Gerd Leonhard is an acclaimed European futurist; his popular videos are featured at IEET and he is a regular IEET contributing writer. In this interview I explore his opinions and forecasts on Basic Income Guarantee.
Remember the mass layoffs of 2008-2009? The US economy shed millions of jobs quickly and relentlessly, as companies died and the rest fought for survival.Then the Fed and the US government flooded the banks and the corporate sector with bailouts and handouts. With that crap-ton of liquidity sloshing around, as well as taking on massive a
Looking at the barrage of news on technological unemployment, we may get lucky and avoid the predictable denialism phase altogether. A lot of time gets wasted on denying things that are inescapable and basic income.is inescapable.
Switzerland is set to vote on a proposal that wants to pay everyone 2,500 Swiss francs (£1,700) a month regardless of whether people are working or not. If the plans go through, it will become the first country in the world to provide a basic unconditional monthly income, and they are already the first country to vote on the matter. The idea, which has been put forward by a group of intellectuals who insist people will still want to work and get jobs, has not received positive interest from either left and right sided politicians.
We’re looking for one researcher who wants to work full-time on this project for 5 years as part of YC Research. YC Research is a non-profit, though we plan to pay well above market for this position.
We’d like someone with some experience doing this kind of research, but as always we’re more interested in someone’s potential than his or her past. Our ideas is to give a basic income to a group of people for a 5 year period, though we’re flexible on that and all aspects of the project—we are far from experts on this kind of research. We’d be especially interested in a combination of selecting people at random, and selecting people who are driven and talented but come from poor backgrounds.
We'll look to you to design and run all aspects of the research.
In March 2015, I wrote on Universal Basic Income (UBI), calling it “an income unconditionally granted to individuals without question, as a means to their basic livelihood.” I also ruefully said that governments of large countries wouldn’t pick it up until at least some proof-of-concept existed. And here I am, nearly 10 months later, to report that it’s being greeted with skepticism or outright rejection. I think the idea is intellectually very appealing, but underdeveloped. As it stands, it probably won’t pass in any major country’s legislature with bipartisan support. America in particular is hostile toward it. All this while, it is increasingly unlikely that there will be many low-level jobs available to college students in five years.
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