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Europe, Philosophy & Ideology, UK Politics

The Basic Universal Income – would it ever be achieved, or is it simply a pipe dream?

BasicIncome

In recent years, there has been a level of spirited debate on the issue of a Basic Universal Income. I myself in fact wrote an article on the subject last week, explaining how it would be feasible and how it could be a benefit to society – click here to view it.

Many supporters of the proposition proclaim how much of a step forward it would be for society and humanitarianism. The idea was first proposed in Switzerland in 2013, and received enough votes to trigger a referendum.

Of course, it is one thing to dream of a nice idea, yet it is another issue to actually see the idea in question come into reality. For example, one might crave a world without disease or inequality – yet anyone with their head screwed on properly would know that this is extremely far off from our current day and age, with the nature of mankind being in the form that it is.

In regards to a world without inequality, the establishment of a Basic Universal Income would most likely be a forceful stride in the direction of a more harmonious civilization, anyhow.

As I have just established. The world we currently live in is far from equal and just. Even in the United Kingdom – while it is the sixth richest country in the world, it is still scourged  with inequity and corruption to a high level. This is of course more prevalent in other parts of the globe, too. Take the United States – the richest country in the world, yet there were still 45 million Americans stuck below the poverty line, as of last year (according to the US Census Bureau).

The United Kingdom has been run by a government looking to pander to the interests of the corporate elite, for the last several decades. Even the slightly more moderate Labour government under Tony Blair, followed by Gordon Brown, from 1997-2010, appeared to be drifting this way. We live in a nation where the most vulnerable are repeatedly trodden on, while a great number of the country’s richest live in cosy tax-havens and are primarily responsible for the injustice in society today.

Clearly, the poor in Britain could have been provided for by now, in a country as wealthy as this one. The government most definitely could have helped them out by now. However, it hasn’t. Suggesting that a Basic Universal Income would most definitely be against its wishes.

Corporations strive to make a profit after all, so keeping workers employed under them for very low wages is necessary for them to achieve this.

There is one glimmer of hope, however. This is in the reality that, after the idea of a Basic Universal Income was initially proposed in Switzerland, it received enough support behind it to activate a referendum. This referendum will be happening in 2016.

If it gets passed through, Switzerland would perhaps trigger a revolutionary change in civilization. If passed in Switzerland, this could no doubt push other countries to follow their lead. Denmark, another country with a fair and compassionate political agenda, could perhaps go down this route too. Also, one could make a case for the Basic Universal Income being more necessary, as automation in the workplace becomes more widespread – as it will, in decades to come.

In reality, the passing of a Basic Universal Income would be easier said than done, as the corporations and government will most likely be opposed to it. Many people will no doubt think this – however, throughout time, civilization and the western world has advanced greatly with movements such as the Great Reform Act of 1832, the post war abolishment of slum housing and the establishment of the NHS, at the hands of the newly elected Labour government in 1945.

These two acts in question were passed due to the outcries of the masses who were in great need and desire of more fairer and just measures to be put into place in society, and awareness of the changes that needed to be made – which were against the wishes of the establishment at the time. This shows that, if enough people stand together and their cause has enough spotlight on it, an act such as a Basic Universal Income can be passed regardless of what the establishment wishes.

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