What is Universal Basic Income?
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What is Universal Basic Income?


Nothing undermines life more than insecuritybut for too many, the last few decades
have become ever more insecure.
Work is less certain and more stressful,especially for those
on average incomes and lower —
and we have a tax and benefits system
that is complex and sometimes punitive.
We could do something completely different,like give a basic monthly payment
to every single citizen.
This is called a Basic Income.It’s a centuries-old idea
favoured by philosophers,
social reformers, civic leaders
and across the political spectrum.
And it could help us meet our needs today.Basic Income would provide a platform
to smooth the life transitions
millions of us will face in coming years,including changes
that may come from technology.
It’s the best insurance policy there is.It would be a solid foundation
to enable people to structure their lives
in a way that unleashes their talent.Whether we want to earn or learn,
care or set up a business,
Basic Income could offer us greater securityand a better, more creative life.Some people say Basic Income
will make people lazy.
We don’t accept the premise
that people are naturally lazy
but, anyway, Basic Income is a system
that incentivises work.
It gets rid of effective tax rates of 70%
or more for the bottom half of earners.
Some say it’s unaffordable.Experts show it could be funded without
massively increasing the size of the state.
In the RSA’s model,
an additional 1% of GDP would be needed.
Not insignificant, but no more than the cost
of recent changes to taxes and benefits.
And these changes would support everyone,not just the big corporations
and the privileged few,
who have tended to gain
from recent big moves in the tax system.
The Basic Income movement
is expanding globally.
Pilots are planned in the Netherlands,
Finland and Canada.
We believe it is time for more trials —in a UK city, in the US and many other
places across the globe, too.
Basic Income could be a means of rethinking
what matters to us all —
a platform to help us strengthen
relationships to one another,
improve our working livesand support an even better,
more creative society.

52 Comments

  • Peter Jolliffe

    Basic income seems like a brilliant idea when you don't give it a lot of thought. ..but for many reasons it's actually a hopeless idea…Yes it 'would' be very good for the old, the sick and the disabled….but for everyone else… in a system where the robots are taking over the jobs..there should be a Job sharing income…make it actually worthwhile for people to start sharing the jobs and working 'less'…You won't have any kind of social harmony with half the people unemployed and doing nothing while the other half are still working just as long and as hard as ever and it doesn't matter how much better off they are working 40 plus hours a week…..the problem isn't about the money. They will feel like they are having to do all the work to support the unemployed…and in reality ..THEY ARE even without a basic income.

  • Mohamed M

    At some point, the basic income model will be the only viable option, given our current trend of wage stagnation and stunted social mobility.

  • Mystogan Edolas

    I look forward to the raising prices in stores due to this idea.

    Unleas it's attached directly to inflation it will do nothing.

  • bj0rn

    Happened to notice Yanis Varoufakis at 0:30. A truly inspiring man! If you haven't listened to him, I suggest you do. As an example, his latest project is the launch of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 which aims to rehaul the European Union into a more sound democratic entity which respects national sovereignty, in response to its current trajectory towards becoming "a superstate ruled by technocrats issuing edicts".

  • Animal Rammer

    Where is the research to back up these claims?
    At a first glance I know I wouldn't work if the government would just give me a paycheck every month.

  • Airis Dämon

    Aside from the obvious moral and ethical arguments one could make, it has been proven over and over that reinvesting the wealth created by the citizenry back into society as dividends and public works, rather than allowing it to be siphoned off by a privileged class, is the best way for creating lasting prosperity.

  • yin ng

    Wow! hallelujah! Am I ready to joint? Why? Much more than ready! Hate my job so much and Can't wait till the day don't need to work and just collect my share of the Basic Income others (the rich) pay for me. 😜

  • jim cognition

    Because socialism and central planning have worked so well in the past.
    Under the current model, this basic income would be loaned into existence through the issuance of Bonds, and the minute that it is deposited into someone's bank account, it would become a (10%) fractional reserve, allowing the bank to create 90% of numbers that exist purely on a computer screen, which steals it's value from the pool of currency already in circulation.
    Great idea, central planners. Really great.

  • RainAngel111

    I am so ready.

    However, I feel like this is one the less impressive RSA animates. Simply because it doesn't do a very good job explaining why Basic Income is something we may need, and why it's preferable to the current state.

  • Oleg Kozlovskii

    It all makes sense but I still have my doubts. Especially when you look at neighborhoods living of welfare checks. You do not see a lot of creativity and prosperity there. Though, we will not find out if it works until we try.

  • Kirk Mulhearn

    So are you suggesting the CEO of Goldman Sachs makes the same amount of money as the janitor?—although that would be entertaining; what you are truly trying to sell us is a yuppie type of communism. People already get paid for working jobs they are capable of working. It is non-sense to pay a dish washer the same amount of money as say, a Doctor of Medicine…….

  • Tora Marie Wedervang

    Maybe I have misunderstood, but wouldn't giving people more money just boost inflation leaving everyone with the same purchasing power that they always had?

  • celestialchik

    I believe that people are dreamers at heart, and if they didn't have to constantly worry about money for food and rent, nothing would stop them from chasing their dreams and, hopefully, bettering society. Financial insecurity would be gone.

