Job guarantees and free money: 'Utopian' ideas tested in Europe as pandemic gives governments a new role
Christine Jardine, a Scottish politician who represents Edinburgh in the UK parliament, was not a fan of universal basic income before the pandemic hit.
New research from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy suggests that a universal basic income would not cause people to leave the workforce.
Such proposals, including one considered by Hillary Clinton during her 2016 presidential campaign, include direct payments that ensure each resident has a baseline of income to provide for basic needs. While previous research has focused on the effects of these unconditional cash transfers at the micro level—for example, winning the lottery— this study examined their large-scale impact by looking a government program that has supported Alaska residents for the past 25 years.
By George Dutch
George Dutch is a career counselor in Ottawa, Ontario and curator of the online magazine, UnDone, devoted to exploring the intersect between technology and work.
Algorithms are a silent killer of jobs. According to Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Stephen Hawking and other luminaries, these mathematical calculations will continue leaking into the vital organs of our economic system through computers and robots until they cause a massive hemorrhage in the labour market.
Social analysts have called for preventative treatments to avoid a calamity of economic insecurity and social unrest. A social dividend as some form of Basic Income (BI) is now being tested in various jurisdictions around the world (including three Ontario cities) to evaluate its potential for inoculating citizens against mass unemployment, income inequalities and the destruction of the middle class.Read more