not to listen to the other,

  • not to be aware, not to care to the others.

  • But it's a more equal floor.

  • It's an equal flow in society,

  • and that means a lot by better work conditions

  • and, as I say at least, why not pay this better?

  • H.F.: This all sounds great.

  • But - everybody I've asked, they all love the idea,

  • but then they don't know how it's going to work.

  • So what do you say to the skeptics?

  • E.S.: Yeah, precisely, what I want to say is

  • you have to start the campaign, the idea, the discussion.

  • Everybody is invited, we will create it together.

  • It's not a fixed and finished model and just a calculation.

  • That's the first point:

  • to believe, to trust in what we are thinking,

  • and that we can do it.

  • And then it's for me, related to direct democracy.

  • There's a lack in the world of the role of democracy:

  • we have to renew it.

  • And then, how does it work - financially, for example -

  • is that you can imagine,

  • if there's an unconditional basic floor for everybody,

  • then wages can decrease,

  • about the [basic income's] amount.

  • So wages and all other incomes

  • do no longer have the task to [fund] livelihood,

  • they no longer have this task to ensure existence.

  • That's taken over by an unconditional basic income

  • we give each other.

  • And by this, when wages fall,

  • salaries in the public sector and the private sector,

  • also social benefits securities can decrease about this amount.

  • Then costs of labor decrease.

  • Then costs of production decrease.

  • And then for example, if you have a price for this,

  • I don't know what this is, maybe three francs?

  • And because of lower costs in the other incomes,

  • - because they can decrease about this amount

  • of an unconditional basic income that everybody has -

  • the cost will fall, and they fall about what?

  • About that amount that's no longer included, contained,

  • in the existing incomes.

  • And once this part becomes free,

  • the room it makes in the former price structure

  • goes to finance the unconditional basic income,

  • in the same way it finances today's incomes

  • so you know every income, all incomes are financed by the prices,

  • and it will become a proportion in the prices,

  • for the unconditional basic income,

  • and a smaller proportion for the other existing incomes.

  • That's the principle, so there are many details:

  • we have a few weeks time to discuss later.

  • But let's first look at it.

  • H.F.: We've talked about the people, we've talked about the idea.

  • How does the money feel about this?

  • E.S: The money?

  • Oh, yeah.

  • That's an interesting question, therefore - I went in a bank,

  • I wanted to know how does the money feel.

  • Everybody is keen to get money.

  • But nobody is asking what we are doing with the money,

  • how awful it is for the money

  • to be misused for all these horrible things.

  • And I think, for me, even if it sounds funny,

  • freeing the money is a thing for artists to do,

  • or even for bankers,

  • so creativity and art are in every job.

  • Looking to the money, doing good with money

  • may sound a bit crazy,

  • but at least, why not?

  • Let's have a look how we create it.

  • You know, we don't know how we create money

  • and we think that's a miracle, that's far away.

  • No, it's understandable: we create money

  • by giving trust and giving the right to act on initiative to each other.

  • That's the creation of money, and that means

  • it's not so much a part of the economy,

  • it's much more a democratic right.

  • H.F.: Do you have any closing remarks you'd like to add before we end?

  • E.S.: Yes, of course, many.

  • (Laughs)

  • We just started a little view in this ongoing movement.

  • And what I want to say is that it concerns everybody.

  • It's not the rich for the poor, not feudalism.

  • It is a new challenge and requirement

  • to rethink things, to be responsible.

  • It's yet another one step towards more freedom and responsibility

  • as we have had in history every time.

  • It's not new but it is a step in history,

  • and it's as difficult as it was to understand

  • that we really should abolish slavery,

  • that there is such an astonishing idea as human rights,

  • and that we do this awful thing as allow everybody to vote,

  • and to decide, as a society, to introduce direct democracy.

  • So when you have a look in the past,

  • [at] what our grandfathers and grandmothers did,

  • you see they fought for what we have.

  • And we have to go a step further on.

  • And it's the same, like introducing democracy,

  • and the other things I mentioned.

  • To take this risky step

  • to an unconditional basic income for everybody,

  • to give this trust in society, and to strengthen civil society,

  • opposed and in partnership to what's going on in the economy,

  • but in a way, independent.

  • To say, who's at the top of it?

  • We are, the people are, you are.

  • It's all about you, and take this to you.

  • To lead society and not to be lead by the system.

  • H.F.: Well thank you Enno, it's been a pleasure.

  • E.S.: It was a pleasure for me. Thank you.

  • (Applause)

HF: For those who don't know about it,

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A2 unconditional basic income income basic percent decrease

【TEDx】Discussing the merits of Unconditional Basic Income | Enno Schmidt | TEDxBasel

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    王惟惟 posted on 2017/03/25
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