In 2018 there seems to be no hotter topic amongst progressives: should we have a Universal Basic Income (UBI) or a Job Guarantee? The answer is quite simple: both, obviously.
There is nothing inherent in one that excludes the other and a world in which people unconditionally have their needs met alongside a clear path through which they can contribute to their community sounds ideal.
But then comes the trickier question: which should we prioritise? The order of implementation matters and as progressives gear up for our next major fight with limited resources and political capital, this article is going to outline a some important things to keep in mind. In this article I am going to clarify some terms in the debate, highlight some differences between the two policies and then respond to some criticisms of UBI from Edward Miller’s article.
In a wide-ranging interview, the feminist academic Tanya Serisier, spoke to Green Agenda editor, Simon Copland, about the #MeToo movement; the history of campaigns against sexual assault; issues related to the politics of consent; and the challenges and complexities of solving sexual violence.
At any given moment there are an extraordinary number of people looking to participate and contribute to our society in ways that the private job market ignores or excludes. In this article, Senior Campaigner for Economic Fairness at GetUp Edward Miller explores the merits of a Universal Job Guarantee for confronting the perils of the neoliberal employment landscape.
Continuing our series on UBI: In this essay, republished from the Green Institute’s ‘Can Less Work Be More Fair?’ discussion paper on Universal Basic Income and a shorter working week, Professor Greg Marston argues that a UBI and shorter working week could play an important role in creating the conditions for a sustainable and equitable ‘good life’.
In this essay, republished from the Green Institute’s ‘Can Less Work Be More Fair?’ discussion paper on Universal Basic Income and a shorter working week, Professor Jon Altman argues that a new Basic Income scheme has the potential to deliver remote living Indigenous people forms of alternative economy.
The employment situation in remote Indigenous Australia is a disaster. Even the optimistic spin peddled by the Turnbull government’s latest annual Closing the Gap report delivered in early 2016 (1) notes that only three in ten Indigenous adults in remote Australia are in work resulting in high welfare dependence, poverty and in some situations social dysfunction associated with inactivity. For many young people who experience even higher levels of unemployment, there is a deep sense of anomie and hopelessness about future prospects.
Responding to Tim Hollo’s article Towards Ecological Democracy, Natalie Osborne explores the implications of these ideas for cities, arguing that urban commoning demands what will be, for many of us, a radical reimagining of land, boundaries, and notions of property and ownership that directly challenge capitalist modes of relations.
The commons is one of the key ideas that we can make use of in our efforts at developing a postcapitalist politics.
In his keynote address at the Green Institute’s Conference, Everything is Connected, in October 2017, Dr Stephen Healy, discusses the what, why and how of commoning.
Reclaiming social value, not just material pricing
Arguments for a Universal Basic Income in Australia face particular local cultural, economic and social pitfalls. Unlike many other western style democracies, the Australian welfare system of payments is noncontributory
(i.e. paid out of general tax revenue), and we have no tradition of public equity entitlements.
Responding to Tim Hollo’s article Towards Ecological Democracy Steven Liaros suggests cities as a space in which we can achieve ecological democracy. But doing so will require significant changes to the way we live in urban settlements.
In Towards Ecological Democracy, Tim Hollo calls for the re-framing of the Greens political project around the principle that ‘everything is connected’. He argues that:
“We urgently need to articulate and build “ecological democracy” as something distinct [from social democracy and liberal democracy] – a radical political vision of deep interconnection and interdependence and of resilience in diversity. It is an enabling and nurturing politics for people and the planet, supporting people and communities to find their own way together.”
This article supports the call to reframe green politics and seeks to expand on Hollo’s suggestion that the concept of The Commons could be a guiding principle for an ecological democracy. Hollo draws on David Bollier and describes ‘The Commons’ as much more than a pasture open to all as suggested by Garrett Hardin in The Tragedy of the Commons. Instead, it is the combination of a resource, plus a community that shares that resource, plus the set of social protocols for managing the resource.