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Basic income – too basic, not radical enough

The notion of a universal basic income has been gaining some popularity. There have been trials, a referendum in Switzerland (defeated), and numerous books and articles. Bill Mitchell compares it unfavourably to a Job Guarantee. The former Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis has been supportive.

The premise seems to be that there are just not enough work. But really that is an acceptance of the conservative, neo-liberal thought that work only exists if a capitalist can make a profit.

Here Michael Roberts points out that “the basic income demand is just too basic. As a reform for labour, it is not as good as the demand for a job for all who need it at a living wage; or reducing the working week while maintaining wages; or providing decent pensions.”

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