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Unconditional Basic Income

What's the problem?

Our social security systems are currently dependent on economic growth. If this fails due to climate protection measures or the saturation of early industrialised economies, people lose their jobs and income and thus fall through the social safety net. To counteract this in the short term and promote the democratic shaping of an ecologically sustainable society, new forms of social security are requiered, which do not depend on growth, but are based on solidarity, as well as protection against poverty.


What's the measure?

  • Introduction of an unconditional basic income (UBI) for all residents. In connction with further tax, social and labour market reforms, this should lead to higher incomes for the poorer 50% of the population and lower incomes for the top 10%.
  • The UBI must secure the existence. It can develop into a basic livelihood by expanding the social infrastructure to provide services of general interest and establishing commons-creating peer production (see → commons).
  • Guarantee of a sufficient income even in the case of part-time work through poverty-preventing social security schemes such as the UBI

How can the implementation look like?

  • Gradual introduction of an unconditional basic income for all, e.g. through "basic incomes" specific to each phase of life, such as basic income for children, basic pension, basic income during sabbaticals and studies
  • Research programmes on the economic, cultural and social impact
  • Trying out the principle of individual, unconditional legal entitlement through an eco-bonus.  This means that every citizen is paid a bonus that is generated from the income of ecological control instruments. These may not be credited to existing social benefits.
  • Development of UBI concepts and payment variants (e.g. negative income tax or social dividend) and their experimental and/or gradual introduction.

How can climate change be counteracted and how can economic conditions be created that support effective climate protection measures?


The existence of all people is secured by this, so that no one has to be afraid of losing the → basis of existence through climate protection measures. At the same time, the measure contributes to a socially just redistribution of income and wealth, which is necessary to guarantee or establish social justice in an economy that is no longer dependent on growth. In addition, a basic income provides everyone with the time and material resources needed for the democratic shaping of an ecological society that produces with significantly lower consumption of natural resources, and for the development of solidary economies of public welfare. 


How quickly can the measure be implemented?

The measure can be implemented immediately by redistributing income and assets from top to bottom. First steps can be taken immediately, as many different political and social actors are already arguing for basic income and maximum income, as well as for first steps towards it.


References to other measures

The basic income is related to the radical democratization of society, to the radical redistribution from top to bottom and to solidarity-based economies - because it promotes them. The basic income follows the same universal, inclusive principle as the transformation of social insurance into citizens' insurance and the democratically designed expansion and free use of social infrastructure. The basic and maximum income should - combined with further taxes (see ecological tax reform) and labour market reforms - lead to higher incomes for the poorer 50 percent of the population and low incomes for the top 10 percent. The unconditional basic income is closely related to the reduction of working hours and the gender-equal distribution of unpaid → care work, because it promotes both. Flanking ecological upper limits make it more difficult to use the time freed up for material consumption. The expansion of the social infrastructure, together with the basic income, promotes the use of the time freed up for various forms of participation in social life instead of excessive individual consumption.


Problems of social, global and generational justice

A basic income that is unconditionally available to all people, combined with citizens' insurance and free access to social infrastructure, prevents the social division of society, social injustice and social exclusion of certain groups of people - also for future generations.


Further literature and sources


http://fokus-wachstumswende.de/wp-content/uploads/03072017_Politikvorschl%C3%A4ge_final-f%C3%BCr-Druck.pdf

Yes, we can prosper without growth: https://degrowth.org/2015/05/15/yes-we-can-prosper-without-growth/

Matthias Schmelzer, Andrea Vetter, Degrowth/Postwachstum https://www.junius-verlag.de/buecher/degrowthpostwachstum

Ronald Blaschke (2016): Keine nachhaltige ökologische Transformation ohne bedingungslose soziale Sicherung aller Menschen, https://www.degrowth.info/de/dib/degrowth-in-bewegungen/grundeinkommensbewegung/

https://ubi-degrowth.eu/de/ und https://ubi-degrowth.eu/de/medien/

Ronald Blaschke (2016): Degrowth und Grundeinkommen - wie passt das zusammen, https://www.degrowth.info/de/2016/02/grundeinkommen-und-degrowth-wie-passt-das-zusammen/

Ronald Blaschke (2018): In welcher Beziehung steht das bedingungslose Grundeinkommen zur Postwachstumsökonomie? http://www.postwachstumsoekonomie.de/wp-content/uploads/2012-01-18_Blaschke-Grundeinkommen-Volltext.pdf  

Ronald Blaschke: Emanzipatorisches Grundeinkommen und Postwachstumsgesellschaft in: KAB Deutschlands (2019): Zukunft der Arbeit. Nachhaltig wachsen, besser arbeiten, gut leben,  S. 74-77, 

Werner Rätz, Dagmar Paternoga: Eine andere Welt ist möglich!, https://www.degrowth.info/de/dib/degrowth-in-bewegungen/attac/

Appell von 238 engagierten Sozial- und Naturwissenschaftler*innen aus den 28 EU-Mitgliedsstaaten an die EU: Europa, es ist Zeit die Abhängigkeit vom Wirtschfatswachstum zu beenden! https://www.grundeinkommen.de/03/10/2018/umverteilen-statt-vermehren.html

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