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The Standard Objections


he argues that similar arguments were made against social security when it was first introduced

  1. it's utopian (rebuttal: we've tried other policies, and we have the institutional/technical means to effect this policy now)
  2. it's unaffordable (he thinks this is a strawman cus actually it is quite "affordable")
  3. would lead to dismantling of welfare state (doesn't have to be)
  4. would distract from "progressive" policies like full employment (FE is clearly not a progressive policy)
  5. people need more than just cash (we need to improve social services too but having cash is always good)
  6. giving money to the rich is dumb (rebuttals: a. every citizen should get a divided; b. means-testing is hard but we can claw it back through taxes instead; c. targeted systems can actually increase inequality)
  7. giving people something for nothing (but so is inheritance, intellectual property, rentierism etc)
  8. would lead to sinful spending like alcohol, cigs, etc (denying poor people luxuries is BS, selective paternalism is unjustified, we have no control over other uses of taxpayer money like the military, people do usually spend the money well)
  9. would reduce work (his response is pretty vanilla and not especially enlightened in the post-work sense ... more in chap 8, but basically he doesn't think it will)
  10. would lower wages (actually people would have more bargaining power and could refuse exploitative wages if BI were high enough)
  11. inflationary effects (sometimes BI will increase supply of goods by giving people the ability to produce things)
  12. would attract poorer immigrants (his response: waiting period/citizenship, which I think is kinda BS but I guess he's aiming at a potentially xenophobic audience)
  13. could be manipulated by govts for vote-seeking purposes (response: similar to the strategy of central banks, tie to national income; I'm miffed that he doesn't address the larger point that maybe we should work towards a world where citizens are better educated and informed and thus aren't as easily manipulated by dumb shit like that)

Standing, G. (2017). The Standard Objections. In Standing, G. Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen. Pelican, pp. 109-126

a Marxist term (though never actually used by Karl Marx himself) refering to those who receive income - usually interest, rent, dividends, capital gains, or profits - from their assets and investments


they should oppose the many other forms of 'rentier' income derived solely from possession of assets

—p.118 by Guy Standing
3 years, 1 month ago

they should oppose the many other forms of 'rentier' income derived solely from possession of assets

—p.118 by Guy Standing
3 years, 1 month ago