The right to a decent existence

The Universal Basic Income is a theory, in relation with economic policy. Although there are numerous precursors —Paine, Fourier, Van Parijs, More, Tobin— in Spain has been spread by Daniel Raventós and Red Basic Income, which amends some of the key structures of contemporary Capitalism as the property in broad meaning, work and freedom of individuals, softening the contemporary Capitalism and makes increasing balance and diminishing social inequality and injustice that we now live on a planetary level.

The Universal Basic Income or UBI as defined by the Basic Income Network ‘is a income paid by state, as a right of citizenship, each full member or resident of society income even if you do not want to work for pay, if you are rich or poor or, no matter what may be the other possible sources of income, and no matter who coexist. It is therefore universal and supersedes any other provision conditional’.

Universal Basic Income does not mind if you are poor or rich, in the same way as Social Security —Image Unknown Author

It is a fixed amount according to economic data for each country and situation, in the case of Spain, it could be around 500 euros —in exact terms, in 2007 was 451,6 euros, today is estimated at 664— for adults and one-fifth for those under 18. This amount is close to the minimum wage and basic conditions of existence and let every citizen above the poverty line, the basic reference for setting the amount.

Financing and regulation

The UBI can be financed in different ways, but the most accepted and defended by the Income Basic Network —Spain and other associated countries— and more redistributive value of wealth is done through a fiscal reform of income tax, setting a single rate of 57,5% for those above the UBI —any for below incomes—. Basic Income is also funded in this model, through cost savings for all administrative and bureaucratic apparatus requiring conditional grants. ‘With this tax reform, 70% of the population with less income would benefit from the reform, the richest 20% lose —their wealth be redistributed— and 10% in between these two sections, would be indifferent after the reform’, says Raventós.

If we divide the population rather than percentages by deciles, would lose wealth from the richest sixth decile of the population, makes sense and relates with the rawlsian concept of ‘fair inequalities’, which create positive inequity those who are worse off. So all were more equal —indivisibility of freedom and equality, in the philosophy of Kant, for example, are inseparable—.

Which are most benefited after the reform are undoubtedly those without any income. The wealth goes of the richest to the poorest, the opposite direction from today where capital accumulation is distributed through the plundering and dispossession —D. Harvey, ‘Accumulation by dispossession’—, is concentrated in some and escapes to the others.

Basic Income, of course, should be accompanied by some regulation in the legislation concerning the market and the labor market, once implanted. The UBI is necessary but not enough. The social preparation to understand and demand as its own the right to existence, and political viability that would make possible, are some of the key conditions for the its implantation and development.

The basic right

As Robespierre said during The French Revolution, the first right which emanate all others is the right to exist, in the current framework this fundamental right is a daily struggle, and in some cases a real obstacle.

During the French Revolution, Robespierre spread the idea that the first right from which everyone else emanates is the right to existence —’Liberty leading the people’, Eugène Delacroix, 1830

The guaranty of material existence, as a path to freedom and real equality of persons, is a concept has been studied and worked for many classic and contemporary philosophers in the republican tradition —Aristotle, Machiavelli, Cicero— but also many others. The idea that a citizen is not free if don’t have the freedom to not need to rely on another to live, even if it sometimes, is old and is full of philosophical foundations around the idea that if one can not depend on itself to live, if you need a third person you are not free, is not sui iuris —in Latin, ‘citizens of the rights itself’—, that is, you must ask permission to live. It is depends of other conditions, and in the current framework of the fluctuations and changes in the labor market and its conditions and not their real needs and choices.

Capacities and needs

Basic Income is based on the philosophical principle that says ‘to each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs’ —Saint Simon, Fourier, Bakunin—, freedom and equality as a philosophical umbrella for a just society of free and equal citizens. Try to solve the philosophical problem about individual freedom, which from the classical has concerned many thinkers. In its contemporary formulation, Philippe Van Parijs, theoretical reformulator including the current Basic Income and author of ‘Real freedom for all’, a truly free society is one that satisfies the following three conditions in this order of priority: 1— Security: there is a structure of rights and well articulated basic freedoms; 2— Self-ownership: structure in that each person owns his life decisions; and 3— Leximin system opportunity: by that structure each person has the greatest possible opportunity to do anything could want to do.

In a truly free society, those with fewer opportunities starting, have the maximum that could have in any other social order that we can perform. Some of the advantages that create de facto implementation of the UBI through a tax reform of personal income tax would be:

1— Redistribution of wealth.

2— Improving the lower strata of society at all levels, always more vulnerable and limited access to employment. Increased opportunities.

3— Increased bargaining power of the worker, eliminating the need for factor, which makes freedom impossible.

