Talk:Basic income

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  • Is this not utopian? Of course it is, in the sense in which the social security system was utopian before Bismarck put together its first building blocks.
  • For me, it is not unacceptable that people should receive an income without conditions attached, because what we receive in this way is not the product of the hard work of other people. It's a fragment of the massive inheritance we owe to nature, to previous generations, to technological progress, to the know-how, and all these gifts which we receive from nature, and the past.
  • Throughout most of recorded history, the only people who actually did wage labor were slaves. It's only now that we think of wage labor and slavery as opposite to one another.
  • That's why I talk about basic income: there has to be a stronger social safety net because when people don’t have options, they’re going to make bad choices. Let’s have better choices on the table.
  • For perhaps the first time in history, we have the resources, the know-how and the technology to make starvation and dependency relics of the past. But do we have the will?
  • «Jobs for every American» is doomed to failure because of modern automation and production. We ought to recognize it and create an income-maintenance system... I’m talking about welfare for all.
  • There is nothing except shortsightedness to prevent us from guaranteeing an annual minimum – and livable – income for every American family. The time has come for the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.
  • I am now convinced that the simplest solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a new widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.
  • All these things God created, He put them in the world without surrounding them with walls and gates, so that they would be common to all His children.
  • The goal of the future is full unemployment, so we can play.
  • In establishing a national minimum [income], the State should leave room and encouragement for voluntary action by each individual to provide more than that minimum for himself and his family.
  • A society in which ordinary citizens have a reasonable assurance of maintaining a decent life would be one that guarantees not just health care but a minimum income, too.
  • In a society where want is abolished, work of the sort that improves the condition of mankind could be enormously increased.
  • The assurance of a certain minimum income for everyone appears to be a wholly legitimate protection against a risk common to all.
  • There can be no doubt that some minimum of food, shelter, and clothing, sufficient to preserve health and the capacity to work, can be assured to everybody.
  • A certain small income, sufficient for necessaries, should be secured to all, whether they work or not.
  • True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. «Necessitous men are not free men.»
  • We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because he must justify his right to exist.
  • We should replace the ragbag of specific welfare programs with a single comprehensive program of income supplements in cash [which] would provide an assured minimum to all persons in need, regardless of the reasons for their need.
  • The principle of an economic floor under each individual must be established. It would apply equally to every member of society and carry with it no connotation of personal inadequacy or implication that an undeserving income was being received from an overgenerous government.
  • We will need to adopt the concept of an absolute constitutional right to an income.
  • It is a right, and not a charity, that I am pleading for, which is, [to pay a sum] to every person, as a compensation for the loss of his or her natural inheritance, by the introduction of the system of landed property.
  • In the distribution, a certain minimum is first assigned for the subsistence of every member of the community, whether capable or not of labour.
  • Everybody should be guaranteed a decent basic income. A rich country such as the U.S. can well afford to keep everybody out of poverty.
  • We need to consider the one prompt and effective solution for poverty, which is to provide everyone with a minimum income.
  • No penalty on earth will stop people from stealing, if it’s their only way of getting food. It would be far more to the point to provide everyone with some means of livelihood.
  • Guaranteed income would establish freedom as a reality rather than a slogan.
  • Guaranteed income would establish a principle deeply rooted in Western religious and humanist tradition: man has the right to live, regardless!
  • This right to live, to have food, shelter, medical care, education, etc., is an intrinsic human right that cannot be restricted by any condition, not even the one that he must be socially ‘useful.’
  • The principle prevailing throughout most of human history in the past and present is: «He who does not work shall not eat.» A guaranteed income could, for the first time, free man from that threat.
  • [With a guaranteed income] nobody would have to accept conditions of work merely because he otherwise would be afraid of starving.
  • Guaranteed income would not only establish freedom as a reality rather than a slogan, it would also establish a principle deeply rooted in Western religious and humanist tradition: man has the right to live, regardless!
  • We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian- Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.
  • This System does not contemplate the abolition of private property, nor even of inheritance; on the contrary, it avowedly takes into consideration, as elements in the distribution of the produce, capital as well as labour. [...] In the distribution, a certain minimum is first assigned for the subsistence of every member of the community, whether capable or not of labour. The remainder of the produce is shared in certain proportions, to be determined beforehand, among the three elements, Labour, Capital, and Talent.
  • No American who works full time should be in poverty, nor should their families. This is why the minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour, why the Earned Income Tax Credit should be expanded, why labor unions should be strengthened and expanded, and why we need a minimum basic income for all.

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  • The only effective way to ensure those permanently displaced by machinery the benefits of increased productivity is to provide some kind of government-guaranteed income.