What is the universal basic income?

Universal income rises both as a response to an increasing inequality led by those who own robots and a solution for more inclusive societies

universal basic income

Leer en Español: ¿Qué es el salario básico universal?

Our way of perceiving life and space has changed dramatically over the last few years. 10 years ago, we had no doubt that in order to buy an album or go shopping, we needed to go to the music store or to the grocery store. Today, we will just pull out our phone from our pocket and a robot will take and execute the order.

In the last two years, humanity created more information than it did in the rest of the specie’s time on Earth. Furthermore, our systems to understand and conclude data are improving exponentially. As days go by, more and more robots beat traders and more lawyers lose their job over smart computers.

It’s clear that technology will keep taking human jobs; day by day, those who own robots will have to pay less for an extra unit of output and less job offers will be offered to humans. So, what is going to happen to mankind?

Our foundations for social order will change rapidly. In tomorrow’s society, the idea of work and economic retribution will become detached, so work will no longer generate pressure as a means of survival. Tomorrow’s society requires highly educated individuals that are adapted to a service economy where the pursuit of positive experiences will become humanities common goal.

Read: Could Universal Basic Income work in LatAm?

Universal Basic Income is a portion of money that big companies will give to every member of a society, regardless of his/her background, as an investment in capital. The amount of money provided will be enough to fulfill one’s physiological needs; leaving room for further investments to be done.

Actually, two programs support the Universal Basic Income theory, the government of Alaska engaged the Permanent Fund of Alaska and Brazil’s government instituted their flagship program Bolsa Brasil. Both programs have proved successful in key social groups as the economically weak ones. Basic income correlates with lower stress levels and an increased return in families’ wealth.

Read: 8 experiments on the Universal Basic Income

Milton Friedman and Martin Luther King Jr. are two of the main predecessors of the basic income theory; they promoted the creation of a social economy where basic human needs were being covered.

We are living in a world where 30% of the total jobs in finance will no longer exist in the next 20 years. In tomorrow’s world, the arts and humanities will make comeback as cognitive abilities. The next human revolution will reach momentum in nearly 20 nears.


Latin American Post | David Eduardo Rodríguez Acevedo

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto