Frances Fox Piven on basic income – Free Lunch Society

Frances Fox Piven on basic income – Free Lunch Society


Everybody in this society – in a rich society, why not? – everyone should have a kind of
guaranteed income. Doesn’t have to be lavish, it should probably be adequate
to provide the necessities of life. And if everybody
had such a basic income, we would overcome the intricacies,
complexities and gaps in coverage, that characterize
this present system of complex, but inadequate programs. So it has the advantage
of a kind of bold simplicity. Bold simplicity
with a powerful idea behind it. The idea that
a rich community, society, should guarantee income security
to its members. But there is, I think,
there are more powerful reasons than a good design, for basic income, that we should credit basic income
and pay attention to it now. And those more powerful reasons
have to do with deep and irreversible changes
in our societies, which make basic income very,
very rational. What are those changes? Well, perhaps the most important
is the spread of automation, together with the expansion
of labor markets.

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