为何基本收入在非洲很重要?

全民基本收入(UBI)旨在提供     家計保障及解决失业问题,它在非洲是     不可或缺的,     隨著新冠疫情的爆發让许多人丢     了工作,而UBI或許本可以     防止他们陷入贫困之中。

全民基本收入是指由政府担保的,无条件的现金转移。接受人无论是否有收入都有权获得这笔钱。全民基本收入无需缴税,接受者可以用来     花在他们任何需要上。政府没有义务跟进这笔款项的使用情况。

目前暂没有非洲国家正式实行全民基本收入     ,但有相关的方案可以     向该政策     过渡。一些非洲国家,例如肯尼亚,乌干达和纳米比亚都有进行过试验。且试验结果向好,那么非洲的人     们能从     全民基本收入實施     中得到什么好处呢?

通过增加收入来消除贫困

通过在非洲实行全民基本收入,受惠者的财務     状况可以得到改善,他们會从低收入者成了中等收入者,     也将有更多的可支配所得     来满足他们的需要。

正值许多人因新冠疫情而失去工作之际,这无疑是雪中送炭的。基本收入将给家庭提供经济支持     ,防止他们陷入贫窮的困境     。

使儿童受教育之路更加平坦

有了基本收入的保障,孩子们可以接受教育,不必同時为了支援家計     而工作。贫穷导致了不断攀升的辍学率也     進而提高早婚率。为了替家中赚取额外的收入,孩子们不得不辍学去做一些散工。当他们失去这些工作时,他们只能通过早早结婚,从另外一半那里获得慰藉和经济支持。全民基本收入的实行能让孩子们不用再为了养家糊口而辍学,从而消除早婚现象。孩子们可以接受教育,过上体面的生活。

鼓励创业及增加就业岗位

通过全民基本收入,人们将获得更多的可支配所得     ,这样他们就比較有能力     承擔     创业風險。

在创收之前,创业需要一些资本和足够的资金。基本收入可以直接用于初创企业,因为政府不會     跟进其使用情况。

基本收入的好處     是讓人们可以勇於     创业,从而创造就业机会。公司还将會通过公司税和所得税来促進     经济發展。

增进身心健康

基本收入能让人们过上更好的生活,增进人的身心健康。缺少可支配所得          來满足基本需要     会导致压力和抑郁,     陷入令人悲觀的生活條件之中,人们     更有可能买不起医疗保险。

跟政府提供的免费医疗和教育一样,非洲各國政府投资     全民基本收入將能保障他們     公民的家庭生計     。有了這份可支配所得     ,受惠人就能获得医疗保险,过上体面的生活。

「     直接给予     」组织 (GiveDirectly Organization)在肯尼亚的63个村庄开展了一项研究,为每个成年人每天提供0.75美元。研究结果显示,受助者在日常消费和幸福感方面均有所改善。他们也增加了     用于飼養牲畜和     家居改善的费用。

財務金融和社会的包容性

非洲的社会性包容问题十分严重。缺乏基本收入會导致了很多问题,像社会边缘化,妨碍人们获得诸如保险、银行服务和科技產品     ,例如手机等现代服务。

全民基本收入将通过协助人们获得现代服务来     缓解社会边缘化問題。

例如,政府可以通过银行或移动转账来汇出基本收入。这样,人们就会开银行账户和买手机。如此一来,社會边缘     的人們就可以獲得     现代服务。

缩小贫富鸿沟

全民基本收入的集资路径之一就是税收。通过对高收入者征所得税     ,     可以实现对财富的公平分配和缩小贫困鸿沟的目标。非洲在各大陆中     贫富鸿沟问题是非常突出的。一些技术含量低的工人几乎没有涨工资的可能,这使得他们在通膨之下陷入了停滞的贫困当中。政府可以利用全民     基本收入这一政策去对高收入者征税,将     收益重新分配给低收入者。

家庭凝聚力和稳定性

由于     煩惱家計和     抑郁的氛围,许多非洲国家的家庭暴力非常普遍。由於缺乏稳定的收入,遭受家庭暴力的     人們无法能离开他们的配偶     。如果这些人能够获得基本收入,他们才有選擇離開的自主權     。

