Universal Basic Income – Utopian or Real?

Universal Basic Income (UBI) is one of those ideas that has divided public opinion into two opposing camps: Those who think it would result in disaster, as humans cannot be trusted. The other camp feels that a UBI would be liberating, allowing people to concentrate on the important things in life, not just earning a living. Rutger Bregman is a writer, widely acclaimed for his book, Utopia for Realists. In it, he champions Universal Basic Income and a 15 hour work week. So, we went to the Netherlands to ask him if the time for these ideas has arrived.

Universal Basic Income: animation

In Finland, income security is guaranteed to everyone. The Finnish government launched a basic income experiment in 2017 in a bid to simplify its social security system and provide stronger incentives for finding work. Up to 2000 people between 25-58 were chosen at random to participate in the trial. Watch this short video to find out how it works.

A just social-wage and a job guarantee

The last thing anyone would have expected in 1970 is for the lowest paid workers in the US, UK and Australia to have their relative positions deteriorate over the next fifty years. Yet, this is exactly what has happened. In an economy which has for many years been productive enough to end absolute poverty for good, millions of people have been left in financial hardship, for reasons rooted not in economics, but ideology.