General / Philosophical / Social issues

Income for all of us

Even in high-income countries, wealth and income are distributed unequally. With a median household income of over 60000 CAD per year in Canada, it seems it should be possible that everyone could live a decent life. But even people who do have a steady income often live in fear of losing their job and existence, or of not being able to pay their mortgages. On top of the financial problems, being jobless is stigmatized in our society.

These are extremely difficult problems – but a very simple solution has been proposed: A basic unconditional income. Everyone in a country would get a monthly income that allows them to rent an apartment or a room and to buy food. Unconditional, independent on whether they go to work or stay at home, whether they produce art or care for their old parents or young children. Everyone would receive it.

What would you do if you got a salary without going to work? Would you change your career or follow a long-held passion?

This dream of increased freedom could soon become reality for Switzerland. In June this year, Swiss citizens will vote for or against introducing a new article in its constitution – the right for a basic income. Finland is a step ahead of Switzerland and is already discussing how to implement the basic income.

A quick overview of some of the keywords associated with the basic income can be found when entering a text in an app that we created. The keywords that our app returns for a text on basic income retrieved from Bloombergview are basic, universal, idea and welfare. Basic income is often referred to as universal basic income. The idea is important and it should partly substitute the current welfare system, or simplify it. Our app further identified this article as News and the sentiment rather negative. Try our app with your own text here!

A basic income would probably change the view on employment and unemployment, and on the value of a job beyond its salary. It would reduce stress and anxiety related to job insecurity and allow more people to freely choose how to spend their time. There are reasons for people to continue doing exactly what they do now, their passion for their jobs or the extra money on top of the basic income that they wish to earn. But more people might choose to follow their real passion and do what they are good at. What would you do if you got a monthly salary without going to work? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below!


Text analysis app from the data journalist (click image to try)


Source: Front image from entitled: “Der Geldberg wird zum Teppich” (credit: Stefan Pangritz)




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