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VIDEO: Basic Income “explainer” from the RSA

The British think tank RSA (The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts) has produced an animated explainer video about universal basic income.

Anthony Painter, Director of Policy and Strategy for the RSA, wrote the script and provides the voiceover for the video.

In December 2015, Painter authored an extensive report on universal basic income, “Creative citizen, creative state“, for the RSA.


The RSA “What is Universal Basic Income?” YouTube; published on Sep 15, 2016.

Sidewalk artist photo CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 vigo74.

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 511 articles.

Former lead writer and editor of Basic Income News.

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2 comments

  • Steve Godenich

    One prominent fellow in Finland thinks this is a great idea[1] to solve the labor flexibility question[2]. To be precise, he actually resides in Sweden for tax purposes. Unlike universal credit, zero contracts and working tax credits (EITC for us yanks), this is a reliable and permanent government subsidy and it only costs UK working citizens an extra 1% of GDP.

    Here’s the pitch. If every corporation, foreign and domestic, could rely on each working UK citizen to fund each and every UK citizen with some fixed, permanent token amount, obviously wages may be very gradually lowered by that same amount. It would also encourage the migration of more cost-effective labor into the country from economically-challenged nations in the EU, especially if permanent residents were included. Greater tax revenues would flow to government to please our politicians and greater net profits would flow to us directly or through the maze of the tax code.

    However, let us not be amiss by excluding others from these benefits. During downturns in the business cycle, the central bank may rescue the economy with a combination of QE/ZIRP, asset purchases, helicopter money and so achieve their desired goals of inflating away sovereign debt. Since the taxpayer is footing the bill, we can afford to sweeten the deal by throwing in generous child benefits to sway the vote of the ladies. The promise of free money should quell dissent and pacify public concern since everyone will receive it. Former EC president Jose Barroso, now working in the private sector at GS, would be pleased to hear of this concern for the public.

    With these measures and a steeper hill of progressive taxation, our positions are made more secure for our progeny. Gentlemen, please let me introduce Basic Income to you as a sign of the times,… here’s to the arrival of a more flexible, adaptable and dependable labor force that may herald in a greater era of Darwinian Homo Economicus offering the promise of resilience and dynamism on the global scene[3,4], and in the words of ECB Governor Mario Draghi, “whatever it takes”.

    – The RSA’s mission expressed in the founding charter ‘was’ to “embolden enterprise, enlarge science, refine art, improve our manufacturers and extend our commerce”, but also of the need to alleviate poverty and secure full employment.

    [1] Banker Wahlroos: Basic income only viable solution in face of massive job losses | YLE | 2016
    [2] Flexibility of Labor | Youtube
    [3] Davos 2013 – The Global Financial Context | Youtube
    [4] Davos 2016 – The Transformation of Finance | Youtube

  • Universal Basic Income is required by the rampant Computerization, Robots, etc.
    which have destroyed Millions of Middle Class Jobs in America and U.K.
    Andrew Stern (past President SEIU International) has made a compelling case.
    Please read “Raising the Floor” by Andrew Stern. Excellent.

    Please consult https://LaborUnionTV.org under “Philosophy, Politics, & Spiritual”
    for a short series of articles about Universal Basic Income.

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