Is Democracy Fit for Basic Income? Toward a Hybrid Income Guarantee for Future Generations
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Discussions of basic income generally presuppose that a basic income scheme could be implemented by political parties, parliaments, and governments in established democratic procedures. This is highly questionable. The implementation of a basic income system would be an unprecedented challenge which conventional democratic institutions cannot be expected to rise to. Realistic chances for democratic majority support of a basic income scheme could arise only under two conditions. First, basic income must be safely fundable and the resulting tax rates plausible. This requires for basic income to be complemented by a sophisticated public job guarantee. Second, the transition to basic income must be designed as a generation-spanning process in which no age and income groups feel as losers. This can best be achieved if only future born citizens become basic income recipients. These conditions may appear simple enough, but at closer inspection a sophisticated generation-spanning transition scheme lies beyond the capacities of established democratic institutions.
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