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The Almighty Buck EU Politics

SaxoBank Predicts Universal Basic Income For Europe 412

jones_supa writes: Saxo Bank, an investment bank based in Denmark, has released a list of its outrageous predictions for 2016. Among these predictions, economist Christopher Dembik claims that Europe will consider the introduction of a universal basic income to ensure that all citizens can meet their basic needs in the face of rising inequality and unemployment. This will come on the back of increased interest in basic income from Spain, Finland, Switzerland, and France.
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SaxoBank Predicts Universal Basic Income For Europe

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  • Yeah, sure (Score:3, Insightful)

    by qbast ( 1265706 ) on Monday January 25, 2016 @07:09AM (#51364461)
    This would first require ending of right to free movement (otherwise whole Eastern Europe would move to countries with ubs) and then really dealing with immigration to prevent whole Africa from moving to Europe. In other words: no way.
    • Re:Yeah, sure (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Monday January 25, 2016 @07:12AM (#51364469)

      In other words: no way.

      By "no way", I assume you mean it would be unacceptable to you, not that there's no way it could happen. Because we can probably agree that Brussels is capable of being that stupid.

      • Re: Yeah, sure (Score:5, Insightful)

        by qbast ( 1265706 ) on Monday January 25, 2016 @07:21AM (#51364487)
        No, I mean it is simply unworkable without putting in place restrictions I mentioned. There are too big differences between wealth of western and eastern countries. And since free movement of people is one of founding principles of EU - it can't happen.
        • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
          It's not just the wealth, that's also offset by the cost of living. People in Country A might earn more Euros per week than those in Country B, but if the cost of living is sufficiently high in Country A then you might still be better off in Country B - assuming similar (or at least acceptable) levels of social services, security and other basics you might want in return for your taxes. Establishing a EU-wide minimum wage would most likely entail those in the higher salaried western EU nations (e.g. those
        • by stjobe ( 78285 )

          since free movement of people is one of founding principles of EU - it can't happen.

          That's free movement of workers within the EU [europa.eu], i.e. if you already live in an EU state, you're free to pick up and go seek employment in another EU state. If you're not already living in an EU state, you don't fall under that principle.

          • by qbast ( 1265706 )
            I know that. But they are huge differences in average cost of living and salaries between western and eastern countries. How would you set the right level for UBS?
            - make it high enough to live in 'expensive' countries - whole eastern part of EU goes bankrupt within 2 years
            - make it low enough to avoid breaking the east - it is total joke for residents of western countries
            - allow each country to set it independently - mass migration from east to west
        • And since free movement of people is one of founding principles of EU - it can't happen.

          Its going to happen anyways, and it will be many years before it becomes unsustainable, and at that point the E.U. will go through an autonomy crisis where a big decision is made regarding the authority of the E.U. over its member States.

        • Re: Yeah, sure (Score:5, Insightful)

          by gsslay ( 807818 ) on Monday January 25, 2016 @08:36AM (#51364791)

          There are too big differences between wealth of western and eastern countries.

          This is already a fact currently, so what difference would adding a base income make to it?

          The basic income in each country means getting the bare minimum to survive in that country. So it would make no difference whether you are living in a rich or poor country; your living standard would still be basic level. People generally don't go through the upheaval of moving country just so they can live in the same basic poverty level some place new. It usually takes something like avoiding a war to force them into that.

          The main attraction of a universal basic income is that it removes, at a stroke, the need for a complex benefits system, with all its costs, overheads, impenetrable rules, loopholes and exploits.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          It's only free movement to work. You can't just move to another country, you have to work if you want to stay.

    • Or it would require one government for the whole region collecting and disbursing monies, which is what the EU has been pushing towards all along anyway. And frankly, the only thing which makes sense from a logistics standpoint. Too bad we've made no progress on human nature throughout history.

    • Simple solution: Benefits to be paid by orignial country until 2 years income tax paid to new country. (income tax shared to original country over those 2 years to equalise fairness).

      • by qbast ( 1265706 )
        So: immigrants move in, take the low-level jobs left by natives (who decide they are better off on UBS than being paid peanuts for flipping burgers), work 2 years (not a hardship since they are still paid several times more than at home) and finally move to UBS. That's not a solution, but a small delay.
        • Basic income is about the same level as a full-time minimum wage job and they'd still be being paid this on top of their salary (just by their home country). Would you expect them to really decide to drop back to half of the income that they'd become accustomed to?