另外,如果收入得到保障,抑郁     和压力     可以被消除,家庭暴力也     隨之减少     。 

在肯尼亚等许多非洲国家,父母为了廉价劳动力和晚年的保障而生下许多孩子。如果有固定收入的保证,父母就不需要生     很多孩子以求這些小孩在他們老年时抚养他们。 

如何为非洲的全民收入基本收入提供     財源

通过税收和一些巧思     ,非洲政府有很多     方式可以为全民基本收入提供     財源。下列提供幾種可能性:

削减政府开支

削减政府开支可以为支付基本收入留住     一些钱。

非洲各国政府可以减少对创收国有企业的投资,它们产生的部分收益可以直接用于基本收入计划。此外     政府机构的大部分经常性支出皆可以暫緩。

累進稅制    

政府可以通过对高收入者征收更多的税来支持基本收入计划。该举措也     将缩小贫富差距,比如,政府可以在固定资产净值之上增收奢侈品税和财富税。

提高公司税及减少领导人财务收益

非洲各政府可以提高百分之三     的公司税用于全民基本收入。另外,政府可以削减政客们的福利,这些都能重新分配到基本收入中,使接受者受惠。

結語     非洲各政府应当为     其公民投资基本收入计划。基本收入就像對医疗和教育等社會福利     一样重要,都是为了共同的福祉,社会凝聚力和生产力。另外,     提供基本的必需品,像食物,容身处和衣物,公民才     能过上体面的生活。最后,基本收入会促进心理健康发展。贫困和社会不公的環境     有害於心理健康,     進而造成相关的疾病。


Translation into Chinese by Xianwen Huang.

The original article in English can be found here.

PhD Fellowship on Basic Income for Nature and Climate at the University of Freiburg, Germany for applicants from Indonesia

From the website: The PhD project is part of the larger Basic Income research project that studies how basic income is potentially linked with nature protection and tackling climate change, and how these possible linkages can be addressed in an embedded social-ecological context that is highly relevant for climate stabilization and reversing biodiversity loss at planetary scale and, at the same time, enhancing human well-being. A context that is well-represented in jurisdictions that are rich in forest ecosystem and biodiversity yet with poor population as observed in the provinces in Indonesia where tropical rainforests remain intact such as those in Papua.

In the long-term, part of the project aims to explore a multi-year basic income scheme for nature and climate and undertake necessary trial in a pilot jurisdiction at appropriate scale. Rigorous scientific monitoring and evaluation should be in place for this to assess social and ecological impacts and derive lessons for potential upscaling in other jurisdictions. A policy dialogue (at sub-national, national, and international levels) about the scientific results from the intended study on basic income for nature and climate is to be initiated to prepare the grounds to achieve the purpose. Together with the team at FRIBIS, the PhD position is expected to contribute to providing science-informed insights related to a basic income for nature and climate in the target jurisdiction. Under a joint research initiative, the PhD candidate will be supervised by Professor Dr.rer.oec. Bernhard Neumärker at the University of Freiburg and Dr.rer.pol. Sonny Mumbunan at the University of Indonesia and in close collaboration with teams and members at FRIBIS, and at GIZ.

More information and application details on their website.

‘The Tyranny of Merit’ by Michael J. Sandel

Book Review by Dr. Jan Stroeken

Michael j. Sandel has written a book about the deep causes of the inequality that is a key driving force behind the populist backlash of recent years. His analysis serves as a basis for justification of the introduction of a universal basic income. For the complete review, see: https://basisinkomen.nl/wp-content/uploads/Book-Review-Michael-Sandel-Jan-Stroeken.pdf

And in Dutch:  https://basisinkomen.nl/boekbespreking-de-tirannie-van-verdienste-michael-j-sandel/

Here you will find a short summary, being the last part of the review:

Public Debate and Basic Income
Sandel’s analysis is razor sharp. What he brings to the fore more than anything is how present-day populism is only indirectly fuelled by the unequal distribution of income and essentially dominated by an ethical and cultural component. A growing section of the population feels underrated. This has everything to do with the tyranny of merit driven by the meritocratic ethos that, over the past decades, has led to meritocratic hubris. This hubris is reflected in the winners’ tendency to let their success go to their heads, forgetting about all the luck and good fortune that helped them along the way. Those who make it to the top believe with self-satisfied conviction that they deserve their fate and that those who end up at the bottom do too. This leaves little room for the kind of solidarity that could arise if we were to realise just how haphazardly talent is distributed and how randomly fate can either be kind or cruel. Merit-based pay is, according to Sandel, thus a form of tyranny – an oppressive regime.

