Firstly, thanks for this article. I’m very interested in UBI but most criticism I’ve come across has been directed from the right, painting positives as negative and accusing it of being inherently socialist, which as you say it is not. This is a critique from the left, which I’m more interested in.

I hadn’t heard of Le Salaire à Vie but on my first encounter it seems attractive. As would be expected, however, some initial reservations arise.

It is far more accurate to describe this as socialist, which from my perspective is a positive. You describe it as better suited to help move away from capitalism as it isn’t as intertwined with it as UBI - all good - but it feels far more revolutionary than a mere stepping stone to socialism, and therefore harder to achieve - would UBI not be a useful stepping stone to Le Salaire à Vie? It could certainly be useful in warming people up to the idea of everyone’s income coming from one place.

Obviously I’ve just come across Le Salaire à Vie, but one of the biggest positives for me seems to be tying income to activities with actual worth - childcare, social care etc. But one of the attractive qualities of UBI is the reduction in bureaucracy, while keeping tabs on who has experience in what would surely have the opposite effect?

Finally, I have huge reservations about tying anything to GDP. GDP is a terrible way of measuring success, and the capitalist obsession with it is in large part responsible for the destruction of the environment. I fail to see how anything that relies on growth can stay relevant.

I think this is an important addition to the debate though, and hope it continues to be discussed. It’s not impossible to see me being won over! Thanks for writing this, and your work translating.

Politically Left, parent, Welsh. Writes about any combination of the three, and occasionally other subjects entirely. leftwingdad.com

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