Accelerating technological unemployment, with increasing numbers of people being displaced from the workforce by automation, is likely to cause growing social disruption and increased social inequality and alienation. These developments strengthen the case for a new social contract, with appropriate social, educational, and economic support for those who are left with no viable option of ‘earning a living’ due to unprecedented technological change.
This London Futurists event examined a possible key element of what might become this new social contract: a universal basic income (UBI). UBI is defined as follows: an amount of money paid on a regular basis to each individual, unconditionally and universally, high enough to ensure a material existence and participation in society.
The speakers, Barb Jacobson and David Jenkins, shared analysis and perspective of Basic Income UK, and answered audience questions on the pros and cons of UBI.
The meeting was introduced and moderated by David Wood, chair of London Futurists. The camera was operated by Kiran Manam.
For more details about this preview event, see http://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/events/219886366/, where a number of London Futurists have added comments both before and after the event.
Note: Here’s the list of recommended reading from the presentation by David Jenkins:
- Gorz, Andre. Critique of Economic Reason (London: Verso, 1989).
- Gorz, Andre. Reclaiming Work (London: Pluto Press, 1999).
- Graeber, David. ‘On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs’, Strike! Magazine (August 17th, 2013).
- Pateman, Carole. ‘Democratising Citizenship: Some Advantages of a Basic Income’, Politics and Society, 32: 1 (2004) pp. 89 – 105.
- Piven, Frances & Cloward. Richard. Poor People’s Movements (NY: Vintage Books, 1979).
- Raventos, Daniel. Basic Income: The Material Conditions of Freedom (London: Pluto Press, 2007).
- Standing, Guy. The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011).
- Vanderborght, Yannick. ‘Why Trade Unions Oppose Basic Income’, 1:1 (2006) pp. 1 – 20.
- Van Parijs, Philippe. Real Freedom for All (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995).