Universal Basic Income (press release)

Originally published on 29 December 2015.

Transhumanist UK today welcomed the publication of the RSA’s report “Creative citizen, creative state: the principled and pragmatic case for a Universal Basic Income”.

The RSA (the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), which was founded in London in 1754, has the stated mission “to enrich society through ideas and action”. The RSA report into UBI (Universal Basic Income) follows one year of research into the topic, and makes specific proposals for how UBI might be implemented in the UK.

The idea of UBI aligns well with the Transhumanist UK principle of “Personal freedom, social justice”:

“All citizens shall have a right to sustenance, clothing, shelter, energy, healthcare, transport, education, and access to information resources. We also advocate that all citizens must be able to contribute to society, in their own fashion, without blemish to their dignity or sense of self worth.”

According to Transhumanist UK research and analysis, accelerating technological unemployment has the potential – within the next decade – to magnify social inequality, disruption and alienation. People who trained hard for new career opportunities may discover that their employment prospects have been overtaken by increasingly sophisticated robots, AIs, software, or other automation.

Dr Amon Twyman, Transhumanist UK Leader, commented:

“A new social contract is needed, involving strong educational and economic support for those who are left with no viable option of ‘earning a living’ due to rapid technological change. A UBI would provide an important part of this new social contract. The RSA’s advocacy of a UBI will help the task of Transhumanist UK to bring about new political thinking in the UK that champions individual and social creativity.”

Transhumanist UK looks forward to accelerating public discussion of UBI:

  • Designing and supporting local trials of UBI schemes
  • Sharing insight and understanding with groups worldwide who are investigating UBI
  • Building broad support, across the traditional political spectrum, for UBI
  • Mandating that, where possible, overseas foreign aid should be made available to local citizens via direct UBI schemes rather than by government manipulation.

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