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Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship

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  • Hilary Stace,

    Also this page (below) about research from global enthusiasts. So it is not a new idea and there have even been some solid studies from some 'mainstream social policy people'. The idea is growing. As I mentioned earlier a 'fickle electorate' voted for a welfare state because it was in their best interests, despite considerable antagonism from the better off. A UBI is also about activating democracy.

    http://www.basicincome.org/research/

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Peter Davis,

    Could we have some examples of where a UBI has been tried in a “developed” country like ours? I cannot think of a single one, and I do not know of any mainstream social policy people supporting a UBI (not that this is the only criterion).

    I mentioned some in an earlier thread including links to further info.

    The Canadian (Manitoba) project in particular showed very positive results before an incoming conservative government shot it down in flames. Finland and the Netherlands both have UBI schemes planned and Switzerland is due to have a referendum on the subject next month.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1386 posts Report Reply

  • Julienne Molineaux,

    Hello Hilary, here are a couple of links your readers might find interesting.

    Keith Rankin discusses how a UBI might be introduced in a gradual way as part of tax reform:
    http://briefingpapers.co.nz/2016/03/universal-basic-income-and-income-tax-reform/

    And Michael Fletcher argues that there would still need to be a welfare overlay as a UBI wouldn't cope with high housing costs or cover costs for single parents (for example):
    http://briefingpapers.co.nz/2016/03/a-universal-basic-income-may-be-a-good-idea-but-we-will-still-need-social-security-that-works/

    A lot of people like the idea of a UBI because it means they won't have to deal with WINZ anymore - but surely we also need to ensure WINZ and the processes it administers are more efficient and more humane?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2016 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Julienne Molineaux,

    Thank you Julienne.
    With a UBI people wouldn't have to deal with WINZ for survival scraps like they do now. But there would still have to be some fair system to assess and pay out for need above the UBI. It could easily be a much nicer, more benign agency of the state. WINZ as we have now - as the name suggests - was a creation of the neoliberal 1990s to replace a more straightforward idea of Social Security. The last Labour government renamed it Work and Income and there were some attempts to make it more people friendly - but the WINZ name and punitive attitudes still seem to dominate. So yes, we need to improve WINZ regardless of the UBI idea.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • krothville, in reply to Peter Davis,

    Since Sep 2014 • 73 posts Report Reply

  • krothville, in reply to Julienne Molineaux,

    I think the attraction of 'not dealing with WINZ' is that right now, WINZ operates very punitively, and you have to fight for what you are actually entitled to. Whereas the $200 would be given out without having to jump through any hoops, or go through being demeaned by WINZ.

    Since Sep 2014 • 73 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    NZ makes the international BIEN news. Nice to know that NZ can still be known for some internationally enlightened policy thinking

    http://www.basicincome.org/news/2016/04/new-zealand-labour-party-considers-universal-basic-income/

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Mandy S,

    The darling of the neo-liberals, and free-market proselytizer, economist Milton Friedman was in favor of a UBI, only he called it a negative income-tax. I'm interpreting of course, but central thesis being government bloat ... so much time and money spent deciding who is and who is not the deserving poor.

    Why Milton Friedman Supported a Guaranteed Income (5 Reasons)

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I am loath to link to anything which gives publicity to Family First, but this piece inadvertently illustrates another argument for a UBI.
    They argue that having parents who are married to each other is better for preventing child poverty. However, I would argue that if each child and adult received a UBI in their own right, children and parenting would be more valued.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    They argue that having parents who are married to each other is better for preventing child poverty.

    Correlation is not causation, as we all know. In this case it's likely that people not in poverty are more likely to marry ... or maybe the registry office gives a bale of cash with the marriage certificate?

    I still think it's a pity they canned the child allowance.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I am loath to link to anything which gives publicity to Family First...

    I'm old enough to recall when looking at a rental property involved the female party wearing a fake wedding ring. Because the world was crawling with McCroskieite busybodies back then, and they really did check that stuff.

    Young people today, they won't believe yer....

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    looking at a rental property involved the female party wearing a fake wedding ring

    I now have this image of, back in the day, an entire assemblage of women wandering round an open home, wine glasses in hand –
    “Yes, we’re all married to each other."
    "How many bedrooms did you say this place has?"
    "Open plan living, you say? What a coincidence..."

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Yet another reason for a UBI. A US article, but also very close to home. Middle aged middle-class women without work or income and trying to keep up appearances of 'normality'.
    http://www.nextavenue.org/unemployed-55-and-faking-normal/

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    It's definitely not just women faking that one.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yes, a more common story than is reflected in our media, TV, advertising etc.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I open the curtains at 7am
    just so you think I'm up with the rest of the men

    The whole song is quite appropos

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    A reminder that the Swiss referendum which could guarantee an unconditional basic income takes place this Sunday. While it's widely expected to fail with polls running about 60% against the proposal, it will stimulate discussion and provide some measure of the potential support for a UBI.

    The Guardian compares the Swiss UBI proposal with the current Finnish and Dutch trials.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1386 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Longish Australian article asks whether it could happen there https://theconversation.com/could-the-idea-of-a-universal-basic-income-work-in-australia-59811

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Longish Australian article asks whether it could happen there

    Not if you are a Kiwi working and paying taxes there but getting nothing in return, no access to welfare or representation - those Aussies like to have their cake and eat it too...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    those Aussies like to have their cake and eat it too...

    Catering by the Kelly gang.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    More on the Swiss UBI proposal:

    It's interesting to see UBI referred to in that story as a "Marxist dream".

    While the idea has been kicking around since the 16th century, the concept was popularised by Milton Friedman, the bastard far right economist who saddled the world with neoliberalism, who proposed a UBI back in 1962.

    Friedman's prime motivation was to reduce the cost of administering the social welfare system. So... marxist theory? Piss and tush, I say.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1386 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Alfie,

    It's interesting to see UBI referred to in that story as a "Marxist dream".

    Thanks Alfie. Hard to tell whether it's sloppy journalism or deliberate spin, but the more clearly attributed quote appears to be "It's an old dream, a little Marxist."

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    The outgoing Children's Commissioner advocates for a UBI for children up to three. It wouldn't be a true UBI because it wouldn't be universal across the population, but he called it that in a talk I attended last week. The reason is that is the most important time for investment in people for good long term outcomes - when they are babies and toddlers. That good start makes a huge difference to their life path. That is backed up by the findings of the Dunedin Longitudinal Survey whose participants are now in their 40s.

    Interestingly, when we had the Family Benefit (abolished by Ruth Richardson in 1991) it was worth a third of the pension and usually went to the mother. So with three children a mother was getting the equivalent of a pension to spend on her children. No surprise that after it was abolished inequality started to rise steadily.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    And then there's shit like this The past 30 years in this country has just been a chorus of arseholes trashing the social justice gains made by their parents and grandparents, just cause it could potentially ruin their chances of making money
    Its time to swing that pendulum the other way .Balance the cost/ income equation a little more fairly across the population spectrum.
    And stop the race to the bottom in society , theres a lot of problems coming down the track for humanity on this rock. And might be an idea to develop and nurture common bonds before that.
    We cant just rely on the Elon Musk's of this world to sort it out. We're all in this one!

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

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