Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • The threat that technological innovation will

  • destroy more jobs than it creates has spurred

  • a wide variety of proposals for ensuring that

  • workers aren't left out in the cold.

  • One such proposal is universal basic income.

  • The idea is simple: citizens or permanent

  • residents receive a fixed sum of money, giving

  • them the security and flexibility to participate

  • in reskilling or higher education programs,

  • to start their own businesses, to engage in

  • less lucrative but socially valuable activities,

  • or simply to spend less time working.

  • As the so-called gig economy grows, and unions'

  • capacity to protect workers weakens, a UBI

  • would be a powerful economic stabilizer.

  • And, because it would be universal, a UBI

  • would lack the stigma or means-testing that

  • often weaken political support for existing

  • welfare programs.

  • The most obvious question is how to pay for it.

  • One option is taxation of corporate profits,

  • though any tax-based financing scheme would

  • almost certainly face powerfuland possibly

  • fatalpolitical resistance.

  • Another option, advanced by Yanis Varoufakis,

  • seeks to avoid this problem by giving the

  • public a share of returns on capital.

  • For example, a percentage of capital stock

  • (shares) from every initial public offering

  • could be channeled into a Commons Capital

  • Depository, with the dividends funding what

  • would amount to a universal income scheme.

  • But financing UBI is just the first step.

  • The concept challenges traditional ideas about

  • work, success, and human fulfillment.

  • On the right, critics worry that a UBI would

  • give rise to mass dependency, with a large

  • share of the population no longer bothering

  • to work, leading to a drop in labor supply

  • and falling productivity.

  • Critics on the left, meanwhile, worry that

  • the UBI could be used as a Trojan horse for

  • cutting other social programs that are meant

  • to target disadvantaged groups.

  • In any case, UBI is not the only potential solution.

  • For example, in the United States, some advocate

  • the expansion of the earned income tax credit,

  • which benefits low-income workers based on

  • how many hours they work and children they

  • have.

  • Some also advocate a guaranteed jobs program.

  • The federal government would guarantee employment,

  • with benefits and a living wage, to every

  • citizen or permanent resident willing and

  • able to work.

  • Among other things, a job guarantee, like

  • a UBI, would boost workers' negotiating

  • power throughout the economy by removing the

  • fear of unemployment.

  • None of these proposals has yet been implemented,

  • at least not on a scale large enough to assess

  • them properly.

  • And, for now, the political will to test bold

  • solutions is lacking in much of the world.

  • But with the specter of technological unemployment

  • closing in, governments may soon have no choice

  • but to test novel ideas.

The threat that technological innovation will

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 US income financing capital political scheme universal basic

PS. In Theory: Universal Basic Income

  • 64 2
    王惟惟 posted on 2019/04/04
Video vocabulary