Citizenship Basic Income

AFTER ALL, WHAT IS BASIC INCOME?

The term Basic Income ( basic income in English, Allocation universelle in French, Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen in German ), in its proper sense, refers both to social projects or programs of unconditional income transfer that are sufficient to sustain a free and dignified life , as to the amount paid through these processes. Although it has similarities, it should not be confused with the so-called minimum incomes.

Basic Income is the definition of income transfer projects or programs, governmental or not, which provide as a guarantee of an inalienable right, the systematic distribution of an equal, periodic, individual and predetermined sum of money to all members of a community policy, without any type of discrimination, segregation or conditionality. The amount paid in kind must correspond not only to the minimum amount necessary for subsistence, but also to human dignity, with the objective of providing sufficient value for each individual to sustain their life in freedom.

It is paid by society through the State or social organizations, to nations, cities, towns, territories or any community open to all free people living in this same common or community space, as long as they are politicized by decision-making in formal association or not.

Its fundamental value is Freedom; and it starts from the premise that the human being is endowed with will and free initiative and is perfectly capable of producing and developing without being oppressed by brute force or hunger.

Depending on its financing and execution system, Basic Income may represent:  

  • The right of every human being to the capital necessary for a decent subsistence.

  • Essential capital for the fulfillment of the social pact and the exercise of citizenship.

  • The right of generations, present and future, to inherit natural and human wealth.

It differs from the minimum income by definition and purpose, not being an object of compensation, benefit, or concession by the public power, but an inalienable right and, therefore, not only a State duty, but also a social responsibility. Basic income is, therefore, exactly the opposition and overcoming of conditioned, focused and assistance programs, which demand the fulfillment of counterparts by a certain target audience in circumstances of proven lack, elementary characteristics of minimum income projects.

The principles that characterize the distribution or transfer of income as a basic income are:

  • Unconditionality – no focus, no counterparts or any demands.  

  • Isonomy – Equal rights and values.

  • Universality – for everyone, without any type of exclusion or discrimination.

  • Individuality – pays not to entities, institutions, or groups, but to each person.

  • Dignity – enough to provide for life in freedom.

  • Simplicity – no bureaucracy, or obstacles to its understanding or fulfillment.

  • Law – public duty and social responsibility and not state or private benefit.

 

ratings

Basic income includes the following calls:

  • unconditional basic income;

  • guaranteed basic income;

  • basic citizen income;

  • universal basic income.

Unconditional basic income is any income that does not require proof or the existence of any pre-established condition, such as unemployment, poverty, old age, disability, dependency, to be paid to the individual, as well as requiring nothing in return, ie to assume behavior , activity or even accountability, under the threat of losing the right to continue receiving the income.  

Unconditional basic income is fundamentally characterized by being:

  • Systematically distributed;

  • A predetermined amount periodically paid in cash to each individual;

  • An equal and sufficient amount to sustain life in freedom;

  • For all members of the same political community;

  • Without any kind of exclusion or distinction between members;

  • No requirement of any kind of counterpart for its receipt;

  • A fundamental right.

It is the concept on which those described below are adjectived, with qualitative additions to its basic idea.

The guaranteed basic income, in addition to being an unconditional income, is that provided by means that ensure that its payment is not temporary, insufficient, or liable to be suspended, terminated or revoked.

The basic citizen income, apart from unconditional, must also be guaranteed, but for all individuals residing in a national territory or entitled citizens without exclusions or exceptions. In Brazil, it is an objective pursued by federal law no. 10,835/2004, enacted on January 8, 2004[ii].

Universal basic income, more than an unconditional basic income guaranteed as a civil right, is understood and applied as a universal right of all human beings regardless of borders, territories, ethnicities or nationalities. For its characterization, the project does not need to comprise the entire globe, but political communities:

  • open to any and all individuals who want to be part of them, without barriers, conditionalities or discrimination.

  • and willing to contribute to other communities based on the same principles[iii].

