OccupyConcepts.org: Concepts & Ideas of the Occupy Movement

Unconditional Basic Income

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aka "Basic Income Guarantee"


[edit] Introduction

It has been a popular proposal in the Occupy movement for a basic income per person, regardless of any condition, hence unconditional. The amount of income has not yet been defined, neither the exact formula to estimate one - it is said to cover basic needs (food, shelter).

American revolutionary Thomas Paine advocated a basic income guarantee to all US citizens as compensation for "loss of his or her natural inheritance, by the introduction of the system of landed property". His main objective was, every person born had an inherent right to own a piece of land, but since the land was shared among the people already, those had to compensate the others born from then on - as the piece of land meant back then a steady income from the land to live from.

An unconditional basic income would resolve some issues:

  • provide economical security of some sort, depending on the amount of basic income
  • put pressure on low-wage jobs to be compensated better
  • ensure in a consumer oriented economy that there would be still sufficient consumers

On the other hand it would not resolve:

[edit] Implementation

[edit] Germany 2012

As of 2012 Unconditional Basic Income or Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen (BGE) is getting traction from political left to center and moderate right, their joint effort is:

  • simplify social system, instead lot of different aid, one basic one which covers most
  • ensure people do not fear survival while there is plenty resources for living
  • conservatives see in basic income a way to save costs of social aid and government overhead, reference it as "B├╝rgergeld"
  • progressives see in basic income a way to cover basic needs without the hassle to qualify in endless applications

[edit] See Also

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