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A universal basic income is essential for the economy of the 21st century. It creates scope for development and entrepreneurship. It’s beneficial socially and economically. It allows to cope with the rapid changes through digitization and robotics. It increases intrinsic motivation, because people have a walk-away option. People who like their work, perform better. A universal basic income will come – sooner or later. Therefor many leading entrepreneurs and economists want to ask the questions a society with basic income will have to deal with already now. They are committed to advance the idea of an unconditional basic income in the present for the future.
We go through a huge change at labor markets and in working environment. Digitization and automation increasingly work instead of us. One machine can work for one hundred people. More value gets created with less humane work-input. But without new social policies, the gains of machine work go fully into the machine owner’s pocket. The hundred people who did the work of the machines earlier, go away empty-handed. Already today we live in a world, where the richest 62 people own the same as a half of the world ( An unconditional basic income can provide equal participation at a minimum level of the earnings from automation and digitization to everyone.
A basic income gives each person a seed-money which many will use as start-up capital. This allows to realize independently enterprises. Today the notion of failure prevents many initiatives. With the security of a lifelong basic income the self-confidence will increase and many procreative ideas will become reality. The increasing establishment of small businesses will lead to more innovation and competition. This enhances the economic output. A large experiment with basic income in Namibia clearly showed an increase in entrepreneurial spirit: With basic income 29% of the national earned incomes came from independent activities.
There must be an allowance of a living social income so people can effect their ideas and effect their vision for occupation of one variety or another. Or none what so ever. Anything less would amount to people management and stagnating the mind and economy. This would project horrible social situations such as crime, drug addiction, alcholism, and many other social maladies.
Mental health is one of the largest public health problems in most developed countries. The knowledge that the basic income will ensure a basic standard of living in any circumstances will provide a sense of mental security, especially when the economy is performing poorly. The removal of various de-humanising tests and stigmatization of anyone who receives welfare payments will also serve to improve mental health. There is also evidence that poverty itself reduces cognitive capacity, comparable to a loss of 13 IQ points, or chronic alcoholism as compared to sobriety. A basic income would remove this cognitive impairment. The rising cost of health care is a cause of great long-term concern, and basic income could lower this cost. In the Dauphin, Manitoba pilot experiment in Canada, an 8.5% reduction in hospitalization was found to be a direct result of the minimum income. This was attributed to the reduction in workplace injuries and family violence resulting from the rise in incomes.
Prominent economists on both sides of the political spectrum have come out in favor of the basic income. Firstly, the guarantee of a universal basic income for all citizens, and would greatly alleviate the burden of poverty that many Americans experience by ensuring that this basic income would serve as a form of financial security that can ensure that all American families can afford to secure the basic necessities of living- utilities, rent, food and other such necessary expenditures. The knowledge that the basic income will ensure a basic standard of living in any circumstances will provide a sense of mental security for American workers, especially when the economy is performing poorly. This will also serve to improve mental health, reducing anxiety that stems from not having financial security and stability. Studies have shown that poverty leads to impeded cognitive function and poorer decision making. The explosion of technology use in the workplace has caused productivity to rapidly increase and a greater share of output compared to human labor. This allows business owners- who own capital- to pay workers the same wages while cutting labor costs and earning higher profit. Basic income alleviates this conundrum by instituting a form of “Robin Hood” tax by taxing the rich and giving money to the marginalized even if they can’t find a job. This money will be spent in our communities, boosting small businesses and strengthening America’s economy. A form of a multiplier effect would occur- every extra dollar going into the pockets of low-wage workers, standard economic multiplier models tell us, adds about $1.21 to the national economy. Thus, this would lead to increased consumption spending, resulting in an overall increase in national. About 70% of the American economy is based on consumer spending, which makes basic income an viable solution for reinvigorating and empowering the middle class once again: a new American Dream for the 21st century.