So basic income is a topic I've discussed a lot before with Mr. Human, who first introduced the idea to me and is passionately pro-basic income. The gist of it is that its a regular income that is provided to individuals with no conditions. It doesn't have to be an extravagant amount, usually enough to cover living, food and the basics. But the point is that individuals can choose what they will do with this money. There's no requirements, such as having to apply for 10 jobs or go to 3 job interviews every week. Recipients are free to spend it how they like.
I know, this sounds so counterintuitive to what we're used to in society, especially where I've grown up in Sydney. It's almost as if everyone has learnt to "never give money to homeless people, they're just going to use it on alcohol or drugs". Somewhere along the lines, this strong stereotype came to be, perhaps because of reasonable basis I cannot be certain, but this stereotype does have a distrusting, negative ring to it. It seems to imply that people don't want to help themselves, given the opportunity. That they aren't looking for some way to better their situation, improve their stability or just to provide security for their loved ones.
If you'd like to read any further about basic income, just head on over to:
So basic income is an interesting concept to me, still faced with lots of criticisms and doubts. I myself don't know what the outcome would be and I do, in my heart, hope that people do want to do better with the money, not squander it away. I want to believe in people. So this was an interesting article to read today, about how one of the Dutch cities Utrecht has actually announced a basic income pilot.
Read on here for more details: The Dutch “basic income” experiment is expanding across multiple cities - Quartz
Some points that I thought interesting:
- A recent study conducted in 18 European countries concluded that generous welfare benefits make people likely to want to work more, not less.
- “We want to discover, if you trust people and give them a basic income without any rules or obligations—so, unconditionally—that they will do the right thing,”
- “It would be outright unjust if in this way welfare recipients would be getting more money than employees that have been doing full-time low-paid work for years,” asserted the economic daily Het Financieele Dagblad in an op-ed piece (paywall) on Tilburg’s initiative.