Just multiple times better than communism

Many thanks to Mr. Margus Tsahkna, Minister of Social Protection, who mentioned in Estonian Opinion Festival the planned Basic Income test in Finland saying it’s a “communist” idea, giving so an excellent pretext to explain why the communism actually can’t stand comparison with Basic Income at all.

A communist society that the Sovietunion tried to build in vain would mean, among others, that no matter whether you have job or not, how much you are working or whatever you do – you get all benefits that you need.

The Basic Income, however, is not meant to be as “nice” at all. Without having job or enterprise you would have to be satisfied with all that you actually have. Included the guaranteed monthly income that covers your basic needs, giving a chance to be an active member of society and live in dignity but, however, remains still low when compared with income of working people or enterpreneurs. And nothing is “needs based” or “fine tuned” there (only difference could be between basic income amounts for adults and children).

But if you wish something more than just to stay alive and probably make some voluntary work, then there’s no alternative – as you already have a “ticket” to the working life, you should use it. Literally – if you feel that the free canned sprats in oil don’t satisfy you, then grab the fish hook given you along with conserves, walk to the shore (maybe with somebody’s help if needed) to catch your fresh trout! As long as you don’t have any success the canned fish will keep you alive.

By the way, here it is appropriate to (re) recall a recent poll, the results of which show that if everyone would get just 500 euros a month from state, it would be no more than 5% of population agreeing to give up paid work (including those who accept even less). Definitely quitters or industry changers would therefore be even less. Those who would not under any circumstances agree to give up work, however, were 30% of the respondents.

Incidentally, it is quite normal that when some people claims that basic income undermines entrepreneurship, we can not hear anything morefrom them than “that undermines entrepreneurship”. The answer to the question of “how” is probably affordable or convenient for the few. If ever. Depending, of course, what one means exactly when talking about “undermining enterpreneurship”.

By contrast, answers to the question of “how the basic income favors enterpreneurship?” lie down right here. Including: Because this is an unconditional basic income, which is all the time present, it does not therefore imply a complete break down of a failed business attempt. The absence of such a risk encourages action. Surely many of you have been kind enough to give advice to fellow citizens complaining about their poor life: “Do not complain, become an entrepreneur!” It is very possible that they really start to follow this advice.

Communism and basic income. One is a nomotivating utopia, where there is no private ownership, no market economy, no link between a person’s work and his well-being. Another – a system that keeps people alive and saves them from falling dead against a concrete floor, but still motivates them to work, taking account a constantly dissatisfied and forward-leaning human nature . Which one is better?

And last but not least – for the politician thanked at the beginning of this article it’s worth to know that as the basic income removes the people’s need to overwork and burn themselves out, one of its estimated effects is a stronger commitment to family life. Therefore, in light of the idea of 2 million ethnical Estonians in his party’s vision “Isamaa 2.0” (“Fatherland 2.0”) the idea of Universal Basic Income seems to be fully usable.