 

Goal

Basic income is an important tool to fight poverty, reduce social inequality and promote social justice, but it is not exactly an assistance policy. Its primary purpose is to guarantee a priori and unconditionally the universal right to life in freedom, and acts in this sense as a social security system and guarantee of fundamental rights.

Its primary goals are:

  • De facto guarantee of the right to life and freedom;

  • Unconditional provision of subsistence;

  • Promotion of free work and free enterprise;

  • Reducing social inequality and fighting poverty;

  • Equal distribution of dividends on common or public goods;

  • Reduce bureaucracy and increase the efficiency of social services.

  • Provision of the necessary means for the exercise of citizenship;

Although it has distributive or redistributive characteristics, basic income is not intended to equalize income, or merely compensate for economic distortions or alleviate poverty conditions. Basic income is a socioeconomic policy that aims to establish a Rule of Law where the individual freedom of no human being can be hampered by the lack of material, economic or financial conditions. Aims to prevent         that an individual undergoes such deprivation, to the point of being pressured or forced to commit any act against his will or to violate the life, liberty or dignity of his person or of others by force of necessity.

 

Fundamentals

Basic income justifications are generally based on the following foundations:

  • Peace: Every human being has the right to live in the security of marital status: free from natural deprivation and violence, both that inflicted by aggression and that suffered by indifference or omission.

  • Solidarity: Every human being is worthy of the trust and credit necessary for the development of his human nature.

  • Fraternity: Every human being has the right to share in the wealth left by our ancestors.

  • Justice: No human being should be forced to resort to violence to guarantee their livelihood, or be forced to sell their work out of necessity.

  • Equality: All discrimination must be definitively eliminated, including socio-economic.

  • Freedom: All forms of human slavery or exploitation, whether the result of oppression, deprivation, coercion or manipulation, must be permanently abolished.

  • Work: Every human being must be free in rights and opportunities to choose their livelihood according to their vocation.

  • Universality: The guarantee of dignified subsistence cannot be the object of concession, benefit or privilege, it is an inalienable and unconditional economic right, essential to the exercise of full and untutored citizenship.

  • Citizenship: No human being can be deprived of the necessary capital to fulfill his duties as a citizen. Responsibility lacks free enterprise and free enterprise capital.

  • Development: it is everyone's duty to cooperate to maintain the bases of competition, reaffirming the replacement of the brutal struggle for survival with civilized competition for capital.

Criticism and defense arguments

The main criticisms of Basic Income focus on:

  • Unconditionality;

    • Accommodation – unconditionality discourages work;

    • Unfair – those who don't need it also receive;

  • Ineffectiveness;

    • Bureaucratic – there is no inspection;

    • Wasteful – more expensive and less efficient than minimum rents.

  • Unfeasibility

    • Impractical – Impossible to be financed and implemented on a large scale.

    • Clientelism – There is no political interest in replacing the existing models.

 

Defense

Unconditionality

  • Emancipation – As responsibility only develops with free enterprise[iv], and production needs capital, basic income does not induce accommodation, but encourages micro-enterprises[v]. It also eliminates the poverty trap of assistance programs, in which an individual with the right to a conditional benefit refuses job offers that do not represent a gain in relation to the assistance received. As an inalienable right, every gain obtained from work does not subtract the basic income, it adds up, always being a gain and guaranteeing that the work is not forced by necessity.

  • Universality – Fundamental rights do not entail any type of discrimination, including those of socioeconomic classes. Furthermore, if contributions are compulsory or previously agreed to be proportionate, everyone pays equitably and receives an equal amount; in absolute terms it always implies that those who have less pay less, and those who have more contribute more.

Efficiency

  • De-bureaucratization – Systems based on trust and reciprocity are a determining factor for economic development, social capital, and democracy.[vi]. The reduction in bureaucracy reduces corruption and clientelism and the costs inherent in sustaining the corporate machine itself; It facilitates the understanding of the right and the realization of the basic income.

