Basic Income

If I didn’t have to work to survive, I think I would live.

Basic Income is a concept that a country could adopt for its citizens. Every citizen would receive a sum of money every month regardless of whether they are employed or not.

I believe Basic Income is a potentially brilliant system. Take Ireland for example. Homelessness could be eradicated. If you receive €200 a month from the government, you could afford homeless shelters, its a start to get yourself a job and then a home of your own. Students could focus on their studies instead of stressing to find time between weekend shifts in a pub. Those ill who may not receive holiday pay wouldn’t have to worry about supporting their families while out of work.

The idea that every citizen is give a flat amount every month, some will make more than others due to their jobs, but at least this way every citizen has money to live off of.
The downside? Would it encourage laziness.

A debate stirred in class when this was discussed. As a creative class, I see the basic income as a positive. Many of may not pursue our desired career in film making, creative writing, photography, due to financial worries. But if we all receive a basic income, we could pursue our dream jobs without the fear of a wage. The flip side of this is, well why work at all. The government is giving you money every month, you can go for a few drinks, buy your food. You can live a relaxed and carefree life on the country’s dime. Would the absence of this fear of a wage mean no one would get a job?

It is an interesting topic because we see attitude towards those on social welfare. They’re lazy or they’re wasters. But that may not be the case. Many may not be able to find employment and so need the governments money to survive. Would a similar stigma fall upon those who get the basic income and nothing else?

I believe that if basic income was introduce in Ireland, we would see a decrease in those stressed about money. We would see more people pursue a career that is based on passion more so than on necessity of money. It could lead to more people leading happier lives.

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