Credit Picture CC (Generation Grundeinkommen, Stefan Bohrer)
The 41 minutes long documentary focuses on Universal Basic Income (UBI), retracing its history, explaining its rationale, and investigating why and how the idea has reached a much larger audience and unprecedented support in the last years.
It does so with though many poignant interviews with prominent exponents of the UBI community, as Van Parijs, Guy Standing, Daniel Raventòs, Scott Santens and many others. “UBI, our right to live” makes a compelling argument for the necessity of the measure, is a manifesto for UBI in the present day, and is an excellent introduction to the subject.
The documentary addresses two of the main drivers that are bringing UBI at the center of the public debate: economic inequality and technological development. The two themes are correlated, as economic inequality has reached unsustainable levels, and automation may make it even worse, if not handled in the proper way. The risk is the increase of unemployment and growing inequalities between high and low skilled workers.
UBI could eradicate poverty altogether, and if it were to be financed through progressive taxation, reduce inequalities. Moreover, it would provide an economic safety net for workers, and thus endorse them with more bargaining power when it comes to choose a job. People could decide how to focus productively their energies in order to contribute to society and give meaning to their live, rather than being forced in unfulfilling jobs just to survive. Nobody would be left alone, as it is bound to happen under the patchwork that present-day welfare is.
The fruits of technological advancement, if distributed via a UBI, rather than accumulated in the hands of the few, may help to shape a more just future, as this is what UBI is about (something that the documentary highlights): UBI is about justice and fairness, not charity.
It’s the instrument meant to redistribute what belongs to each and every person, the natural extensions of human rights in ensuring to everybody a standard of living adequate for a human being.
More information at:
“The documentary, ‘UBI, our right to live’, now available online”, Pressenza, 15 August, 2019.