  • Efficient – The distribution of a basic income to the entire population requires more financial resources than targeted and conditioned programs, however it is less wasteful; as there are no operational costs with the inspection of conditionalities and counterparts, fewer resources are lost until they reach their destination, the target audience, resulting in less waste and more efficiency.

Viability

  • Political Will - the basic income is financeable and applicable

    • Global - The world GDP is perfectly compatible with the payment of a universal basic income. And the markets and banking and telecommunications systems are sufficiently globalized to make it possible. It would be necessary to form one or more associated global networks to carry out the collection and distribution.

    • National - Most countries like Brazil have enough budget resources to pay a basic income with modest but significant amounts, without the need for new taxes, requiring only rationalization and moralization of the use of the Treasury.

    • In local networks - The regional and territorial income disparities themselves allow and encourage the poorest and most peripheral regions around the globe to be primarily served with the distribution of basic income financed by the richest regions, forming a security network without borders.[vii ]

Theoretical chronology

  • 1516 – Tomas Morus suggests in his work Utopia an equal and sufficient income for all inhabitants as a way to fight crime.[viii]

  • 1796 – Thomas Paine proposes the first law for the payment of a basic capital to every citizen who reaches adulthood, taxed by landowners as a kind of compensation for what he considers legitimate private use of a previously common asset, land[ix ].

  • 1797 – Thomas Spence proposes the distribution of leftovers from the payment of public expenses with an equal income for all, as a dividend on common equity.[x]

  • 1803 – Charles Fourier proposes an unconditional subsistence income as indemnity from marital status to each individual by subtracting the state of nature [xi].

  • 1894 – Joseph Charlier describes the first systematized proposal for a basic income, also as compensation for private ownership of land.[xii]

  • 1918 – Berthand Russell makes the first anarchist defense of basic income.[xiii]

  • 1920 – Dennis and Mabel Milner propose the payment of income indexed to the national product to every citizen. [xiv]

  • 1924 – Major Douglas proposes income as a national dividend for each family as part of a system of social credits.[xv]

  • 1939 – James Meade begins the defense of a basic income as a social dividend within a system of partnership between entrepreneurs and workers, which would culminate in 1989 in the book Agathopia.[xvi]

  • 1943 – Juliet Rhys-Williams proposes basic income as the core of a new social contract.[xvii]

  • 1962 – Milton Friedman proposes a basic income through the so-called “negative tax” as a substitute for state welfare and assistance systems.[xviii]

  • 1968 – Erich Fromm proposes that basic income can also be converted into free goods or services.[xix]

  • 1963 – Robert Theobald defends the basic income as a solution for the maintenance of consumption against the thesis of replacing paid work by automation. [xx]

  • 1965 – James Tobin proposes the demogrant that could be converted into a tax deduction, but a priori automatically paid as an income for all.[xxi]

  • 1984 – The Charles Fourier collective starts the first European academic network that would later become global on basic income, the BIEN Basic Income Earth Network.[xxii]

  • 1992 – Philip Van Parijs begins the description of an entire socioeconomic system on basic income, basic income capitalism.[xxiii]

  • 1995 – Jean Marc-Ferry proposes a supranational basic income as the basis of European citizenship.[xxiv]

  • 1995 – Peter Krooiska launches a foundation to sponsor the citizen income project paid by the United Nations.[xxv]

  • 2004 – Eduardo Suplicy is the author of the first legal text to provide for a citizen's income sanctioned as law by a nation.[xxvi]

  • 2007  - Bruna Augusto and Marcus Brancaglione make the first proposal for the village of Paranapiacaba, in Santo André, through the creation of a public-private fund.

