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Canada Is About To Start Giving Away Free Money. Basic Income: We Cannot Afford Not to Do It  Basic Income is a serious proposal necessary to address many of the economic problems facing the developed world.

Basic Income: We Cannot Afford Not to Do It 

Let us start by defining what Basic Income is. For that, the Green Party's paper on the subject is helpful: "Basic Income (sometimes called Citizen's Income or Universal Basic Income) is a guaranteed, non-means-tested income, sufficient to cover basic needs, payable to every woman, man and child legally resident in the UK. It would replace personal tax-free allowances, and most social security benefits. Children would receive a reduced Basic Income, Child Benefit. The jobs available in today's Britain are often low paid, part-time and of short duration.

Basic Income will do away with most of the checks and assessments, the exceptions being the case of housing and disability, where additional payments need to be made, subject to some assessment, for eligibility. This guaranteed payment will encourage labour mobility, and entrepreneurship. Should We All Get Paid For Nothing? Basic Income? Yes! Bold Ideas About Fixing Inequality  British economist Tony Atkinson has been studying inequality — the gap in income and wealth between the top and the bottom — for nearly half a century.

Basic Income? Yes! Bold Ideas About Fixing Inequality 

Now that the dogma of trickle-down has been exposed as myth, he sees economists, policy-makers, and the public finally waking up to the seriousness of the problem. But how to fix it? Atkinson, in his new book Inequality: What Can Be Done? , focuses on ambitious proposals that could shift the distribution of income in developed countries. This post was originally published on the blog of the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

Lynn Parramore: When did you become interested in the topic of economic inequality? Tony Atkinson: My interest in the topic actually led me to become an economics student. LP: In terms of finding solutions to inequality, Thomas Piketty, in his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, talks about a wealth tax, but many are skeptical that it could work. TA: Definitely. The Dutch City of Utrecht Is Doling Out Free Money For A 'Basic Income' Experiment. Modern social assistance, in which governments provide financial support to the unemployed, has been around since the Great Depression, and it's been controversial for just as long.

The Dutch City of Utrecht Is Doling Out Free Money For A 'Basic Income' Experiment

The primary complaint by opponents is that it removes the incentive to work, resulting in efforts to make welfare as unpleasant as possible, from below-poverty-line payments and complicated qualification rules to judgmental monitoring and, in the U.S., dehumanizing drug tests. Our Paradoxical Economy Courtesy of Technology and the Lack of Basic Income  The Question of Slowing Productivity Amidst Rising Automation Image by Denise Krebs / CC BY 2.0 The latest numbers are in, and there are now more people not working in the U.S. as a percentage of the total population, than ever in the last 38 years.

Our Paradoxical Economy Courtesy of Technology and the Lack of Basic Income 

Some are already asking if this may very well be the "new normal" here in the 21st century. The percentage of Americans in the workforce -- defined as those who either have a job or are actively seeking one -- dropped to 62.6 percent, a 38-year low, from 62.9 percent... The share of Americans in the workforce had been steadily climbing through early 2000, and a big reason was that more women began working. Free Money for All - The Only Way Forward on Welfare  The start of 2014 has been marked by the announcement of yet another assault on Welfare spending - a planned £12bn in cuts targeting the very poorest.

Free Money for All - The Only Way Forward on Welfare 

The ground for this has been laid by a relentless campaign to distinguish between 'them' - the people on benefits, and 'us' - the people who pay taxes. This is illustrated clearly by Channel 4's divisive Benefits Street. It's clear that tinkering around the edges, promising to reverse one cut or another, is not going to cut the mustard. We need a wholly new approach - a basic income for every adult. The idea of a basic income is not new - some version of it has been advocated by thinkers as diverse as Martin Luther King, Bertrand Russell and Milton Friedman, and has proponents from across the political spectrum, from Socialists to Free Marketeers.

All this sounds utopian, but is actually very realistic. Of course some people will object. Let's Close Down the DWP  In the UK today disabled people are astonished by the absurdity of a whole new system that has emerged out of the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) in order to solve the problem of unemployment for disabled people.

Let's Close Down the DWP 

This system has many parts including the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), so I will call it the ESA System. The ESA System is failing and is bound to fail. The Job Market: A Game of Musical Chairs Over Hot Coals  There's a common belief that people who don't have jobs somehow just aren't trying hard enough, and this belief is therefore based on the idea that there are enough jobs for everyone.

The Job Market: A Game of Musical Chairs Over Hot Coals 

To get a job, all one really needs to do is just go get one. But what's it really like out there? Small Yet BIG: The Basic Income Guarantee  Leon Schreiber (ZA), Ph.D.

Small Yet BIG: The Basic Income Guarantee 

Candidate in Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin From the thirsty plains of the Namib to the seemingly impervious jungles of the Amazon and the cramped slums of Seemapuri, a revolution is quietly brewing. A small idea that appears almost self-evident has taken root in some of the world's forgotten corners. In contrast to the convoluted development theories of structural adjustment, economic convergence, and trickle-down - all of which ultimately aim to ensure that everyone has enough money - this idea offers but a single proposal to help address the destitution of so many millions: If we want to live in a world that is free from poverty and where the poor are able to become wealth creators, then by definition, everyone needs to have at least some money. This once utopian vision is gaining ground, fast. Sarah Katangolo's already brisk walk quickened even more as she approached the corrugated structure on the street corner.

She was not the only one. Why Should We Support the Idea of Universal Basic Income?  Photo by Russell Shaw Higgs / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 An answer to a growing question of the 21st century What would you do?

Why Should We Support the Idea of Universal Basic Income? 

So what exactly would you do, if you were guaranteed $1,000 per month for the rest of your life? And yes, that's around what the amount would most likely be here in the United States, at least at first. So think about that amount for a moment, and don't think about what others might do with it, think about what you would do with it. Didn't they try this in Russia?

You've compared this idea to communism, so let's focus on that first.