In 2011, before Trump, Orban and Brexit, the former International Labour Organization economist Guy Standing wrote a book in which he warned of the rise of a growing class “prone to listen to ugly voices.” Moreover, those strident voices could well erect an influential political platform. Standing argued that the neo-liberal project had, like Dr. Frankenstein, contrived an “incipient political monster” and that urgent action was needed before that creature came to life.
A co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network, the energetic Englishman called that book The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. His 2017 book offers an incisive, well-informed – and sometimes impassioned -- probe of basic income. For Standing, basic income is at once a policy and an urgent social movement, an essential part of the urgent action required to stem the tides of right wing populism.Read more
Guy Standing, Time Magazine
In America, and around the world, there has been a surge of interest in basic income. Under a basic income scheme, a government gives a fixed amount of cash, without strings attached, to every citizen. Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is campaigning on the promise of a $1,000 basic income for all Americans, India’s opposition Congress Party pledged a basic income for the poor, and Finland recently completed a two-year basic income trial.Read more
The Economist -- Guy Standing
A BASIC income (BI) is defined as a modest, regular payment to every legal resident in the community, paid unconditionally as a right, regardless of income, employment or relationship status.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, the case for BI does not rest on the assumption that robots and artificial intelligence will cause mass unemployment or that it would be a more efficient way of relieving poverty than present welfare systems (although it would). The main arguments are ethical and relate to social justice, individual freedom and the need for basic security.Read more
Foreign Affairs Magazine
Is the world—or at least some countries—ready for a basic income? These two books argue strongly in the affirmative. Such a policy involves the government providing cash grants to every member of society at a level that could sustain life: an amount equal to one-quarter of GDP per capita would suffice, suggest Van Parijs and Vanderborght.Read more
From Davos, listen and watch a conversation with Guy Standing, author of The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class and other works, on the rise of a financially insecure and alienated class.
Guy Standing warns that the rapid growth of the precariat is producing instabilities in society. It is a dangerous class because it is internally divided, leading to clashes with immigrants and other vulnerable groups. Its members may be susceptible to the siren calls of political extremism. He argues for a new politics, in which redistribution and income security are reconfigured and in which the fears and aspirations of the precariat are made central to a progressive strategy.
A CBC story has highlighted that more than three-quarters of the world’s workforce have insecure, part-time, or temporary jobs, according to the International Labour Organization. That means that only 25 percent of the world’s population is doing stable, full-time work.
To watch the video, click here.
By Kate McFarland
Standing will speak on a panel on income security, which is scheduled for the afternoon of Tuesday, August 23. He’ll be joined by Miles Corak–an economist at the University of Ottawa who researches child rights, poverty, immigration, social and economic mobility, unemployment, and social policy.Read more
Could a state-funded universal basic income eliminate poverty? One of its most outspoken proponents, Professor Guy Standing, certainly thinks so. As well as teaching economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, Standing is the co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network. His 2011 book The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class blames globalization for an emerging social class without job security. He speaks to Equal Times about why a basic income makes sense to him.
Why is there a need for a basic income in developed regions like Europe?
Basic income is essential in Europe because of the growth of the precariat. And the fact is our existing social protection system doesn’t reach the precariat. The system puts people in horrendous poverty traps. A poverty trap means that if you go from receiving a state benefit to a low-wage job available to the precariat, in many European countries and elsewhere, you face in effect a high marginal tax rate, if you factor in the loss of state benefits for taking a paid job.Read more
By Roderick Benns
Publisher of Leaders and Legacies, a social purpose news site
The combination of people in short-term and contract jobs and those in other precarious work and living situations, has grown into a massive new class of people. Named ‘the Precariat’ by renowned economist Guy Standing, he says it is the only class of people in the history of the world that wants to eliminate itself.
Speaking in Toronto earlier this year to support his latest book, Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens, Standing told an energized crowd that he estimates the Precariat class is approaching 40 percent in Canada.
Standing observes that precariousness is becoming the new normal after years of neo-liberal policies that have broken down the old order. (Neo-liberalism emphasizes privatization, deregulation, and globalization — the so-called right wing policies that promote a laissez-faire atmosphere for economic development.)Read more