And so, Sandel launches into a plea for a sweeping public debate on how to move from today’s individualisation to a greater sense of solidarity and more self-determination for all. What is essential in this respect is his conclusion that for many to be successful in life, all forms of education and work would have to be taken equally seriously. Without explicitly mentioning it, he points to the core of what the implementation of a universal basic income is all about: more equal recognition of current paid and unpaid work, as well as a stimulus to go to school. In an interview with Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant (20 September 2020), Sandel describes this when he speaks about ‘that which contributes to the community’ as a key alternative criterion to purely performance/merit-based recognition:

 ‘It is, in any case, a more democratic method that allows us to recognise contributions that are currently ignored or undervalued. I mean contributions such as the unpaid work that is done within households, for example, such as raising children and caring for relatives. Or all the work that, due to the COVID-19 crisis, has turned out to be much more important than society gave it credit for: nursing care, cleaning work, waste collection, and logistics. Setting aside the matter of usefulness, the fact that there is equal dignity in every human being should also reverberate in the dignity of everyone’s work.’

Regrettably, Sandel hardly gets around to formulating specific solutions in his book. Nevertheless, his most concrete suggestion with respect to the revaluation of work is to improve wages at the bottom of the labour market, such as through wage supplementation schemes and by shifting the tax burden away from labour and onto consumption, speculation, and capital. While the latter suggestion is an excellent one, it would be even better if it were substantiated further to ensure that those who do unpaid work also benefit. 

This further substantiation also takes us to a second key argument for downgrading the role of merit-based pay, which is that the link between current wages on the one hand and individual work performance on the other is loosening. Pay is increasingly less personal. Our current level of prosperity, as initially reflected in people’s primary income, is the result of many years of productivity growth to which many generations have contributed. Our high income levels can, therefore, not be put down only to the labour performed and capital invested in companies at this point in time. In this context, distributing primary income only to those directly involved in the production process seems to be increasingly less of a given and implementing a universal basic income for all is an obvious alternative, i.e. regardless of someone’s position in the productivity-driven labour process. The state collecting taxes directly at the source, i.e. at the level of companies’ production, would then be the obvious choice. This would also automatically shift the tax burden to sources other than labour, which is merely one production factor.

The figures provided in the book demonstrate that there is growing support among the general public for the idea of universal basic income. Even so, there is a hard core of people who are against it and keep using counter-arguments that they cannot back up with facts, such as a universal basic income having adverse effects on the labour market and being too costly. Their rejection might very well have little to do with those counter-arguments and rather be driven by a strong meritocratic bias. There is a clear relation between implementation of universal basic income and the public debate that Sandel wants to initiate.

Finally, the results of the most recent parliamentary elections in the Netherlands can be explained based on Sandel’s The Tyranny of Merit. On the one hand, right-wing populist parties are on the rise. One in five Dutch people voted for populist right-wing parties that have become increasingly extreme since the days of Pim Fortuyn’s first populist revolt in the early 2000s: full of mistrust and bitterness directed at everything and everyone and not shy about avowing discrimination. Even in the knowledge that these parties will not be part of a coalition government and play no role in the actual governance of the country, people still vote for them. And people vote for these parties even though their election programmes are, at least in a socioeconomic sense, more likely to be prejudiced than to favour them. On the other hand, the two winners of the elections are supreme exponents of meritocracy, namely the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD, the party for the successful) and Democrats 66 (D66, the party for the highly educated). What we need to do over the coming years, therefore, is to assemble a left-wing populist programme that addresses three pressing issues:

  • How to achieve a sustainable world as soon as possible;
       
  • How to reach a post-capitalist state by shifting the balance of power;
       
  • How to accomplish lasting labour market change in line with the foregoing through a national debate as proposed by Sandel.

