between December 2011 and February
2014, the Department of Work and Pensions reported that 2,380 Britons
previously on disability support were found dead no more than six weeks after
that they were having their benefits cut because they had been
determined to be “fit for work.”
How hopelessness grew boring
How can women reconcile an
interminable workday with the lion’s share of housekeeping and childrearing?
Neither option on its own is
desirable; together, they are unbearable. Life shouldn’t be reduced to a
balance between waged work and housework, a balance between work and work.
Instead, if we are concerned about fixing the “time bind,” we should do the
unimaginable: ask for more time.
A basic income would offer a
social safety net—especially important in a time of economic instability. But
it would also change the lives of its recipients in more qualitative
ways. The basic income would ensure that individuals were financially solvent
regardless of their jobs, decoupling economic status and employment. By offering
money unconditionally, without a requirement for work or education, a basic
income would offer financial support without stigma
, unlike the current
welfare-to-work system. Further, by giving individuals money that did not come
directly from salaries, the basic income would also offer freedom and autonomy
independent of waged work. Together with a shorter workweek, it would mean that
individuals would be less dependent on their own labor to get by. It would give
them room to explore their interests and ideas outside of work. It might very
well give them more time.
Thinking about a world with more
time would entail a more theoretical shift: it would mean decentering waged
work from a feminist conception of a better life. Since the second wave, much
of feminism has upheld waged work and work outside the home as a way for women
to find independence and freedom. Mainstream feminists have often praised the
workplace as the site of great gains for women and encouraged women to work and
better the conditions of their workplaces through activism, professional
organizations, and legal campaigns.
But waged work is itself
constricting and demanding—hardly liberation itself. As women have entered the
workplace, the kinds of jobs they take have often declined in quality, paying
less, demanding more, and becoming more unstable and restricting. Work does
not foster independence or freedom when individuals cannot choose where
they work or the conditions under which they do so. Placing work at the core of
a feminist demand obscures work’s problems and blinds us to life outside of it.
...no matter how hard you work,
someone still has to do the crap low wage jobs. So even if we all busted our
asses, a lot of us will still get left behind. Which kind of destroys the just
work harder theory.
While the right wing advocates the
best solution as eliminating minimum wage all together so everyone can work (work
). Liberals always advocate raising minimum wage to a so called
“living wage” so everyone can get ahead.
Conservatives counter that raising
the minimum wage reduces the number of jobs and to some extent they are right,
if it’s not raised gradually over time in small increments. Meanwhile, the
democrats are right that it does help working families. What they fail to
mention though is the unintended consequence is it creates an even wider income
gap for the unemployed.
So what’s the solution? A Basic Guaranteed Income
which is designed to replace the current welfare system by
eliminating the government middle man and agencies and instead just give the
money directly to everyone.
That’s right every adult in the
U.S. from the homeless guy on the street corner to Bill Gates would get a
monthly check for $1000. Children would receive $400 per month.
In fact once a Basic Income
Guarantee is put in place, it does make the argument for needing to raise the
minimum wage pretty weak since poverty would be eliminated. One may also argue
that a minimum wage is no longer needed anymore since everyone has enough money
for the basics now. So it gives democrats that income floor they have been
fighting for and it gives republicans that argument to go forward with free
market capitalism now that we’ve solved the welfare problem.
The rich will still be free to
make all the money they want, but they’ll be living in a better society
where everyone’s standard of living improves instead of just having 2 classes
of society, “the haves” and the “have nots” that exist.