With few jobs available – or only low-quality, low-pay jobs as in the current UK employment market – people are constantly competing for places. This means employers can keep wages low in the hope that profits will be high.
It’s a false premise – low-paid workers tend to become demoralised very quickly, produce work of a lower standard and become sick very easily, pushing their employers’ profits down – but neoliberal thinkers happily ignore such facts.
The Basic Income Guarantee would smash this philosophy, for reasons outlined below.
Yes, company profits might drop temporarily – but a well-paid, well-motivated workforce would create higher-quality products, pushing profits up in the long term.
The arguments are compelling; please read:
It seems that the idea of basic income is gaining support. Reform Scotland, an independent non-party think tank, propose in their recent report – The Basic Income Guarantee – that the current work-related benefits system is replaced with a new Basic Income Guarantee (BIG).
one of the strongest arguments for basic income is that people would no longer be compelled to work in order to meet their basic needs.
This means that employers would find it difficult to exploit workers, and would be pushed to offer decent wages, good terms and employment conditions in order to attract workers. People would have greater freedom to pursue meaningful, suitable and appropriate employment rather than having to take any job to avoid poverty and destitution.
De-commodifying labor by decoupling work from income liberates people from the “tyranny of wage slavery” and leaves a space for innovation, creativitity and rebalances power relationships between wealthy, profit-motivated employers and employees.
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