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Hi everybody, I've just registered at Reddit to be able to set up a subreddit for BIEN, the Basic Income Earth Network (basicincome.org).

As you may know, Reddit regulations allow this to happen only after 30 days, so I will be here just as a user during that period.

But if you're looking forward to a subreddit by BIEN, you can help by upvoting this post because the other Reddit requirement is to have gathered enough karma points.

It would be ideal if that could happen during the 30 day period.

Thanks in advance!

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I'm currently doing research for my dissertation on American politics and how to improve political discourse. The specific issue that we're looking at is UHC, so I thought that the survey and our eventual results might be of interest to individuals on this sub!

The survey is available here: https://stanforduniversity.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bdXHYcjwAa2eCYB

and should take less than 10 minutes. We're also giving out $20 Amazon gift cards to 1/20 participants, as a thank you for your time!

Also, after you've taken the survey, feel free to message me if you'd like more details on what we're working on.

Thank you so much for your help!

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Posted byVice-chair of Basic Income Earth Network20 hours ago

The following discussion is going on over on Facebook: Do we need a worldwide Coalition of Basic Income Activist Networks to do what BIEN can't? BIEN is chartered as an "educational charity." It can educate people about BI and spread news about BI, but it cannot lead or coordinate activism on BI. There are many national and regional BI activist organizations, but no worldwide organization to help coordinate their activities. Do you need a sister organization of BIEN to do this kind of coordination or is activism best conducted at the national and regional level? If you'd like to discuss this issue, please join this group. If you know anyone else who would like to discuss this issue, please invite them to join this group and this discussion.

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I used to work. I still do, I just don’t work for the organisation I used to. Because I don’t have to. 

That’s right – I don’t have to. So I resigned.

I have my own apartment, and overheads, and a life, and time out, and holiday. But they are all paid for by a regular income from a private investment fund. Despite this, I’m not rich. It’s only a modest income – but then it’s only a small apartment. This is not just early retirement – I’m in my late-forties. And whilst I’ve been hoping I would be able to do this at some point in my future for a while, it hasn’t been a long-term plan. I’ve been a bit more opportunistic than that. 

I’ve organised a Universal Basic Income for myself. It’s universal because I get it whether I work or not (although I ought to get some kind of paid work if I want to improve my income in the future). It’s basic because it covers all my housing and sustenance needs, including bills and food. And I guess the income bit speaks for itself. 

The thinking behind a true Universal Basic Income, as potentially provided by governments, is that everyone would get it.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t be universal. (There is also debate around Conditional Basic Income, but that isn’t what we’re talking about here.) So, the discussion among those considering it as a type of social security, is around where to set the level of income for everyone (what does ‘basic’ mean?) and, of course, how a government could raise money to pay for it.

In order to accrue my investment fund, I’ve had to earn the money to invest in it myself. So, you might think that my belief is that anyone expecting to get a free income would also have to raise it themselves. That isn’t necessarily the case. 

I worked as a specialist lawyer for most of my career, and that usually means you pay a fairly high price for what you can get, in terms of stress and working hours, so all this has certainly cost me. I also made some shrewd decisions to get me where I am today. But I also know that the more money you earn, the easier it tends to be to line your own nest, plan for the future, attract further opportunities and buy yourself some breathing space when things go wrong. I was also recently the beneficiary of an inheritance, which was a crucial addition to what I had already done for myself. So, I have an open mind on whether others can be genuinely expected to do what I have done, and whether people can be entitled to free money sometimes.

I’m intending to write this blog about these issues, and more, whilst providing some insight into my new life, over the coming weeks. I’m looking forward to seeking new opportunities, and also learning about the facts and prevailing opinions on Universal Basic Income. Feel free to help me out with your comments. But try to keep an open mind.

See you next time.

David R Thompson

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I'm all for UBI however I see it as something that will undoubtedly be gamed by the rich to further screw over the poor, especially if and when UBI is used as an excuse to further erode a social safety net. Isn't something like UBI just a band-aid that puts off dealing with the real issue: there needs to be a full confrontation with capitalism itself. I'd love to hear your point of view

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A basic income guarantee is a system that regularly provides each citizen with a sum of money. Except for citizenship, a basic income is entirely unconditional. A basic income guarantee would radically simplify the welfare state, and truly ensure that no one has to live in poverty. Its necessity will become increasingly obvious as more human labor is replaced by machines.

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