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70 objections to Basic Income and its implementation

Translated from the original Dutch by Pierre Madden except this page by Florie Barnhoorn

Une version française est en chantier.

1. Common misconceptions

  1. Basic income is a utopian dream or a fantasy

  2. Basic income is hype or a cult

  3. Basic income means free money and that is not possible

  4. Basic income is a new and still immature idea

  5. Basic income is a new label for the same old social security system

  6. Basic income is unaffordable or antisocial

2. Values and philosophy of life

     7. Reciprocity is necessary for the legitimacy of the social state and its moral support, that means that an unconditional basic income cannot be solidary

     8. Having a paid job gives dignity, status and a sense of social integration, basic income will make people lazy

     9. With basic income, young people no longer take the trouble to study

   10. Only a small group of people is capable of handling freedom well

   11. Basic income leads to an increase in the use of alcohol and drugs

   12. Basic income is bad for the emancipation of women

   13. The basic income lowers the participation of women at the labor market (they might stay at home to look after the children or take up other unpaid care work)

   14. Talents  remain unused

   15. Basic income promotes overpopulation

   16. People always want something more than they see with someone else, therefore they will begrudge someone a basic income

   17. The group consisting of free-riders, maladjusted or anti-social people will grow, if there is basic income for everyone

   18. Many are annoyed by the behavior of free-riders, profiteers and antisocial people. Those people don't deserve a basic income. If they should receive the payment, it would be disastrous for the acceptance of the idea

3. Social vision and ideology

   19. The idea of a basic income goes in the direction of communism, and that is bad

   20. Basic income is a socialist idea, that cannot work

   21. It is a reprehensible neoliberal idea

   22. Basic income creates an undesirable class distribution in society or a strengthening of it

   23. Basic income increases the chance of ghetto formation

   24. Basic income increases the power of the state and makes citizens passive and dependent

   25. Basic income requires unjust redistribution and is actually just theft

   26. Basic income is a Trojan horse, as soon as it is introduced, massive savings on government spending will be realized

4. Economy

   27. Basic income is unaffordable

   28. UBI does not use sophisticated information and its goals are cumbersome and limited

   29. A basic income causes huge inflation

   30. UBI will lead to higher taxes and that is bad for innovation and industry

   31. Basic income worsens the position of the Netherlands on the international market

   32. Basic income will boost the informal economy, illegal transactions and fraud

   33. UBI promotes consumption and is therefore a catastrophe for the environment

   34. UBI means that fewer people will accept work and the economy will stagnate or shrink

5. The job market

   35. Nobody will accept unpleasant work after the introduction of UBI

   36. Many people will be satisfied with the basic income payment

   37. The loss of income due to unemployment will have a much greater effect with a basic income than now without one

   38. If you give people a basic income, you will be pushing them aside

   39. With a UBI, there is no need for paid work, and that deprives life of much of its meaning

6. Government and bureaucracy

   40. Basic income makes us all too dependent on government

   41. Providing of cash to people is not a task for the government

   42. A basic income turns us all into benefit claimants

   43. Basic income will never be high enough to eliminate all bureaucracy

   44. Basic income promotes government corruption

7. Borders and immigration

   45. The Netherlands on its own is too small for a basic income

   46. Basic income promotes immigration, especially of economic refugees

   47.UBI is discriminatory if not offered to  foreigners, who want to settle here

   48. Basic income promotes unwanted emigration

   49. Basic income promotes the closing of borders

8. An unconditional basic income will not solve the really important problems

   50. People with a lot of debt are no better off with a small basic income

   51. The scourge of growing inequality will not be resolved

   52. Introduction of a UBI is not good for the environment

   53. It is a solution from the world of systems, problems in the real world will not be solved

9. Vested Interests

   54. Trade unions lose their positions of power and are therefore against the policy

   55. Employment at social security agencies is at risk

   56. A radical change in how we live together is of no interest to the ruling elite

   57. Most people don’t like the idea of an unconditional basic income

10. Procedures and institutions

   58. It is not in our hands, it is up to other people to decide on basic income

   59. The policy is too big to handle, governments only have a four year scope

   60. There are so many other urgent priorities on the political agenda. UBI is a distraction.

   61. Existing experiments are too small to assess the real effects of a UBI

   62. If a UBI is implemented, and it fails, we won't be able to get rid of it anymore

   63. Anyway, introduction of the policy in our country is impossible

11. Amendments and modifications

   64. Politics  always leads to compromises that make our lives worse, not better

   65. Under the name of a UBI, we are introducing very different policies

   66. Others will benefit from UBI, rather than those who really need it

12. Implementation

   67. We should not start with this policy, the introduction of a UBI is far too complex

   68. A UBI can’t be properly phased in: we will have two conflicting welfare systems

   69. We start enthusiastically, ignoring all warnings of possible implementation problems

   70. We cannot predict the long-term effects of a UBI