    • Re:Yeah, sure (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Monday January 25, 2016 @07:27AM (#51364501) Homepage

      Or you could link the basic income to the number of years as a legal citizen in that country.

      • by qbast ( 1265706 )
        I don't think so - UK already got smacked down for trying to differentiate between their citizens and EU citizens when it comes to benefits.
    • by Afty0r ( 263037 )
      Why do you believe this? Universal Basic Income is essentially "benefits" packaged under a different name - just fairer, and with significantly lower overheads. It also removes other barriers to a productive and healthy economy (such as the minimum wage, and the negative impacts that has on low-skilled employment levels) - but it's not inherently *better* than benefits for the recipient, just better for society as a whole. For example, in the UK at the moment a family of four might receive benefits totall
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It's already the case that some countries have much more generous benefits than others, but it doesn't really encourage people to migrate in huge numbers. Certainly not the whole of Eastern Europe.

      The reasons are many. The right to free movement only applies if you work, or are the family of someone who works. Most countries limit benefits to people who have just arrived. Although the benefits are a higher Euro amount, the cost of living is higher too. Some people just don't want to abandon their original c

    • This would first require ending of right to free movement (otherwise whole Eastern Europe would move to countries with ubs) and then really dealing with immigration to prevent whole Africa from moving to Europe. In other words: no way.

      Wrong.
      For at least to reasons:

      Right now, lots of people move within the eurozone (taking advantage of the freedom to move inside the EU privilege) *because* they expect better income somewhere else. If all get the same default CBI (Conditionless Basic Income), then there is no

      • by qbast ( 1265706 )
        It is not a problem of Spaniard moving to Germany. It is a problem of Romania going bankrupt in 2 years when having to pay CBI at the same level as Germany. Or paying it at vastly lower level which means that half of Romania moves to Germany since they will get more for sitting on their asses and average salary in Romania. Third way is for western countries to increase subsidies for east by huge amount and I don't think it is going to fly, especially not with upcoming referendum about UK exiting EU. The bas
        • by qbast ( 1265706 )
          "sitting on their asses and average salary in Romania" -> "sitting on their asses than average salary in Romania"
    • by Yoda222 ( 943886 )
      No, it is not required. The right to free residence (FTFY, free movement is everything below 3 months) as defined in the "EU freedom of movement and residence" [europa.eu] text already include a clause explaining that you cannot move just to take the social benefits. Go to article 15:

      2. Member States may require the persons concerned to provide evidence that they have:

      (a) stable and regular resources which are sufficient to maintain themselves and the members of their families, without recourse to the social assistance of the Member State concerned. For each of the categories referred to in Article 14(2), Member States shall evaluate these resources by reference to their nature and regularity and may take into account the level of minimum wages and pensions;

      (b) sickness insurance covering all risks in the second Member State normally covered for its own nationals in the Member State concerned.

    • I suspect that would only be a problem if the rate of basic income were fixed across the EU. Wages are lower in the east, but so is cost of living, so if implemented properly then basic income would buy the same standard of living in each country. I can imagine people moving south (why live on the poverty line in the UK when you can live on the poverty line by the sea in Greece or Portugal?), but moving west would only make sense if they expected to get jobs that were more in demand in the west than the e
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 25, 2016 @07:12AM (#51364475)

    The EU may propose it, and "Europe" may adopt it, but after the mass muslim invaderism that has occured, lots of countries will leave the EU in order to not adopt it.

  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Monday January 25, 2016 @07:48AM (#51364597)
    Before we give any serious consideration to their predictions for 2016 we need to look at how their predictions for 2015, and previous, turned out. If they have a history of making outrageous predictions which come to fruition, than we need to pay attention to this prediction. If, on the other hand, they have a history of making outrageous predictions which don't pan out, we should ignore this one. If their history of predictions is something else, we need to take that into account as well.

    One of the things that bothers me is when news articles make a big deal out of predictions made by a group without giving you any idea of how well that groups previous predictions turned out.

If you push the "extra ice" button on the soft drink vending machine, you won't get any ice. If you push the "no ice" button, you'll get ice, but no cup.

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