Basic income as creative capital instead of charity

basic income

Two authors want to organize the debate on basic incomes.

(Photo: Imago)

As long as debates are conducted as fierce competition between basic ideological concepts, even the best reasons have little chance of materializing. When it comes to basic income, the two authors are now forming an alliance for a book to structure a debate where things are going crazy.

Rolf G. Heinze is a senior professor and previously headed the Department of Sociology, Labor and Economics at the Ruhr University in Bochum. Jürgen Schupp is Professor of Sociology at the Free University of Berlin.

The authors do not fall into the trap of a quarrelsome monoculture. Many streams have to unite to reform the squeaky system. But they are flowing, even against the persistence of powerful groups and the longing for the persistence of normal consumers.

What about the idea and reality of Unconditional Basic Income (BGE) in the welfare state of the Federal Republic?

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Number one: this book is not easy to drink, but nutritious. He does not collect doubting or missionary dogmas. It shows “simply” how much UBI has long been a part of everyday social and political life. So the book comes at the right time.

Open societies discuss their controversies with a relatively flat level of excitement. Their “revolutions” do not require “an attack on the Bastille.” They infiltrate. Small transplants are created that gradually grow together and thus heal society’s social burns.

Rolf G. Heinze, Jürgen Schupp: Basic income.
Springer VS
Wiesbaden 2022
324 pages
34.99 euros

“The historic location demonstrates this ‘silent’ shift to the welfare state of social investment that has been going on for a long time and applies to current alliances to extend universal basic security.” It is therefore not a brutal outcome, not a reluctance to hand out charity to a modest audience, but “negative taxation” as an investment in sterile skill, strength, creative capital. The idea for greater efficiency in the use of resources, honesty, less bureaucracy and less acceptance. Quasi payments by bank transfer, the rules of which are “on the beer mat”.

Example: basic child protection. 22 organizations have recently come together for this purpose. Children are living beings to whom Art. 1 of the Basic Law, which do not first have to earn this dignity through paid work. Basic safeguards not as a remedy for a failed parent’s career, but as an investment in society’s most important potential: the future.

Or: Upcoming shocks (climate change, decarbonisation, digitization, depletion pandemic). Here, too, UBI can alleviate “energy-draining existential fears” and limit creative wasteland. People accept necessary changes more easily if they do not come at the expense of sacrificing security.

>> Read also: Unconditional Basic Income is the Nessie of Social Policy – Commentary

You don’t like to risk a step on shaky ground, let alone a leap into the unknown. Those who no longer have to live word of mouth will find ways to shape things instead of reasons to complain.

Social policy as a special, case-oriented, minimally invasive intervention is no longer enough. It reacts to inequality in an undifferentiated way. Costs a bureaucratic need-assessment effort and is operated with wing screws. Too often they are misplaced.

Out of shame, many refuse to accept the “support” they deserve. Experience shows that it is not the brave and the dusted off who are afraid of bureaucrats and bureaucracy. This leads to “hidden poverty” among those who should and must be supported. The perceived inconsistencies and injustices destroy the legitimacy of the state.

The digital revolution will bring new jobs, but even if they replace the lost ones, dividends usually end up in the pocket of a small layer. Transforming into a global corporation no longer automatically means an increase in the workforce. With the right algorithm, a handful of inventors can generate more income than thousands of employees used to be.

Heinze, who takes up the subject repeatedly, and Schupp help us overcome bipolar frontal positions in thinking. We should no longer reject possible paths of development without checking them out.

Comforting: visions eventually turn into transformation. No generation has the right to consume the future of the next. Of course, the federal Constitutional Court’s idea of ​​climate change is of course applicable in other areas as well.

More: The Time of Great Inflation: The Story of a Time When Germany Really Burst

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