4— Increasing the conditions of the most unpleasant jobs.

5— Savings in administrative costs control, receiving the UBI, to find work not lose, probably decrease of illegal work.

6— Redistribution of work among more than one partition or the working days between more than one. No need for eight hours, freedom to choose how much time is allocated to paid work —as required—.

7— Increased balance between the three types of work exist: paid work, housework and volunteer work. Depending on requirements, and choice of each individual. Best social balance.

8— And the most important: increasing equality between people, but especially of freedom.

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array(4) { [0]=> object(WP_Post)#1715 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(4932) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2013-06-24 00:01:29" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-06-23 22:01:29" ["post_content"]=> string(3378) "En 2011 el realizador Adam Curtis creó para la BBC una serie documental de tres capítulos que sostiene que las computadoras no sólo no han conseguido el viejo sueño de mejorar la Humanidad, sino que han 'distorsionado y simplificado nuestra visión sobre el mundo que nos rodea'. El sugerente título de la serie está tomado del poema homónimo escrito en 1967 por Richard Brautigan: 'All watched over by machines of loving grace' —Todo vigilado por máquinas de gracia divina—. Este primer episodio, 'El amor y el poder', analiza los efectos de las ideas de la escritora y filósofa Ayn Rand en los mercados financieros estadounidenses, especialmente a través de la influencia de Alan Greenspan, presidente de la Reserva Federal de Estados Unidos de 1987 a 2006. 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" ["post_title"]=> string(110) "Máquinas, monos, amor y vegetaciónMachines, monkeys, love and vegetation" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(36) "machines-monkeys-love-and-vegetation" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-02-19 00:51:02" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-02-18 23:51:02" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=4932" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#1713 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(7018) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2014-08-25 00:01:48" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2014-08-24 22:01:48" ["post_content"]=> string(1919) "El acceso a la mayoría de las páginas web es gratuito. El servicio que ofrecen no se paga con dinero, pero muchas de las compañías que las desarrollan obtienen algo muy valioso para posibles intereses comerciales: desde nuestros datos personales hasta nuestros gustos, pensamientos y deseos. La revolución virtual es una serie de televisión británica, producida por la BBC y la Universidad Abierta del Reino Unido y presentada por la doctora en psicología social Aleks Krotoski, que analiza los profundos cambios producidos en la sociedad durante las dos décadas que han transcurrido desde la aparición de la world wide web. La serie consta de cuatro capítulos que analizan otros tantos aspectos: Libertad en la red trata sobre la información, Enemigo del Estado acerca de la política y el control social, El precio de lo gratuito se ocupa del comercio y la privacidad, y por último Homo interneticus analiza cómo las redes sociales han modificado la manera de relacionarnos.Access to most web pages is free. The service they offer is not paid with money, but many companies obtain something very valuable to commercial interests: from our personal data to our thoughts and desires. The virtual revolution is a British television series produced by the BBC and The Open University and presented by PhD in social psychology Aleks Krotoski, which examines the profound changes in society during the two decades that have elapsed since the emergence of the world wide web. The series consists of four chapters analyzing four aspects: The great revelling deals with the information, Enemy of the State with politics and social control, The cost of free with trade and privacy, and finally Homo interneticus analyzes how social networks have changed the way we relate." ["post_title"]=> string(118) "El precio de lo gratuito: comercio y privacidadThe cost of free: trade and privacy" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(16) "the-cost-of-free" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-06-13 14:07:25" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-06-13 12:07:25" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=7018" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#1716 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(1829) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2012-05-18 00:14:04" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2012-05-17 22:14:04" ["post_content"]=> string(3315) "El Decrecimiento es una corriente de pensamiento político, económico y social que propone la disminución regular y controlada de la producción económica, con el objetivo de establecer una nueva relación de equilibrio entre el ser humano y la Naturaleza, y también entre los propios humanos. Nacido en la segunda mitad del siglo XX, se presenta a principios del XXI como candidato a suceder al Capitalismo. Sostiene que estamos jugando con la resistencia del planeta y debemos aprender a vivir felices con menos bienes de consumo, a un ritmo más natural, y para conseguirlo cree necesaria la combinación de tres tipos de actuaciones: la personal —mayor responsabilidad, reducción del consumo, reutilización de las cosas, menor uso del coche, etc—, la colectiva o local —consumo de productos locales, apoyo a la movilidad sostenible, rechazo a la especulación urbanística, etc— y la política o global —control de la publicidad, elección de bancos locales y éticos, reparto del empleo con reducciones de jornada, protección de los sectores más vulnerables, etc—. Dice el economista Serge Latouche, uno de sus máximos defensores, que 'la gente feliz no suele consumir'. 