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UNITED STATES: Joe Biden believes that jobs are the future, rather than basic income

Joe Biden. Credit to: GQ.


Joe Biden, Obama’s ex-vice president, is confident that the reinforcement of the job-centered culture is the answer to the challenges already affecting work marketplaces in the US, as written in his blog at the Biden Institute. He supports this vision instead of the idea increasingly put forward by Silicon Valley moguls: unconditional basic income.


Biden, recalling his father’s words, wrote that he considers jobs to not only be a source of income, but also and foremost about “human dignity and self-respect”. Given that starting position, he is campaigning for an American economy that grows and “put(s) work first”. This, of course, is linked with the educational system and professional retraining, both areas in which Biden calls for profound changes, while maintaining “key workplace benefits and protections (…) in an economy where the nature of work has changed”.


Basic income is given little attention in the cited blog post, summarized only briefly as something that is just boiling up in Silicon Valley due to transformations, present and future, introduced by automation. However, automation concerns have only been one issue among several that can justify introducing an unconditional basic income, such as the elimination of poverty, reducing inequality,  solving bureaucratic unemployment and poverty traps and creating more gender equality. Also, as extensive data shows, basic income interest is growing all around the world (e.g.: Canada, UK, Finland, Netherlands, Germany), not only among the Silicon Valley milieu.



More information at:

Joe Biden, “Let’s choose a future that puts work first”, Biden Institute Blog, 2017

Hugh Seal, “Finding a better way: a basic income pilot project for Ontario”, Discussion Paper, Massey College, August 31st 2016

Kate McFarland, “”Reducing poverty and inequality through tax-benefit reform and the minimum wage: the UK as a case-study””, Basic Income News, August 30th 2017

Kela, “From idea to experiment: report on universal basic income experiment in Finland”, Working papers 106 | 2016, Helsinki, 2016

Genevieve Shanahan, “Patricia Schulz “Universal basic income in a feminist perspective and gender analysis””, Basic Income News, March 6th 2017

About Andre Coelho

André Coelho has written 362 articles.

Activist. Engineer. Musician. For the more beautiful world our hearts know it's possible.

The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.


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