A basic guaranteed income in the context of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
ScottCDunn
1449

This is the first time I have been introduced to the concept of a basic minimum income, so please forgive any misunderstandings in my comment.

My initial thoughts are that the introduction of a basic minimum income would have a positive effect for the needs of some individuals, but that the theory, or at least how I have interpreted it, overlooks the needs of society as a whole. Let me explain what I mean. For the individual, taking the new artist as an example, a basic minimum income would satisfy ‘Physiological’ and ‘Safety’, as you have suggested, and this would free said individual to pursue greater tiers of need, which I think is great! For society, if we talk about a group of people, such as social care workers, and assume that a proportion of those people both earn minimum wage (in the current system) and prefer a number of other things to their job that may be individual endeavours that have no impact on society (e.g. Hiking, Sailing, Kayaking), how can we bank on the altruism of these individuals not to leave their jobs to go and play, but to to fulfil a role that sometimes satisfies tiers 1–4 for many elderly people of our society? Or that another group of servers in McDonald’s earning minimum wage might all prefer to enjoy their minimum income and surf, rather than fulfil their roles of feeding a great proportion of our people and indirectly generating tax for societal benefit on > $27bn revenue? I worry that this theory allows personal freedom to trump societal obligations, which may not always be a good thing, depending on where you stand!

I would also ask how relevant you think the data set from Uganda is to the application of a basic minimum income in a Western setting? (not a leading question!). My impression is that the data from a Ugandan setting looks at a subset of unemployed people with the aim of investigating poverty relief (maybe just tier 1 of Maslow’s hiearchy) in a society with a different education system to ours (hence the focus of participants on learning and skills) and a different culture to ours.

I thought it was super interesting and agree that the concept of a basic minimum income becomes both more plausible and perhaps necessary if we reach a point where a much more significant proportion of jobs are automated (under the assumption that more human roles are eliminated than generated in that process)