Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Charles Clark on UBI

Professor Charles Clark
"For all the renewed interest in this idea, I haven't seen a lot of talk about it among Christians, as such," writes Nathan Schneider at America magazine.

"Maybe we are especially committed to the notion that each person should get what he or she deserves? Then again, if that's the case, just about any arrangement would be better than what we have now."

One expert Schneider does mention is Charles Clark, a Catholic economist at St John's University, New York, "who has been a basic income advocate ever since being asked to study the idea by the Conference of Religious in Ireland, and then by the Irish government, in the late 1990s." 

Clark argues that to consider basic income 'something for nothing' misunderstands how truly interconnected the economy is, Schneider notes. "His research across Europe and North America suggests that a basic income would actually make production more efficient.

"He also believes that the idea reflects the insistence in Catholic social teaching on the intrinsic value of every person. It would free people to participate more fully in family life and combat the individualism that an 'every man for himself' economy teaches us."

According to Clark, even though it will require a major change in the public mindset, "a basic income is the easiest way to bring everyone above the poverty line and reduce income inequality without making major structural changes to the economy."

According to Wikipedia, Clark also "estimates that the United States could support a Basic Income large enough to eliminate poverty and continue to fund all current government spending (except that which would be made redundant by the Basic Income) with a flat income tax of just under 39 percent.[27]

Schneider also compiles an interesting list of other figures who favored such a proposal including Thomas Paine, Martin Luther King Jr, John Kenneth Galbraith, Margaret Mead and Buckminster Fuller.

Even Milton Friedman agreed and Richard Nixon proposed something similar, Schneider notes.


No comments:

Post a Comment