What do you think about the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income -- a monthly payment that everyone would get, no matter what?
“Basic income” is the idea that every man, woman, and child would receive a modest amount of money each month to cover their basic, essential needs as a right of citizenship.
And that's everybody -- billionaires, drug addicts, talk show hosts. You wouldn't even have to pass a drug test to qualify.
It's similar to the payments that Alaskans and Norwegians have been getting as their share of oil revenues. The idea is that as a shareholder in your country or state you get a dividend. Or you could look at it as a collective inheritance passed down from previous generations.
In June, Switzerland will hold a referendum on this Basic Income idea -- the proposal there is for $2500 a month for every man woman and child -- and among the experts campaigning for it is Professor Guy Standing who teaches Economics at the University of London. I Skyped him in Geneva -- and he is convinced that this is the only way Capitalist countries can do something meaningful about the growing anger over income inequality.