Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Guy Standing and the precariat

Interesting that Guy Standing Professor of Economics at SOAS, University of London is quoted in the FT 19 Sept 2014   in a Big Read feature: Equality. He writes about Basic Income (the grant of an unconditional, unwithdrawable, individual and regular income to all):
    ' We should recognise that our individual wealth is due far more to the collective effort of our forbears than anything we do' 
[see the previous Blog here]

You can see Prof Guy Standing in an impassioned inaugural address at SOAS 19 June 2013 on YouTube which is an outstanding argument for Basic Income much of this being an expose of  the historical slide away from empathy and compassion that motivated early and mid-20th century welfare. He majors on the rise of the 'precariat'  - those increasing numbers of us who are living with chronic uncertainties who find themselves without the floor of welfare safeguards any more. The picture is getting darker in our so called advanced countries but he has carried out trials in South Africa and India which have shown the specific transformative outcomes in peoples' lives through giving them an unconditional regular income - such as child malnutrition, weight gain, schooling, economic productivity and health care.  He quotes a minister of Social Development in India that this:
       ' dispels all doubt that the poor will be irresponsible.'  

Guy Standing champions the end product, The Free Lunch - Fairness with Freedom  brings together how funding might work in more detail than Prof Standing was able to cover in his address. 
Posted by Charles Bazlinton

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