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)#1636 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(4613) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2013-04-15 00:01:01" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-04-14 22:01:01" ["post_content"]=> string(2684) "'La libertad como la conocemos hoy, sin límites, no va a existir en 30 ó 50 años'. Economista jefe y líder del equipo regional de Desarrollo Humano y Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio en la Dirección Regional para América Latina y el Caribe del PNUD —Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo— en Nueva York, George viene del Instituto Alternativo, donde condujo investigaciones sobre desarrollo económico, sostenibilidad ambiental, pobreza e inequidad en América Latina. Previamente fue miembro de la sociedad de Líderes Globales de la Escuela de Asuntos Públicos e Internacionales Woodrow Wilson, en las Universidades de Princeton y Oxford, donde su investigación estaba enfocada en nichos de crecimiento económico dentro de economías de bajo crecimiento. Fue también investigador asociado del Centro de Investigación sobre Desigualdad, Etnicidad y Seguridad Humana —CRISE— de Oxford y miembro del Centro Diálogo Interamericano en Washington. Entre 2004 y 2008 fue coordinador del Informe de Desarrollo Humano PNUD en Bolivia, y contribuyó al Informe de Desarrollo Humano Global durante 2008 y 2009. Fue director de la Unidad de Análisis de Política Económica del Gobierno Boliviano —UDAPE— y director del Programa de Maestría en Política Pública de la Universidad Católica de ese país. George tiene además un doctorado en Filosofía y Política de la Universidad de Oxford, un máster en Política Pública de la Kennedy School of Government de la Universidad de Harvard y un pregrado en Economía y Antropología de la Universidad de Cornell.'Freedom as we know it, without limits, will not exist in 30 or 50 years'. Chief Economist in the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean at UNDP —United Nations Development Programme— in New York, he is currently working on poverty and inequality research in the region, middle income challenges and measurement of subjective well-being. In his home country, Bolivia, he was the coordinator of the Bolivian Human Development Report Office and the lead author for four National Human Development reports, between 2004 and 2008. From 2002 to 2004, he was director of the Bolivian Ministry of the Presidency’s social and economic think-tank, UDAPE —Unidad de Análisis de Políticas Sociales y Económicas—, and Coordinator of the Catholic University’s Public Policy Master’s Programme, MpD from 2000 to 2002. George holds a BA in Anthropology and Economics from Cornell University, an MPP in Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and a DPhil in Politics from Nuffield College, University of Oxford." ["post_title"]=> string(124) "WHAT ABOUT: El futuro por George Gray MolinaWHAT ABOUT: The future by George Gray Molina" ["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(43) "what-about-the-future-by-george-gray-molina" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 15:07:49" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 13:07:49" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=4613" ["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)#1634 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2259) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2012-06-11 00:03:13" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2012-06-10 22:03:13" ["post_content"]=> string(1621) "'El individualismo como norma de conducta se va a tener que corregir'. Empresario, político y doctor en ingeniería industrial por la Universidad Politécnica de Catalunya, ha sido alcalde de Mataró, ministro de Industria y Energía, miembro del comité organizador de los Juegos Olímpicos de Barcelona y director general de la Corporación Catalana de Radio y Televisión. Su actual labor está muy vinculada a la política de telecomunicaciones, investigación y ciencia de la Unión Europea: es consejero asesor de la comisión europea de telecomunicaciones informáticas, presidente del Information Society Forum de Bruselas, del European Institute for Media de Düsseldorf y del comité de expertos que evaluó la política científica y tecnológica europea por encargo del parlamento europeo.'Individualism as a standard of behavior will need to be corrected'. Businessman, politician and PhD in industrial engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, he has been Mayor of Mataro, Minister of Industry and Energy, member of the organizing committee of the Olympic Games in Barcelona and CEO of the Catalan Corporation of Radio and Television. His current work is closely related to telecommunications policy, research and science of the European Union: he is board advisor to the European Commission of computer telecommunications, president of the Information Society Forum in Brussels, the European Institute for Media in Düsseldorf and committee experts who evaluated the European scientific and technological policy on behalf of the European Parliament. " ["post_title"]=> string(108) "WHAT ABOUT: El futuro por Joan MajóWHAT ABOUT: The future by Joan Majó" ["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(34) "what-about-the-future-by-joan-majo" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 18:00:13" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 16:00:13" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=2259" ["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)#1637 (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? O, por el contrario, ¿la industria de la alimentación no sólo no ha ayudado a erradicar el hambre sino que es responsable de generar nuevas enfermedades ligadas a este sistema de producción de alimentos a gran escala? Las denuncias y las críticas proceden de diferentes frentes: ecologistas, grupos de granjeros y ciudadanos reclaman legislaciones que velen por los intereses de todos y no sólo por los de las grandes multinacionales de la alimentación. En lugar de ello, las leyes actuales de la principal potencia mundial (Estados Unidos) protegen al pequeño grupo de empresas que controla todo el proceso alimentario, desde el patentado de semillas resistentes a las diversas plagas y enfermedades —semillas que al convertirse en cereales servirán para alimentar al ganado— hasta el momento en que los productos se ponen a la venta en el supermercado. 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" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#1791 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(7054) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-10-06 18:39:43" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-10-06 16:39:43" ["post_content"]=> string(2709) "'Debemos aprovechar todas las potencialidades del cambio tecnológico desde el punto de vista democratizador y reductor de las desigualdades'. Politólogo y estudioso experto en temas como ciudadanía y gobernanza, gestión pública y análisis de políticas públicas y también en temas como inclusión y exclusión social, ciudad y espacio público, sociedad civil y proyectos de innovación democrática. Fue el director desde su fundación en 2009 del Instituto Universitario de Gobierno y Políticas Públicas de la UAB. Autor de numerosos libros, estudios y artículos académicos relacionados con estas temáticas, es colaborador asiduo en medios de comunicación como El País o eldiario.es. Además de su trabajo como académico, profesor y escritor, Joan Subirats es un miembro activo en proyectos de innovación democrática y de participación en la propia sociedad civil. El más reciente y vivo, Guanyem Barcelona, la plataforma ciudadana que reacciona a la realidad política, financiera y de gobernanza actual, para un proceso de construcción colectiva de la ciudad a todos los niveles, del que es uno de sus tres portavoces y activos principales, junto a Ada Colau y Jaume Asens. Una iniciativa de fuerte eco, un proyecto de reapropiación de la ciudad y de la política por parte de la ciudadanía.

'We must to take advantage of the full potential of technological change from the point of view of democratization and to reduce inequalities'.

Political scientist and expert on topics such as citizenship and governance, public management and public policy analysis and also on issues such as social inclusion and exclusion, city and public space, civil society and democratic innovation projects. He was the director since its founding in 2009 of the Institute of Government and Public Policy at UAB. Author of several books, studies and academic articles on these topics, is a regular contributor in the media as El País or eldiario.es. Besides his work as an academic, teacher and writer, Joan Subirats is an active member in democratic innovation projects and participation in civil society. The most recent and vivid, Guanyem Barcelona, a citizen platform that reacts to the political, financial and governance current reality to a process of collective construction of the city at all levels, which is one of its three main speakers along with Ada Colau and Jaume Asens. A strong initiative, a project of reappropriation of the city and politics by the citizens.

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