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["post_title"]=> string(103) "La gente feliz no suele consumirHappy people do not usually consume" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(35) "happy-people-do-not-usually-consume" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-02-16 16:51:00" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-02-16 15:51:00" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=1829" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "8" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#1864 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(4595) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2013-04-08 00:01:17" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-04-07 22:01:17" ["post_content"]=> string(5889) "Desde su nacimiento con la comida rápida en la década de los 30 en Estados Unidos, la polémica sobre la nueva industria alimentaria no ha dejado de suscitarse. ¿Constituye realmente esta industria la solución a todos los problemas de subsistencia y abastecimiento? ¿Debemos pensar que sólo gracias a ella podríamos alimentar saludablemente a todos los ciudadanos de occidente, e incluso acabar con el hambre en países no desarrollados? 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Los argumentos críticos se articulan desde diversos flancos: como demuestran los datos del Banco Mundial, casi 2.800 millones de personas viven por debajo de la línea de pobreza y el hambre en el mundo sigue siendo el mayor problema social y político. El desarrollo de la industria alimentaria no ha beneficiado al 46% de la humanidad y la obesidad, la diabetes, el colesterol o las enfermedades ligadas a la nutrición han aumentado exponencialmente con la expansión de la industria de la alimentación. Las grandes multinacionales alimentarias, con el apoyo de gobiernos y leyes, impiden el desarrollo de las formas de explotación agrícola tradicional, hasta el punto de que éstas claudican ante sus presiones y manipulaciones. Los ciudadanos se sienten engañados cuando se les oculta cómo se manipulan genéticamente ciertos alimentos, su procedencia, los procesos de maduración que siguen frutas y verduras, etc. La aparición constante de enfermedades causadas por los alimentos que consumimos —por ejemplo, la encefalopatía espongiforme o los brotes de la enfermedad producida por la bacteria E. Coli 0157:H7— induce a pensar que estamos ante un problema muy serio cuyo responsable último es nuestro sistema económico y de producción, y este sistema afecta en último término a nuestra salud y bienestar físico e intelectual. Y la responsabilidad no reside sólo en el ciudadano que se alimenta, sino en una industria que modifica los alimentos y oculta la manipulación. Parece que en gran parte somos lo que comemos. Y también que gran parte de lo que comemos está contaminado, adulterado y su proceso de producción ocurre tras misteriosas naves diseñadas para ocultar cómo se manipula lo que después nos llevaremos a la boca. © Texto basado en un artículo de Iván Teimil y Asunción Herrera, de la Universidad de Oviedo (España)From birth to fast food in the 30s in the United States, the controversy over the new food industry has constantly arise. Constitutes the industry really the solution to all problems of subsistence and supplies? Are we to think that just because she could feed healthy to all citizens of the West, and even end hunger in underdeveloped countries? Or, conversely, does the food industry has not only helped eradicate hunger but is liable to generate new illnesses linked to this system of food production on a large scale? The complaints and criticisms from different fronts: environmentalists, farmers and citizens groups demanding legislation to ensure the interests of all and not just those of large multinational food. Instead, the current laws of the major world power (the United States) protect the small group of companies controls the entire food process, from the patented seeds resistant to various pests and diseases, seed grain that will become for cattle feed, so far as the products offered for sale at the supermarket. The critical arguments are articulated from various sides: as the data of the World Bank, nearly 2,800 million people live below the poverty and hunger in the world is still the greatest social and political problem. The development of the food industry has not benefited the 46% of humanity and obesity, diabetes, cholesterol or nutrition-related diseases have increased exponentially with the expansion of the food industry. The large food multinationals, with the support of governments and laws, prevent the development of traditional farming ways, to the point that they claudican to their pressures and manipulations. Citizens feel cheated when they are hidden how certain foods are genetically engineered, their origin, maturation processes following fruits and vegetables, etc. The continuing emergence of diseases caused by the food we eat –for example, spongiform encephalopathy outbreaks or disease caused by the bacterium E. Coli 0157: H7– suggests that this is a very serious problem which is ultimately responsible for our economic and production system, and this system will ultimately affect our health and physical and intellectual. And the responsibility lies not only in the city that eats, but in an industry that hides modified food and handling. It seems that much of what we are is what we eat. And much of what we eat is contaminated, adulterated and its production process occurs after mysterious spacecraft designed to conceal how it is handled before we put into our mouths. : Based on an article by Iván Teimil and Asunción Herrera, from the University of Oviedo (Spain)" ["post_title"]=> string(74) "Somos lo que comemosWe are what we eat" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(20) "somos-lo-que-comemos" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-02-17 00:08:51" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-02-16 23:08:51" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=4595" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } }