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A world without work is coming as support for a universal basic income rises up in Europe.

 A world without work is coming as support for a universal basic income rises up in Europe.

A world without work is coming as support for a universal basic income rises up in Europe.

The digital economy is already having a massive impact on all aspects of our society, from the way people interact, the economy, the skills needed to get a good job, and of course the risk of whole classes of jobs being rapidly reduced or perished altogether.

40% of roles is predicted to be lost to automation by 2050.*

To address these issues many governments across Europe are either considering or already running pilots of a universal basic income (UBI). And what is it exactly? There are variations to it depending on each country, but the main idea is to have a future where all citizens will receive a flat monthly payment from the state regardless of their age, wealth, family background or employment status.

From Germany to Netherlands to Finland, UBI could be a reality across Europe with 68% of Europeans saying they would vote for it if a referendum comes in a survey conducted in March 2017.

Those in favour are convinced by the promise of increased security and freedom, a reduced financial anxiety over meeting basic needs, the believe that homelessness will be wiped off the map, and that there will be more equality in opportunities. While those against it are most concerned about the economic impact, the expense needed in order to cover it, the risk of reducing motivation to work, and of course the possibility of people simply exploiting the opportunity.

There are various experiments and schemes proposed, some of which are underway right now. But all in all, the individual receiving the money doesn’t have to be looking for work or even working for that money. They simply receive it flat on their account every month. The sum is also required to be enough for a decent standard of living, and act as a supplement to the social welfare system and not replace it.

In Germany, a small self funded experiment in Berlin from a start up is offering volunteers up to 1000euros per month. The German government still refuses to confirm on a plan of action being formed and talks on it are vague, but the green party are trying very hard to push the idea out and are in full support of it. But with Germany being a country with already so much social benefits, any possible plan would and probably should replace other forms of social welfare, such as unemployment benefit and student loans in order to not add more unreasonable weight to tax payers.

In Finland, a social experiment was started in 2017 where 2000 unemployed people between the age of 25 and 58 were selected to received a UBI of 560euros every month for 2 years, regardless of whether they find work or not.

Netherlands and Italy are also taking trials, while governments in UK and France are still in consideration, but the idea still remains controversial in some areas, for example at a referendum held in Switzerland in June 2017, results showed almost 80% of the people were opposed to the idea.

It is true that technology has become central to our life in society, and there are a growing number of influential and powerful figures in the frontline of our society today who argues that UBI could be the solution for what is definitely going to be the biggest problem of our time. And while we are understanding of the challenges sure to come, the infrastructure and the risks that comes with UBI still raises some skepticism, with our biggest question being who is going to bear the burden, there is always someone who ends up paying at the end of the day, and what are the people then suppose to do with all their time? When it comes down to it, this idea is what we call ‘free money for everyone’, but working and having a job has evolved greatly from needing one to survived till what it is today, for many of us it is actually more of a supplement to create our own lifestyle and activities, a fundamental even to our core identity, purpose and behaviour. Are we seriously thinking of eradicating all of that? To simple throw our hands up and forfeit humans to technology? We do think this could mean our demise.. But that opens up a door for another topic altogether.

What do you think? Is this really the way to save our future generations? We would love to hear your thoughts on the topic!

Wishing you all a great start to 2018,





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