Amid the deepening crisis, Germany is set to begin a new trial for universal basic income (UBI), which will entail 120 citizens receiving €1,200, or about $1,430, every month for three years.
In the meanwhile victims of the system are suffering for three more years, before the results of the test are made public? In Finland, Switzerland and Scotland these projects already started years ago, proving the Germans are publishing a propaganda stunt?
As the world continues to struggle with an unprecedented recession triggered by the Corona-virus pandemic, governments across the globe are scrambling to find ways to minimize the social and financial damage amid the tsunami of evictions, job losses and hunger.
Amid the deepening crisis, Germany is set to begin a new trial for universal basic income (UBI), which will entail 120 citizens receiving €1,200, or about $1,430, every month for three years – an amount just above the poverty line in Europe’s largest economy.
The volunteers’ experience living on the amount will be compared with that of 1,380 other German citizens who won’t receive the stipends. The experiment, which is being conducted by the German Institute for Economic Research, is being funded through private donations from about 140,000 individuals.
Political parties and figures both on the traditional left and the right have raised the demand for basic income, and some of its strongest proponents include greedy tech oligarchs and venture capitalists like Peter Thiel, Marc Andreesen, and Jack Dorsey.
Supporters of the plan argue that inequality would be reduced by basic income and it would provide an added layer of financial security for certain people.
Supporters of the plan, such as Andrew Yang, also suggest that with jobs in myriad industries slated to be rendered obsolete by automation and computerization, a universal basic income is required to prevent a deeper humanitarian and financial crisis.
Critics have suggested that basic income is a neo-liberal Trojan horse that would be a vehicle for dismantling what little remains of the welfare state.
Offering the “paying people for being alive” stipend in exchange for austerity and the destruction of social safety nets that protect the most vulnerable members of society and offer a small barrier to extreme inequality.
While opponents have claimed that the idea is far too expensive and would dis-incentivize people from seeking work and would be tantamount to subsidizing “junkies, scam artists and alcoholics.”
However, with many countries experiencing a free-fall in jobs numbers, as well as sharply declining consumer demand and household spending, the idea of UBI has gained popularity unseen since the idea saw a surge of interest following the 2008 financial crash.
In Spain, upwards of a million jobs have been lost due to the pandemic, causing officials to mull offering UBI to the country’s extreme poor.
However, the plan has seen wide gaps that have left out some of the most at-risk members of society, ranging from workers in the informal economy to undocumented migrant workers that work for the same greedy establishment.
Italy’s experiment with basic income plans was also widely panned as a revamped form of unemployment insurance, with many people being left out of plans – proving that the program is anything but universal.
The Mind Unleashed / ABC Flash Point News 2020.