Some possible solutions include a large-scale shift from taxation of labour to direct taxation of companies’ production as well as implementation of universal basic income.

The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good?‘ is available from Penguin Random House, published September 2020

‘Forward to a better world!’ International Basic Income Week 2021 starts organizing

by Robin Ketelaars

History
Matthias Dilthey called for a day of basic income in 2006, which unfortunately received little support at the time.*

The first week of the basic income was held in 2008 and was designed as a sub-project of the EU-funded “Basic Income on the way to Europe.” This was initiated by Günter Sölken, from an idea the Basic Income Network Germany (Netzwerk Grundeinkommen) had proposed. It happened with the support of Basic Income Network and Social Cohesion Austria, BIEN Switzerland, Attac branches in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, along with the help of many independent basic income initiatives in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

In 2009, a significant expansion took place. A call started from various initiatives, and finally 247 organizations and over 2,800 individuals participated. In Germany a website was developed to showcase the activity and creativity, with countless ideas, suggestions, and planned actions, under the editorial supervision of Martina Steinheuer. 

The 4th International Basic Income Week was held 19 to 25 September 2011 with a focus on “Basic Income in Europe“. In Germany and Austria, there were about 100 events and activities: discussions, workshops, readings, theater and film screenings, exhibitions, etc. The fifth International Basic Income Week happened 17 to 23 September 2012 with the focus on “Ways to Basic Income”.

In 2013, the year of the European Citizens’ Initiative for Unconditional Basic Income, “Basic Income a Human Right“, a further internationalization of the 6th week of basic income took place. The Netherlands organized the “Week van het Basisinkomen” but not much action was involved, we were all too busy collecting signatures for the ECI.

In 2014 a Basic Income Week website was set up in English to further internationalize the event by Robin Ketelaars. Manja Taylor handled promotion and activities.

Unconditional Basic Income Europe (UBIE) adopted the 8th International Basic Income Week in 2015 as a key item to organize every year by all countries individually. Also at the 15th Annual North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress, International Basic Income Week was adopted as a way to publicise UBI.

That year, 19 countries participated with live events: Belgium, China, Danmark, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Malawi, Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Sweden, Swiss, Zimbabwe, Spain, South Korea, Hungary, USA. A further eight countries participated on the internet: Australia, Brasil, Bulgaria, Finland, India, Italy, Mozambique, New Zealand, Zambia, South Africa.

9th international Basic Income Week had the motto “Basic income goes worldwide”. In 2016 Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) contributed to the week´s further globalization by starting a group on Slack for better collaboration. Jenna van Draalen from Canada and Christof Lammer from Austria were among the promoters of the IBIW along with many more UBI activists.  Themes for other yearly events can be found on basicincomweek.org.

International Basic Income Week is a self-organised participatory week. A lot can be done, from spreading the news to friends to organising your own event with films, speakers or creative action. We can help with finding presenters and promoting your event with our shared Basic Income Week website. We welcome new participants who can share time, money or ideas! Get in touch with your regional group or the international coordination team, and let us know what you decide to do! This year there was the start of the Videothon Playlist

From 2018 onwards there have been three synchronised events.
1)    Make a photo and share it on social media with the hashtag #countonbasicincome on the Wednesday
2)    Come and socialize, organize a #basicincomebeer on the Friday
3)    Since 2019 the #basicincomemarch is part of the week on the Saturday

Basic Income Marches
In April 2019, social worker and co-founder of Basic Income NYC Diane Pagen and 2020 candidate for U.S. Congress James Felton Keith came together to organize a public event in a show of force and inclusion for basic income.

2020 saw a huge growth in support for basic income in the United States. It was important to provide different ways for the community to celebrate. All sorts of events, live and online, from a film screening, panel discussions, to a Year of Basic Income Livestream event featuring commentary from Andrew Yang, Andy Stern, and over 10 Mayors from Mayors for a Guaranteed Income and more, marked the important progress made in 2020.

