- Published on Tuesday, 19 July 2016 10:05
It would be churlish not to applaud the growing momentum behind the idea of paying everyone an unconditional "basic income". It is an idea, whose time has come.
The recent rejection by the Swiss, in a referendum, is a minor setback amid rising demands for a basic income. The danger is that the "basic income" conversation will become bogged down in an argument about "affordability" within the context of the current tax and benefits paradigm. Such debate polarises on ideological grounds, shifting the premise of the debate from a fundamental, moral principle (that everyone is entitled to the means to life by virtue of being born) to political expediency.
Critical Thinking is hosting a discussion, in collaboration with GlobalNet21 and the Henningham Family Press, tomorrow evening in London, on Citizens Dividend (our birthright) in the context of sharing the wealth of the commons, usury and art/culture.
Why does the family of the Duke of Westminster own and control so much land when so many are denied the means to life? Why do the dividends from public investment in Canary Wharf and value, created by the wider community, end up in the landlord's pocket?
Satisfying the need for the means to life is a moral imperative premised on our birthright being a cornerstone of natural law. Sharing the commons and expunging usury from the political economy is the means to achieve it. This is our discussion tomorrow.