Three posts on basic income

I don't think I've ever before posted three articles on three different sites in the same day. But I have now. And what's more they are all related to each other. So for those who are interested in all things related to basic income, here are the links to the three posts with a brief explanation of each.

At Pieria, my study of the Speenhamland system of poor relief, which was actually an experiment in basic income. It was vilified for depressing wages, creating labour shortages, encouraging unsustainable population growth and requiring ever-higher taxes to support it. But as I show in the post, none of these is true. It actually worked well, and the things it was blamed for were largely caused by other factors. But when it was abolished, it was replaced with the cruellest form of welfare ever devised - and it looks ominously as though we may be heading down that same path again.

At Forbes, my discussion of why we need a minimum wage. If we are going to have in-work and out-of-work benefits, and governments are going to try to compel people to work, then a minimum wage is essential to protect taxpayers from rising benefit bills as employers bid down wages. But a basic income that didn't compel people to work would be much better.

At Coppola Comment, my technical discussion of uncertainty and safety in labour markets. The labour market is bifurcated into high-skill workers with safe jobs, and lower-skill (or rather, less marketable) workers with insecure jobs. But high-skill workers don't want or need safe jobs - it is their employers that need them to stay. It is lower-skill workers that need safe jobs, but their employers want to be able to replace them whenever they want. How do we resolve the asymmetric needs of workers and employers? If the relationship of this post to basic income isn't obvious, read the comments. Cig gets it.

More on the pricing of the "safety asset" to follow. After all, that's what basic income is.


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