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  • As work is changing... is a universal basic income

  • really a solution to this problem?

  • First, umm, Guy. Well thank you very much

  • and welcome to everybody and thanks for

  • coming to this session. When you've been

  • working on a subject for 30 years and

  • you're suddenly told you have four to

  • five minutes to give your perspective

  • you feel the slight sense of awe and I

  • want to begin actually by a little poem

  • from Barbara Wootton who said: it's from

  • the champions of the impossible rather

  • than the slaves of the possible that

  • evolution draws its creative force. And I

  • use that in our 25th anniversary because

  • we've been going through a period where

  • we've been doing a lot of fundamental

  • research on the feasibility,

  • affordability, implications of a basic

  • income. And for many years totally

  • ignored; but in the last couple of years

  • there has been suddenly been a huge surge of

  • interest partly by a realization about

  • automation. Now I want to stress that

  • that is not my rationale for a basic

  • income. It never has been. But it's quite

  • useful because it's made us much more

  • topical. The reason I felt that I always

  • fought for a basic income is a threefold.

  • First, it's a means of social justice.

  • This goes back to Thomas Paine and Henry

  • George and people who said public wealth

  • is created over generations. And any of

  • us know or should know and have the

  • humility to know that our income and

  • wealth is fundamentally due to the

  • contributions of previous generations

  • and much more than anything you and I

  • do ourselves. And therefore if you allow

  • private inheritance we should also have

  • public inheritance as a social dividend

  • on public wealth created. That means of

  • social justice is fundamental behind why

  • I believe in a basic income.

  • The second reason is that it is a means

  • to enhance republican freedom. Republican

  • freedom is different from standard

  • liberal forms of freedom in the sense

  • that it means freedom from domination by

  • figures of authority using up their

  • arbitrary power. It is a mechanism for

  • enhancing republican freedom. And the

  • third reason is that it is a means of

  • providing people with basic security.

  • Basic security. And in that regard, we

  • claim that those of us who support basic

  • income

  • it is not for eradicating poverty per se,

  • it is for handling the issue of

  • insecurity. I listened this morning to

  • the very illustrious panel

  • saying what should be done to help the

  • squeezed middle class. I listen very very

  • intently. I couldn't hear a single policy

  • that was addressed to the precariat or

  • to the groups that are facing chronic

  • insecurity today. Because that is behind

  • this drifter populism. That is behind so

  • many of the mental health problems and

  • so on mental health is improved by basic

  • security. Mental development is improved

  • by basic security. And what we've found

  • in our pilots - and we've done pilots - I

  • wish people would look at the evidence

  • rather than continue with their views.

  • But we've done pilots covering thousands

  • of people. And most fundamentally we

  • found that the emancipatory value of

  • a basic income is greater than the money

  • value. And i can explain that at length,

  • but the point is that it gives people a

  • sense of control of their time so that

  • the value of work grow relative to the

  • demands of labor; so that the values of

  • learning and public participation grow

  • rather than just so surviving; so that the

  • values of citizenship are strengthened

  • the values of altruism and tolerance we

  • found the evidence from basic income

  • experiments that show that these are

  • enhanced we know as individuals and

  • groups that at the moment society is

  • suffering from a deprivation of those

  • values of altruism and tolerance. So for

  • me I think a basic income is not a

  • panacea but it is part of the new

  • distribution system that we should be

  • building for the 21st century. Thank you

  • very much.

  • Thank you very much

As work is changing... is a universal basic income

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B1 US basic income basic income freedom security republican

Three reason to advocate basic income - Guy Standing at WEF, Davos 2017

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    王惟惟 posted on 2017/12/19
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