Basic Income and the Video-Game Myth

Basic Income — a regular payment of money for every resident citizen, regardless of their circumstances, sufficient to pay for essentials.

It sounds like a wonderful idea, but not everyone’s convinced. And one of the main objections people raise is the claim that if you pay everyone a Basic Income, millions upon millions of people will decide to give up work entirely and play video games all day instead. They envisage so many people doing this that the economy will be seriously depressed and might even collapse altogether.

But I suggest this claim is not just overblown — it stands in complete contradiction to what we know about human nature, based on a huge amount of available evidence.

(Robert Jameson in Medium Daily Digest)

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Basic Income in the European Union: a conundrum rather than a solution

Vanden Broucke’s report on basic income:

“My first claim is that VanParys&Vanderborght are unclear about the consequences of ‘firm limits on hospitality’ for the European principle of free movement: this renders their case ambiguous with regard to a core feature of the EU. National basic income seems incompatible with a consistent and legitimate logic of free movement and non-discrimination; to support this claim, I sketch a normative framework with regard to free movement and non-discrimination. My second claim concerns VP&V’s case for pan-European basic income. If it is true that the EU’s principal justice-related problem is that European integration has diminished core capabilities of national welfare states, such as national redistribution and national stabilization, without adequately ensuring their functioning at a higher level, the remedies to that problem are essentially different from a pan-European basic income. My third claim concerns both national basic income and pan-European basic income. The starting point of VP&V’s case for basic income is compelling: we all benefit from a common inheritance, for which none of us did anything. However, more arguments are needed why basic income should be the priority amidst competing claims on the ‘gift’ constituted by past technological, economic and social progress. In fact, the need to add a social dimension to the European project militates against rather than in favour of basic income, be it national or pan-European. ”