(Frase 2010) Do they owe us a living?

Frase, Peter. Do they owe us a living? Activist. 2010 Feb 3. Available from: http://theactivist.org/blog/do-they-owe-us-a-living. Accessed 2012 Jun 2. Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/687MnKT6y.

Frase advocates a guaranteed minimum income (UBI) as a “non-reformist reform”, implementable under capitalism but setting the stage for further radical transformation of society. Both UBI and the general concept of non-reformist reforms are associated with the Marxist theorist André Gorz. Even a small UBI has the potential to reduce the dependence of individuals on the labor market for survival. UBI is often criticized on the ground that if no one needs to work in order to live, certain unpleasant but essential types of work will not be done at all, even for high wages. Frase responds that only a minority of socially useful types of work will fall into this category, and such cases can be addressed with ad hoc solutions as they arise. Much socially useful work needs little or no “material incentive”. Other forms of work that are common in capitalist societies are socially harmful, and removal of their incentives would actually be beneficial. UBI minimizes the need for top-down micro-management of decisions about the social usefulness of work. It also helps to dispel the illusion that all forms of work are socially beneficial, which tends to be common in a capitalist system without UBI, because without UBI any job helps someone to survive.


UBI   Universal Basic Income or Unconditional Basic Income


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