Length: 500+ words
Keywords: Universal Basic Income
Purpose: A research piece on the benefits of Universal Basic Income, a much-talked about political subject affecting the Western world.
Basic income seems to be a popping up in media more and more in recent times, however it has been a concept for a surprising amount of time. The idea behind it is that a basic income will provide everyone an unconditional income. It has been argued to sound too good to be true – and perhaps it is, however with the back of many prominent European social scientists, perhaps it is time to truly consider the idea.
With the disappearance of many jobs having happened and continuously happening through automation, basic income could be the solution to a potential employment crisis. It has been estimated that there will be up to five million job losses by the year 2020, which will lead to increase in unemployment, increase in benefits being paid out to households, and potentially an increase in homelessness. With basic income however, each individual could have the freedom to pursue the work that they wanted to.
Cashier jobs are already being taken more and more so by computer system for self-scanning, which is only set to rise. It has been argued that the basic income concept, also known as citizen’s wage, will allow for talented individuals who are potentially wasting their time in ‘dead-end’ jobs to pursue the careers that they really want to do.
It may seem like a dream-like utopia that will never come to fruition, but by having been publicly backed by several political parties across Europe, it is looking more and more realistic by the day. It has been argued however that a basic income will only just get people out of poverty, rather than provide them with the ‘American Dream’. Of course, a basic income isn’t going to make you rich, but it will give you freedom.
By producing the funds necessary to cover every person’s basic needs, basic income introduces a new worry-free way of living that has never been seen before. This personal freedom lets each individual decide for themselves which career they would like to pursue and how far they would like to get with it.
The idea that people can chose what they would like to do instead of going to a place of employment that they wished that didn’t have to go to is an idyllic scenario, and one could really raise living standards and self-esteem in each individual. People won’t fall through the cracks on benefits systems, neither will they have to spend a third of their lives working for somebody else, as we do now.
Universal basic income would be a solid foundation for each person to find more happiness in what they do with their lives by having the option to choose what they want to do, instead of being forced into it because of financial problems. Doing what you want is seen as such a luxury for many, but could become a reality with basic income. By putting this idea into practice, the way that we work and the reason why we work will change to work for each individual. This in turn will boost happiness and confidence levels in each individual, creating a better quality of life.