Before Basic Income

Not having to worry about financial issues is a huge step towards a happy and fulfilling life, yet the requirements for basic income are too huge to be implemented within just a few years; massive funding and therefore higher taxes on the top 1% and a solution for corporations funneling billions through tax havens. We need to keep an eye on implementing the important finding of basic income research while paving a way towards it.

What we already have are unemployment benefits that serve the same purpose as a basic income, but are thoroughly drenched in a capitalist mindset. People who are unemployed are seen and often see themselves as a burden on society, as wasting their life, not having achieved anything.

Unemployment benefits are often linked with other requirements, such as mandatory training or labor under slave-like conditions; exploited while having no voice or choice. Sanctions are made again the ones who oppose the system, stripping them from the last support they get from the government.

What we’ve learned from basic income alongside other support-based benefits, is that people can thrive and get their life together when having a safety net below them. They can focus on the future and not on surviving the next day. Sanctioning them creates the exact opposite effect and brings forth all kinds of new mental problems.

People in the lower class and poverty benefit the most from a basic income while diminishing returns increase the higher the income. A massive project such as basic income is something to keep in mind for the future, but we can already get most of the benefits today while spending far less money and with a lot more people eager to get aboard.

Abolishing government stated sanctions on support-based benefits as well as the cultural idea of unemployment being something negative while raising the benefits and including more parts of society (primarily low-income households) into the programs should be the priority. These are things we can do today!

It would make the unemployed and lower-class regain their freedom to choose who to give their labor to, disconnecting it from pure monetary value and empowering them in the process.