With COVID measures in place, city organizers got creative. From art installations, to bike and car parades, to street corner protests, Income Movement in the US built tools to make it easy for organizers to plan amazing, highly successful events while allowing for safe social distancing for community members. Many people who did not go on the streets posted a photo with the hashtag #talkonyourwalk and held Zoom sessions with shoes.

This year’s motto for International Basic Income Week is ‘Forward to a Better World!’

You can follow #basicincomeweek on the web
* Basic Income Week website
* Twitter: @basicincomeweek (for sharing)
* Facebook: basicincomeweek (also for adding events)
* Insta: @basicincomeweek
*The Basic Income March website (organizers can add your march to the calendar)

Future plans? Who knows? We hope that with BIEN’s support we can involve more countries in India, Africa, Asia and Latin America this year.

How can people contribute to or participate in IBIW this year?
Organize events and spread the B-word!
Social media activists wanted for @insta and other media outlets
There is a Slack group where activities are discussed which you can join: the Basic Income Outreach Group. Please let us know if you want an invite via the contact form.
We’re always on the lookout for more ideas!

*) Basic Income Day
In 2014 a website promoting Basic Income Day was started by Robin Ketelaars.
“If everyone is his own king, nobody has to be the king of the other.” This sentence by Michael Sennhauser (Swiss Radio DRS) in the review of the film Kulturimpuls Grundeinkommen by Daniel Häni & Enno Schmidt and the film scene at Basel SBB train station inspired the crowning of the first 500 heads 1 May 2009 on the market square in Lörrach. Since then, we want to unite with everyone who burns for an unconditional basic income to trigger a wave of change.”
The action was followed up in 2014 by Sylvia Mair and Oliver Der as a Basic Income Day on the 1st of May. This was supported by Scott Santens, a Basic Income activist from the United States, and other activists in Europe and the US.
The website is in use for more “basic income days”.
Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December. In 2013 we participated by showing the world through our profile pic that an Unconditional Basic Income is a human right. The action this year will take place 4 to10 December.
International Women’s Day on 8 March could also become  a “Basic Income Day”.

Think the Impossible: Pieter Kooistra documentary

Think the Impossible: Pieter Kooistra documentary

by Brigitta Scheepsma

Pieter Kooistra, born in Leeuwarden, was not only an artist, but also a world improver. He founded the Kunstuitleen and advocated basic income. With the Fryslân DOK “Think the impossible”, documentary maker Anne van Slageren (info@anderevertoningen.nl) sketches a portrait of Pieter Kooistra. The ideas he developed at the end of the last century are also topical today.

“Be realistic. Think the impossible. ” These are the words of artist Pieter Kooistra (1922-1998). He wanted to stop the unequal distribution of wealth in the world and the destruction of the planet. “He was a visionary,” says Annemieke Roobeek, professor at Nyenrode Business University. After seeing images of starving children in India, Pieter Kooistra understood that art, which he describes as “the spiritual”, could not do without “the material”. He went on a journey and came up with a plan for a basic world income. Economist Annemieke Roobeek now predicts: “A basic income for everyone will one day belong to our time and the world.” She even sees a role for the European Central Bank in this.

In the Fryslân DOK “Think the impossible”, Brigitta Scheepsma, party leader of GroenLinks in the municipality of Tytsjerksteradiel, goes in search of man Pieter Kooistra and his ideas. In the Veerhuis aan de Waal in Varik, where Kooistra worked, she meets Henry Mentink, who wants to keep Pieter Kooistra’s ideas alive. She visits Terschelling, where Pieter Kooistra set up an alternative holiday colony. Former partner Trees Niekus says about this passionate man: “He was unstoppable.”

This documentary was broadcast in October the 17th and 18th 2020 on Dutch Television (click the cogwheel for subtitles in Dutch and English)

For more information about Pieter Kooistra, please contact Henry Mentink of the Veerhuis in Varik, www.veerhuis.nl / info@veerhuis.nl.

For more information about the documentary and copyright, please contact Omroep Friesland (redaksje@omropfryslan.nl) or the director (info@anderevertoningen.nl).