The end of the 18th century was abundant with change: The French and Americans are busy revolting in ways that will shape the world for centuries to come. The quasi-governmental Dutch East India Company was dissolved, and philosophers became increasingly ‘enlightened’, criticising archaic institutions in favour of humanist ideas based on reason.
But behind the grandeur of constitutions, multinational corporations and ideological revolution, a little-talked about pamphlet – Agrarian Justice – became the first piece of literature to advocate for a Universal Basic Income. You might think that being written by Thomas Paine, author of the proportionally all-time best-selling American title Common Sense, it would carry clout and propel the idea of a UBI into the mainstream, but perhaps Paine’s funeral attendance of 6 is more a testament to the legacy of UBI.
But as with many things in politics, things are changing. Wherever the source, be it the COVID pandemic encouraging people to rethink the welfare state, or economists Juliet Rhys-Williams and Milton Friedman challenging traditional fiscal systems of governance, UBI is making a comeback. Alongside trials increasing in size and regularity, more and more political parties are adopting UBI as policy. In the UK, Liberal Democrats and the Greens are in favour, with many in the Scottish National and Labour Parties flirting with the idea.
Over the course of several articles, I will write short articles themed on UBI and its particular effects on socio-economic areas. These themes will be:
- Domestic Abuse
As a UBI advocate, Ulysse enjoy discussions about the model, to promote awareness and navigate ways to improve its effectiveness. Want to learn more about #UBIwithUlysse? Contact him here.