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Showing results by Guy Standing only

Latterly, the idea has been taken up by Silicon Valley luminaries and venture capitalists, some putting up money for the cause, as we shall see. They include Robin Chase, co-founder of Zipcar, Sam Altman, head of the start-up incubator Y Combinator, Albert Wenger, prominent venture capitalist, Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, Elon Musk, founder of SolarCity, Tesla, and SpaceX, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, and Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Alphabet, Google's parent.

good overview

he breaks support for BI into multiple waves, with the fourth wave starting with the establishment of BIEN (his thing) in 1986; includes Stiglitz, Martin Wolf, Philippe van Parijs

citation for the fact that they're scared?

—p.17 Basic Income--Its Meaning and Historical Origins (1) by Guy Standing 3 years, 1 month ago

The standard objection to the social dividend rationale for a basic income is that no individual has a right to a share of inherited social wealth because they have done nothing to 'deserve' it. In that case, following the same logic, private inheritance should also be abolished. If private inheritance is allowed, then the principal of social inheritance should be too.

very much agreed here

—p.31 Basic Income as Social Justice (23) by Guy Standing 3 years, 1 month ago

[...] His personal technical contribution built on a stream of inventions and ideas of others, yet he has gained most of the income attributable to those inventions and ideas as well as his own. And that income in turn is based on the lengthy monopoly he enjoys on Microsoft software and other products, thanks to patent and copyright laws that were vastly strengthened globally by the World Trade Organization in 1995. He was thus helped to gain his fortune by state and international regulations, rather than by his individual endeavour alone. His income is based largely not on 'merit' or 'hard work' but on artificial rules privileging a particular way of gaining income.

More often than not, individual wealth owes more to luck, laws and regulations, inheritance or fortunate timing than to individual brilliance. Leaving aside fortunes criminally obtained, many people have become rich through the commercial plunder of the commons that belong to all, and through rental income derived from the commercialization and privatization of public services and amenities. This is further justification for taxing rental income to give everybody a social dividend, a share of socially created wealth.

preach (though Slavoj Zizek's take on this, in note 1072, is way more metal)

on IP law underpinning success of companies like MS (though note that it's a bit diff for goog, fb, apple - not really IP law but rather lack of access to source code)

—p.32 Basic Income as Social Justice (23) by Guy Standing 3 years, 1 month ago

Two general principles should be applied to any social policy, especially those pitched as alternatives to an unconditional basic income. The first is:

The Paternalism Test Principle. A social policy is unjust if it imposes controls on some groups that are not imposed on the most free groups in society.


The Rights-not-Charity Principle. A social policy is just only if it advances the rights or freedom of the recipient or target person rather than the discretion or power of the provider.

good principles

—p.61 Basic Income and Freedom (47) by Guy Standing 3 years, 1 month ago

However hard they work, a growing proportion of those in relative poverty and economic insecurity will be unable to escape. Tax credits and statutory minimum wages that have been enlarged steadily have failed to arrest the upward trend. It is the income distribution system that has broken down.

—p.75 Reducing Poverty, Inequality and Insecurity (71) by Guy Standing 3 years, 1 month ago

That said, should basic income be touted as a way of eradicating poerty? This would leave the way open to the counter-attack that in practical terms the initial amount paid out would do no such thing. If it were set at a level that tried to do so, the fiscal jolt would be too great to appeal to the popular or political imaginations.

However, if properly designed, a basic income should reduce the incidence of poverty, the number of people living in relative poverty, as well as the depth of poverty of anybody in or near the poverty line, whatever that might be. A basic income will not eradicate poverty. No policy by itself ever will. But it should reduce the threat of poverty, faced by all those hovering just above it.

the point about the fiscal jolt being too great for the average person is a good point (if lamentable)

—p.79 Reducing Poverty, Inequality and Insecurity (71) by Guy Standing 3 years, 1 month ago

[...] had the UK's £375 billion of QE been diverted to pay a basic income, everyone legally resident in Britain could have received £50 a week for two years. Instead, QE has enriched the financiers, worsened income inequality and hastened the alarming oncoming crisis of underfunded pension schemes.

or use the money to fund basic goods (would probably be less wasteful)

—p.102 The Economic Arguments (95) by Guy Standing 3 years, 1 month ago

[...] This could be the first technological revolution that is generating more work, even though it is disrupting and replacing paid labour. But it is contributing to the growing inequality of income. Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, says he supports basic income as a tool for correcting massive inequality brought about by technology. [...]

might be worth quoting, idk. Source: Economist podcast, May 27, 'The Economist asks: Can the open web survive?'

—p.107 The Economic Arguments (95) by Guy Standing 3 years, 1 month ago

First, they do not allow for clawing the basic income back in tax from higher-income earners, which could be done with no net cost to the affluent or to the Exchequer, simply by tweaking tax rates and allowances so that the extra tax take equals the basic income paid.

Second, they do not take account of administrative savings from removal of means testing and behaviour conditions. Administration accounted for £8 billion of the £172 billion 2013-14 budget of the UK's department of Work and Pensions, much of which will have gone to pay staff in local job centres to monitor and sanction benefit recipients. This does not include hundreds of millions of pounds paid to private contractors to carry out so-called 'work assessment' tests on people with disabilities, which have led to denial of benefits to some of society's most vulnerable people.

Third, they compare the cost of a basic income with the existing welfare budget and assume that all other areas of public spending remain intact. Yet governments can always choose to realign spending priorities. The UK government could save billions by scrapping the plan to replace the Trident nuclear missile system, now estimated to cost more than £200 billion over its lifetime. It could save further billions by ending subsidies that go predominantly to corporations and the affluent.


Fourth, back-of-the-envelope exercises ignore the wide array of tax exemptions and allowances that have come to characterize the modern fiscal system. The UK personal income tax allowance, which in 2016 exempted the first £11,000 of income from tax, costs the Exchequer almost £100 billion a year in foregone revenue. Non-imposition of national insurance on some earners costs another £50 billion. These two exemptions alone amount to nearly 10 per cent of GDP and are strongly regressive.

e.g., The Economist's

the fourth point confused me at first (why are personal exemptions regressive?) but then, think about it: if you make less than £11,000 a year, you're not getting the full "value" out of it, whereas if you're making more than that, you're getting a sweet tax break

—p.131 The Affordability Issue (127) by Guy Standing 3 years, 1 month ago

The affordability issue essentially comes down to two sets of choices--how high should the basic income or social dividend be, and what are society's fiscal priorities? There is nothing sacrosanct about existing tax systems, most of which are excessively complex and highly regressive. And this is without counting the enormous sums that are lost to government coffers through tax avoidance and evasion.

think about existing tax systems as an example of drift

—p.146 The Affordability Issue (127) by Guy Standing 3 years, 1 month ago

Showing results by Guy Standing only