  • GenghisVern

    The only function of UBI is to overcome welfare envy.  The fantasy that everyone can retire on a middle class income is absurd.  In fact, UBI is always below poverty rate, and extended to everyone regardless of need.  Argued by conservatives to consolidate all social spending and continue privatization of everything.

    Job guarantee is much more reasonable, and non-inflationary.  Oh, don't worry about how to pay for it– taxes don't fund sovereign spending.  Embrace national deficits and spend on public infrastructure.

  • Eric Fortune

    "I once heard someone defend that belief by declaring that "human nature is to do as little as necessary." This prejudice is refuted not just by a few studies but the entire branch of psychology dealing with motivation. Normally, it's hard to stop happy, satisfied people from trying to learn more about themselves and the world, or from trying to do a job of which they can feel proud. The desire to do as little as possible is an aberration, a sign that something is wrong."
    ~Alfie Kohn

  • Ben Lewis

    Seriously, wtf.

    Isn't this basically what we have with an tax allowance where you don't pay tax up to x amount and benefits for those out of employment?

    I don't think that I like the premise of people being paid for being alive…

    Can someone explain the logic of this to me?

  • Jordan Carlisle

    I believe the only way this would work is if there are artificial price ceilings for all essential living goods and services. Otherwise, when you increase the average individual purchasing power, demand for goods becomes more inelastic. Meaning, individuals are less likely to stop purchasing something if the price increases because they have more cash from standard income. Therefore, free market merchants could raise their prices until demand hits equilibrium.

    I'm not a professional economist, so it would be great if a qualified professional could poke holes in my thought process.

  • Arbănaş Claudiu

    If everyone would gets money unconditional.. it means everyone would have money to spend on anything => both small and big companies will get richer => salaries would raise => those who work would afford more things
    Researchers/Inventors/Kickstarts would get more funds from more people => New technologies for people/New inventions/New useful things for everyone.

    In short: the world would advance faster.

  • Alvin Yap

    The idea of Universal Basic Income is utter rubbish.

    The idea is even worse than the idea of communism. At least communism make sure all people works and get paid accordingly.

    The video did mentioned that the money shall flow from the "Labour Replacing Technologies Owners" to the ordinary people. But how many percent of the people are the technologies owners? 1%? 0.1%? Or maybe 0.001% of the mankind? You are expecting the small portion of the mankind to have the obligation to feed the rest of the mankind?

    How will this stupid idea fits with the democratic political system? As we all know the policy makers are representing the voice of the people, and in this case it would be the 99.99% of the people who doesn't have to work.
    What kind if policies you expect from the administrator and the legislator? To even further exploit the Technologies Owners/Innovators and raise the free money for the lazy ones?

    The idea isn't sustainable at all, and this is the most stupid social idea ever. History has proved that communism doesn't work, and same goes to this.

  • William Hodge

    Universal Basic Income can be financed by 100 year 1% Treasure Bonds that could be retired when they reach maturity. It would require no new taxes. Although I do believe that Rich people should be charged FICA taxes on all their income as the rest of Working People are. That would underwrite Social Security and Medicare for all.

  • stephababe2007 2007

    this sounds great. but idk the government never gives us anything unless they are getting something in return. but why not live the last of what we have in this world with more money to do stuff

  • Futures

    I wonder what the war machine would 0 – the ruling class need people with no access and diminished hope and hardship in order to sell them the exciting opportunity to go kill and be killed across the globe

  • gone in a blink of an eye

    cool i finaly get to sit on my ass all day and get payed. better then getting up working hard getting home knowing you've achieved something that day. just what insensitive will people have to better themselves or is that the plan,for government to rule. that i mean the EU to rule the whole of the continent as one block instead of countries. lol you middle-class chaps make me laugh as your so ideas disenfranchise the many leaving you in a echo chamber with your mates from uni. total dicks.

  • James Shuster

    the only reason I work is to excel and progress. if there was no financial incentives to do so, most would do the least possible work. compensation = innovation

  • Oi오이

    Hi, I added Korean subtitles on this video. And I found out that your approval is needed to see the subtitles. Can you approve it? I hope that many people can see this video and understand what universal basic income is.

  • zoom

    Great people can start to work on authentic human relations instead of worrying about money and building relationships based on who can I use the most.

  • Thomas Norman

    why is the issue of reduced living costs due to technological advancements never mentioned? is it not true that with Ai, automation, quantum computing,nanotechnology, advanced new materials etc would significantly reduce the cost of living and cost of housing?

  • Geistreich

    That's typical for the current parties in German parliament. All they do is they judge others by their own standards. Let's get rid of them already this September!

  • Ms. Debbie

    This is watered down communism. Socialism. And guess what folks, it doesn't work!! Would you go to work everyday day after day, work hard and your neighbor is not working and has the same benefits as you? Is that fair?

  • ArmenTeKort

    We probably don't understand the full dynamics, but is seems safe enough to experiment further. The mental bandwidth that becomes available from removing basic needs urgencies could surprise us all.

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