  • 2008 - Bruna Augusto and Marcus Brancaglione create the Basic Income Consortium model for Quatinga Velho, where P2P payments begin.

practical chronology

  • 1971 – A series of experiments with Basic Income is carried out by the US government in order to verify its results. Although rated positively and recommended by scholars, it was rejected by congressmen.[xxvii]

  • 1974 – In Canada, the University of Manitoba for 2 years carries out experiments with the payment of a basic income. No results have been published.[xxviii]

  • 1982 – Alaska begins payment of a social dividend with basic income characteristics, paid from a fund, the Alaska Permanent Fund, based on oil royalties. It continues to this day.[xxix]

  • 2008 – In Namibia, in Otjivero-Omitara village, BIGNAM a consortium formed by the German Presbyterian Church, unions and NGOs begins the pioneer experience of 2 years of payment of an unconditional basic income. Although its positive measured results have not convinced the Namibian government to adopt the basic income, the experiment has not been extended to date.[xxx]

  • 2008 – In Brazil, in the small community of Quatinga Velho, ReCivitas NGO makes the first payment of a basic income financed directly by society through contributions from citizens all over the world[xxxi]. Although the pilot project has shown surprising positive results[xxxii], it has not aroused the interest of public authorities and continues to be completely independent.

  • 2011 – The Basic Income in Quatinga Velho becomes definitive with the capitalization of the Investment Fund for its payment, the Third Sector Sustainability Fund. [xxxiii]

  • 2016 - Basic Income Startup, now Quatinga Velho has a small Fund and RB becomes a lifetime fund.

Bibliographic notes

  • Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 31-32.

  • Suplicy, Eduardo Matarazzo. Citizenship income: the exit is through the door. 4th ed. Cortez. 2006.

  • Brancaglione, Marcus Vinicius; Pereira, Bruna Augusto. Guaranteed Basic Income of the Third Sector - A brief account of the experience in Quatinga Velho. ReCivitas for Ritsumeikan University, 2011.

  • Sen, Amartya. Development as freedom. Letters company. 6th reprint. 2007.

  • Pereira, Bruna Augusto; Brancaglione, Marcus Vinicius; dos Santos, Marli Brancaglione; Grandson, Pedro Theodoro dos Santos. Semiannual report of the Consortium of Citizen's Basic Income in Quatinga Velho, Mogi das Cruzes – SP. ReCivitas, 2009.

  • Putnam, Robert D. Community and democracy: the experience in modern Italy. 5th ed. Getulio Vargas Foundation. 2007.

  • Brancaglione, Marcus Vinicius; Pereira, Bruna Augusto. Guaranteed Basic Income of the Third Sector - A brief account of the experience in Quatinga Velho. ReCivitas for Ritsumeikan University, 2011.

  • Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 36-37.

  • Suplicy, Eduardo Matarazzo. Citizenship income: the exit is through the door. 4th ed. Cortez. 2006.page 167-186..

  • Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 44-45.

  • Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 45-47.

  • Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 48-49.

  • Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 49.

  • Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 49.

  • Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 50.

  • Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 51.

  • Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 51.

  • Friedman, Milton. Capitalism and freedom. Col. Economists. New cultural, 1985.pag 174-176.

  • Fromm, Erich. The Revolution of Hope, Zahar Editores, 2nd ed.RJ, 1975. Page 136-138.

  • Rifkin, Jeremy. The end of jobs. Makron books, 1995. p.282

  • Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 53-54.

  • Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 59-60.

  • Suplicy, Eduardo Matarazzo. Basic citizenship income: the answer given by the wind. Publisher L&PM 3rd ed.2008.

  • Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 59.

  • Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 70.

  • Suplicy, Eduardo Matarazzo. Citizenship income: the exit is through the door. 4th ed. Cortez. 2006.

  • Rifkin, Jeremy. The end of jobs. Makron books, 1995. page 284

  • Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 49.

  • Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 61.

  • Suplicy, Eduardo Matarazzo. Citizenship income: the exit is through the door. 4th ed. Cortez. 2006.

  • Brancaglione, Marcus Vinicius; Pereira, Bruna Augusto; dos Santos Neto, Pedro Theodoro (org.). A Citizenship Basic Income experience. ReCivitas, 2010. Suplicy, Eduardo Matarazzo. Towards Basic Citizenship Income. Federal Senate, June 2010.

