Pierre Madden: cell: 514 238-0044

  • Pierre Madden
  • Pierre
  • Pierre Madden

©2018 by Basic Income Montreal. Proudly created with Wix.com

Vested Interests
Translated from the original Dutch by Pierre Madden

Click on the links to see the full text of the objection

 

   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

 

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

Explanation

 

Trade unions are losing their position and are therefore opposed to UBI.
Apart from the direct employment and dominant position of those who work there, it is also said that, with the dismantling of the trade union, there is no longer any counterweight to plans that the 'right' will devise in the future to scrap social security. The result of more than a century of social struggles is thus destroyed.


These arguments can be heard from a number of Flemish left-wing authors. In the Netherlands these claims are widely shared within the Socialist Party (SP).

Refutation

It is true that the opposition of the trade unions does exist. It is questionable whether it predominates.

 

The insecurity in our current society  also touches members of the trade unions. While this text will be published (end 2017) we see discussions about basic income both in the Federation of Socialists and Democrats in the Netherlands (FNV) as well as in the Christelijk Nationaal Vakverbond (CNV). The President of the Union is a declared advocate of basic income.


If trade unions transform themselves into an organisations that also stands up for people other than their traditional support base (paid workers), they can continue to counterbalance plans by the 'right' to degrade the living conditions of the most disadvantaged. The unions will then be able to put all their energy into these remaining issues, because the basic fight has already been won. For that matter, new forms of organisation may also emerge, including through social media.


Fear that the right will seize absolute power and squeeze the least well-off is exaggerated - major changes also require support from the centre, and that requires moderation.

 

55. Employment at social security agencies is at risk

Explanation

 

The employment of implementing bodies (both national and municipal) and part of the Social Security Revenue Agency is at risk.

Refutation:

 

This objection undoubtedly holds water. Basic income can be perceived as a threat by those who now make a living from the implementation and controls in current social security and taxation. However, if that work can be made redundant, it is pointless or even on the verge of fraudulent to continue. Those concerned will also receive a basic income and will have ample opportunity to look for more meaningful activities, whether or not they are paid.

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

Explanation

Basic income means a radical change in the way we live together, and that is not in the interests of the ruling elite. This applies to the whole of society: politicians, administrators, employers, top officials and the boards of large organisations. 

 

Refutation

 

This objection presupposes a coherent static elite. History teaches us that this is nonsense. Sometime sooner or later, something happens that causes the elite to lose power or to disintegrate. Basic income advocates therefore need to look for benefits of basic income for all in order to find allies at all levels. Given the many benefits of a basic income, such as a better functioning economy, less social unrest, less crime, lower absenteeism due to illness, etc., this is not so difficult.


It must be recognised that this does not happen automatically and may well be a very long-term process.

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

Explanation

Most people are against the Basic Income. It looks like a very big change, and that creates far too much uncertainty.

Refutation 

This is an objection of limited scope. As long as it is not specified why someone is against the proposal, there is little we can do with it. 

 

The solution is therefore to enter into dialogue with people who are against, ask why and investigate whether those arguments are correct or can be refuted.

 

If this is done to a sufficient extent, the objection will also lapse because the majority will then be in favour.

 

Presumably a lot of people haven't thought about it yet. Renowned opponents also often show a lack of knowledge. It is mainly a matter of emotional resistance, usually wrapped up in rational sounding arguments that, on closer inspection, have little bearing.

 

Most people probably don't have much of an opinion about it at the moment. A broad public debate, preferably on the basis of thorough research, can change this.


Only then can you measure how many people are for or against it.