Economics and politics - comment and analysis

Hocus Pocus to the highest degree. The questions the proponents of a Universal Basic Income do not address

Recently, more and more voices go up in favour of the introduction of a Universal Basic Income (UBI). In Germany, the CEO of Telekom came out in favour of it (see here). Yanis Varoufakis is making a European tour propagating a UBI. The argument is that, today, the technological evolution is destroying so many jobs that there is no lon…


Recently, more and more voices go up in favour of the introduction of a Universal Basic Income (UBI). In Germany, the CEO of Telekom came out in favour of it (see here). Yanis Varoufakis is making a European tour propagating a UBI. The argument is that, today, the technological evolution is destroying so many jobs that there is no longer any other choice than to decouple income from work. This argument is absurd for many reasons, but mainly because productivity nowadays is rising much slower than several decades ago (I analysed this here in detail). If, one day, productivity would increase substantially again, it will be both possible and necessary to increase wages. The working time can be reduced in small incremental steps and problems associated with demand can be solved accordingly, as Friederike Spiecker and I have shown here and in several other contributions. This means that there is no ground for such a major step as the implementation of a UBI.

Even the euro crisis is being used as an argument by the proponents of a UBI. The case is being made that Germany drove the countries in the south against the wall with its high productivity and tha…
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