Originally published at the NAAIJ on May 1st 2015. Check the North American Association of Independent Journalists for the latest updates.
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May 01 at 10:30AM EDT. All credit goes to Organizers: Redditors For Basic Income (/r/BasicIncome) & @2noame. The full text of the Basic Income Thunderclap Campaign follows:
What would you do with a monthly paycheck, separate and in addition to any other paycheck, earned for nothing other than citizenship and sufficient to cover your most basic needs? That’s basic income, and that’s what today should be about.
Popularly known as May Day or Labour Day, May 1st is currently a day to internationally recognize the contributions of the global labor movement
and its many struggles and achievements over the years. However, where unions once
empowered labor and gave us the 40-hour week and the 8-hour day,
globalization and advances in technology have severely eroded the ability of
unions to effect change.
As automation of the workplace continues to the
tune of potentially eliminating half of all current jobs in the next 20 years,
and in addition eroding any sense of financial security or consumer buying power through the growth of part-time jobs, low-paid jobs, freelancing, and zero-hour contracts, unconditional basic income represents the ability to empower labor on
an individual basis. A newly gained ability to say “No” to employers
would have an undeniable effect on employee bargaining power for greater sharing of profits and better
wages, job conditions, hours, benefits, etc.
The achievement of basic
income would be the achievement of a new voluntary contract between employer and
employee, including the empowerment of the employee to become their own
employer by functioning as venture capital for the people. It would mean a new age of greater innovation, productivity, and entrepreneurship,
where all are finally free to pursue the goals they wish to pursue, and all work
could be recognized for its societal value, instead of only paid work
as it stands now. Isn’t it time we started recognizing all the important labor going unpaid?
Basic income is the future of the labor movement, and the policy we must all together now strive for in the 21st century.
There are many ways to support the idea and to help grow the movement for Basic Income. For one, take part in Basic Income Day by supporting this Thunderclap and by changing your profile photos on May 1st. Some more examples:
- Sign a petition
- Join your national advocacy group
- Spread the message on Social Media – Add #Basicincome to your posts and also add the hashtag to your profile photos
- Discuss it – Share Basic Income news with your friends and family and start local meetup groups
- Contact Politicians or the Media – Start to demand it and they will start to listen
Join the growing global movement to create an income floor for everyone.
This is the century of technological emancipation from labor itself. We made it. We’re here. We need only actually embrace it. Unemployment is not something to fear. It is something to welcome.
Without basic income, on the 1st of May we celebrate Human Labour Day.
With basic income, tomorrow we celebrate Machine Labour Day.
Nigel Todman is an Independent Journalist, Technical Consultant, Social Activist, Web Developer and Computer Programmer from Ontario, Canada. Nigel is also the Assistant Webmaster for the NAAIJ. Add him to Facebook and/or Follow him on Twitter E-mail: nigel [at] naaij [dot] org [PGP]