  • Rudolph, Mathias. Nachhaltige Entwicklung durch ein bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen? - Räumliche und gesellschaftliche Effekte untersucht am Beispiel von Quatinga Velho (Brasilien). Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, 2010.

  • USBIG Newsletter. Vol. 12, No. 60, Spring 2011.

 

 

 

 

[i] Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 31-32.

 

[ii][ii] Suplicy, Eduardo Matarazzo. Citizenship income: the exit is through the door. 4th ed. Cortez. 2006.

 

[iii] Brancaglione, Marcus Vinicius; Pereira, Bruna Augusto. Guaranteed Basic Income of the Third Sector - A brief account of the experience in Quatinga Velho. ReCivitas for Ritsumeikan University, 2011.

 

[iv] Sen, Amartya. Development as freedom. Letters company. 6th reprint. 2007.

 

[v] Pereira, Bruna Augusto; Brancaglione, Marcus Vinicius; dos Santos, Marli Brancaglione; Grandson, Pedro Theodoro dos Santos. Semiannual report of the Consortium of Citizen's Basic Income in Quatinga Velho, Mogi das Cruzes – SP. ReCivitas, 2009.

 

[vi] Putnam, Robert D. Community and democracy: the experience in modern Italy. 5th ed. Getulio Vargas Foundation. 2007.

 

[vii] Brancaglione, Marcus Vinicius; Pereira, Bruna Augusto. Guaranteed Basic Income of the Third Sector - A brief account of the experience in Quatinga Velho. ReCivitas for Ritsumeikan University, 2011.

 

 

[viii] Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 36-37.

 

[ix] Suplicy, Eduardo Matarazzo. Citizenship income: the exit is through the door. 4th ed. Cortez. 2006.page 167-186..

 

[x] Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 44-45.

 

[xi] Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 45-47.

 

[xii] Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 48-49.

 

[xiii] Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 49.

 

[xiv] Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 49.

 

[xv] Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 50.

 

[xvi] Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 51.

 

[xvii] Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 51.

 

[xviii] Friedman, Milton. Capitalism and freedom. Col. Economists. New cultural, 1985.pag 174-176.

 

[xix] Fromm, Erich. The Revolution of Hope, Zahar Editores, 2nd ed.RJ, 1975. Page 136-138.

 

[xx] Rifkin, Jeremy. The end of jobs. Makron books, 1995. p.282

 

[xxi] Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 53-54.

 

[xxii] Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 59-60.

 

[xxiii] Suplicy, Eduardo Matarazzo. Basic citizenship income: the answer given by the wind. Publisher L&PM 3rd ed.2008.

 

[xxiv] Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 59.

 

[xxv] Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 70.

 

[xxvi] Suplicy, Eduardo Matarazzo. Citizenship income: the exit is through the door. 4th ed. Cortez. 2006.

 

[xxvii] Rifkin, Jeremy. The end of jobs. Makron books, 1995. page 284

 

[xxviii] Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 49.

 

[xxix] Vanderborght, Yannick; Van Parijs, Philippe. Citizenship Basic Income, ethical and economic arguments. Ed. Civilização Brasileira, RJ.2006 page 61.

 

[xxx] Suplicy, Eduardo Matarazzo. Citizenship income: the exit is through the door. 4th ed. Cortez. 2006.

 

[xxxi] Brancaglione, Marcus Vinicius; Pereira, Bruna Augusto; dos Santos Neto, Pedro Theodoro (org.). A Citizenship Basic Income experience. ReCivitas, 2010. Suplicy, Eduardo Matarazzo. Towards Basic Citizenship Income. Federal Senate, June 2010.

 

[xxxii] Rudolph, Mathias. Nachhaltige Entwicklung durch ein bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen? - Räumliche und gesellschaftliche Effekte untersucht am Beispiel von Quatinga Velho (Brasilien). Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, 2010.

 

[xxxiii] USBIG Newsletter. Vol. 12, No. 60, Spring 2011.