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What's your opinion on Unconditional Basic Income? (This is not Communism)

The Basic Income movement is one that is quickly gaining ground around the world. Both prominent right and left wing persons have given their support for this idea.

What's your thoughts on Basic Income, do you think it's a good idea?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income
http://www.reddit.com/r/BasicIncome/

EDIT: I forgot to mention (in case you haven't heard) that what sprout the movement was Switzerland's proposal for basic income ($2800 monthly). http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/04/us-swiss-pay-idUSBRE9930O620131004


EDIT 2: This is NOT meant as a universal cure for all the problems of the world, things like education, politics, corruption and deceases are separate issues (even though Basic Income might help with them) if you wish to solve those issues please join or start a conversation about those. However discussing them with respect of BI is very fine and encouraged.

Please try to NOT sway too far from the topic, which is "What's your opinion on Unconditional Basic Income?". Comments to others opinions are of course free to go far from the topic, but preferably not too far.

And please try to be constructive and mature in your comments to others on this conversation.

Also please read AT LEAST the provided Wikipedia article on Basic income as it will answer many questions posted here.


Thank you for reading this explanation...(?)

Topics: basic income
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Closing Statement from Jimmy Strobl

Wow, thank you ALL for your contributions to this conversation!

There's no way that I'm going to be able to summarize what was said here.
But I do feel that people might be ready for this transition or at least they are able to be convinced that it is feasible.

Anyway, thank you all for your participation and sorry for the lack of response the last few days.

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    Dec 31 2013: My opinion of basic income is that it could sincerely alleviate many problems for the lowest income earners. However, like so many good intentioned remedies it could have some unforeseen consequences. I recently took part in a discussion on Hubski about basic income: http://hubski.com/pub?id=123039 and someone there had this to say which I found appropriate:

    "I see it as an inevitability. The US is inefficiently subsidizing vast populations of workers that work full time at less than a living wage. i.e. you work 40+ hours per week at Walmart, then get subsidized housing, healthcare, and possibly food assistance. This is federal subsidization of an otherwise unsustainable corporate strategy.
    We have constantly gained productivity over the last century, but that hasn't translated into less necessary work to provide for the essentials of living. At some point, we have to ask whether or not this is how we intend to spend all gains in productivity, and if work is how we fulfill the public contract of sympathetic coexistence.
    $15k is in the neighborhood. It would have to be pinned to inflation." -hubski user "mk"

    I do wonder how a basic income in the US would effect illegal immigration too?

    Jimmy, I see that you are Swedish and as such likely have a far better grasp on what's happening over in Switzerland etc. What's the consensus in Sweden about basic income?
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      Dec 31 2013: Now that is a very fine threading system compared to this one here at TED...

      ...I'm sorry I'm writing my thoughts down.

      Hi Michael!

      Yes, it could have unintended consequences but no one has still been able to present me with a (according to me) plausible one...

      What's your general thoughts on how it could affect illegal immigration to the US? I don't think that it will matter much as BI would be given to citizens.

      Hmm, I didn't even reflect that I might have a better idea because of where I live... I mainly live on the internet so I think we all have equal opportunity to get at that information. And Swedish media basically hasn't covered it at all yet, people here are generally very unaware of the concept of BI and what's happening in the world with this.

      But there is however a rapidly forming grassroots movement here, just in the last month groups have been formed in at least 12 of the bigger cities. And I think that we'll have it much easier than the US will to implement something like this. The general Scandinavian mentality is still to take pride in taking care of each other through social structures. And there's an election in 9 months so big things might happen but it's not mentioned by anyone yet. And we basically only have one party (that I think will get about 5-10% of the votes) that could even dream of proposing this in our political climate...

      But who knows what's going to happen, we've been suffering greatly from our right-wing elected government for the last 8 years and there's great consensus that they are not going to win the next election.
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        Dec 31 2013: >I mainly live on the internet so I think we all have equal opportunity to get at that information.

        That's true enough and I too share your habitat. Isn't it true that the line between IRL and online is nearly extinguished? Still, I asked the question because when you are from a specific local you tend to spend more time (even on the Internet) with people of that local. I've had a number of conversations of late about BI but none with anyone from Switzerland and being that you are European, perhaps you have more insight in to the practical implications Sweden is undergoing? -It was a stretch, no doubt.

        >The general Scandinavian mentality is still to take pride in taking care of each other through social structures

        What an amazing thing to have ingrained in your culture. Unfortunately, while this exists in the US to a lesser degree, we have always been governed with a [manifest destiny](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifest_destiny) that suggests that we ought to be able to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps without govt help.

        >What's your general thoughts on how it could affect illegal immigration to the US? I don't think that it will matter much as BI would be given to citizens.

        When you have a child in the US, even if you are not a US citizen then that child will be a US citizen. Therefore, some people suggest that immigrants will cross the border to give birth and thus their child will be given the amenities that come with citizenship. I'm not sure if these thoughts are founded or not.

        Thanks for the reply and happy new year!
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          Jan 1 2014: Hi Michael,

          Your quote of the other member is very apt indeed!

          You know those times when you spend a great deal of time and energy trying to do enough justice to a thought, then someone else comes along and says it more perfectly. Concise.

          "This is federal subsidization of an otherwise unsustainable corporate strategy." a much more diplomatic way of putting it!

          How can this affect illegal immigration? We've already got it, and already dealing with it. The US actually benefits from this since it's a destination country for brain drain.

          If UBI is done in increments, and if it's implemented worldwide, It could balance things out well.

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