May Day 2016 and Unconditional Basic Income

I’m flying the Italian flag today because Article 1 of  the Italian Constitution states that

Italy is a democratic Republic, founded on Labour


looking for a job

I’m off Mum . I’m going to look for a job

Don’t forget your passport!

Here’s reality for the workforce in today’s EU

youth unemployment in europe
Youth unemployment means people up to 40-odd years of age.
People in this age-group have been subjected to short-term contracts, non-paid stints of “work-experience”, breaks in their employment history, low /minimum wage salaries, under-employment. They have little hope of a decent wage-related pension and no chance to put money aside for private contributions as they struggle with daily living expenses.
With no job security they are hard-pressed to settle down, form a family and even find a home, given the difficulties with rents and mortgages. In the midst of all these problems they are also threatened with having to work until they are 75+years old, whether they are teacher, bricklayer, lorry-driver or nurse.

There are no good jobs in the pipeline for the workforce. Indeed, machines may soon replace up to 50% of jobs.
self checkout
cash dispensers

Mechanical grape-picking, just as one example of what’s going on in the automated Farming World

Objection: low skilled, low waged jobs like these are unwanted. Workers can retrain and seek better work opportunities.
Reply: Even if that’s true, this only works if there are better, higher paid jobs.

Queries: How will we be able to produce enough jobs to keep an ever growing population working?
If 50% of the population are soon to be jobless, who will buy the products that are being produced?

E N T E R 

basic income

Query: What’s that?

This June, Switzerland will be the first country to actually vote on a basic income.

The Finnish government is planning a trial scheme, where up to 100,000 people could get about $1,100 a month.

Four Dutch cities could also start trials this summer.

They discussed it in Ireland at the Dublin anarchist bookfair this year. The Unite speaker has some concerns but suggests a trial . . .

Could Unconditional Basic Income be the way out of the current jobs impasse caused by the unhappy conjecture of banking crises, globalization, austerity politics and  technological progress?

Is Unconditional Basic Income an idea whose time has come?

What’s the main objection to a universal income?

The right to laziness has traditionally been only for the propertied rich.

The poor have always  had to fight for decent wages and working conditions, unemployment and disability insurance, universal health care etc. In other words, anything that helps constitute  a dignified life.

The idea that the poor should be granted an unconditional income sufficient to live on has long been  an anathema to the wealthy.

We Need to Be Ready for the Next Revolution


One thought on “May Day 2016 and Unconditional Basic Income

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