Sunday, 8 January 2017

The UBI already exists for the 1%, says Matt Bruenig

Occupy Wall Street / Wikipedia
In a comment that inverts received wisdom, US lawyer and welfare expert Matt Bruenig argues that the UBI already exists for the richest 1% of the population.

"In 2015, according to PSZ, the richest 1% of people in America received 20.2% of all the income in the nation. Ten points of that 20.2% came from equity income, net interest, housing rents, and the capital component of mixed income. Which is to say, 10% of all national income is paid out to the 1% as capital income.

"Let me reiterate: 1 in 10 dollars of income produced in this country is paid out to the richest 1% without them having to work for it," Bruenig emphasises.

"Put another way: the average person in the top 1% receives a UBI equal to 7.5 times the average income in the country.

"If passive income is so destructive, then the income situation of the 1% surely is a national emergency! Where does the 1% get its meaning with all of that free cash flowing in?" he asks, citing an argument often used against a UBI for the poor.

Publisher Tim O'Reilly concurs.

"This was Thomas Paine’s argument in his 1795 essay Agrarian Justice," O'Reilly argues. "He called it 'the citizen’s dividend,' arguing that the bounty of the new land should be shared fairly among all. The same point could be made for the fruits of productivity brought to us by the machine age."

No comments:

Post a Comment