BATTLING EIGHT GIANTS: BASIC INCOME NOW
Guy Standing "Battling Eight Giants: Basic Income Now"
Guy Standing delivers another inspiring book advocating basic income. He sets social justice as the overriding reason for UBI, then claims hopefully that UBI will counter a series of ills including inequality, insecurity, debt, stress, precarity, automation, populism and extinction, and can be funded by an equally wide set of options. It’s an appealing eclectic ‘mind map’ for UBI.
Guy presents a devastating critique of the UK Universal Credit scheme, and of alternatives of universal basic services and job guarantee proposals (although the latter are more aligned to Modern Monetary Theory than he acknowledges).
What the argument needs, however, is a demonstration to those who share Guy’s commitment to social justice, which is, in fact, most people, that UBI is superior to targeted welfare benefits. This relies on reduced intrusion, lower administrative cost, and higher take-up rates. Guy does refer to these points, but rather in passing, as he does to the argument from technology that reduced aggregate income necessitates UBI, and that debt-free sovereign money is the best funding proposal. Local pilot projects are possible but suffer from a variety of defects, and delay the main idea. The current pandemic cries out for a macroeconomic pilot of UBI funded by debt-free sovereign money.
The book is available here.
Editor ‘The Case for Universal Basic Income’