UBS, UBI, Job Guarantee

In the time of the precariat, should the state be providing money, services, or jobs?

Discussion panel for Radio Student, Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 2019

Hosted by Matej Zwitter and featuring Dr. Valerija Korošec for UBI, Andrew Percy for UBS and Oliver Picek for the Job Guarantee.

Beyond advocating for one solution of another this discussion highlights some important differences and commonalities between these three approaches.

It is clear that the Job Guarantee must rest on top of a welfare system (you can get fired from your guaranteed job) and would depend on a quite nuanced job development program by an activist state working closely with labour unions to ensure that it didn’t become a workhouse program of badly paid jobs replacing good existing jobs.

The common criticisms of UBI (that it would create inflation and be unaffordable) were met with a proposal for very small guaranteed income resting on top of a broad platform of universal services – in fact Dr. Valerija Korošec is quite a fan of UBS as well as UBI. Whether such a “partial UBI” meets the criteria of a basic income, or is what people commonly imagine when they talk about basic income, is disputable.

What emerges clearly is that UBS is the only proposal that is unconditional, enables free choice of labour activity, reduces costs and intentionally includes measures to reduce environmental impact.

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