Digital Transformation and Unconditional Basic Income: Positions from Nahles to Precht


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Just this week the emotions on the issue of unconditional basic income once again boosted: Reason was a supposed quotation from Federal Minister of Labor Andre Nahles. The topic is more topical than ever.

Digital Transformation and Unconditional Basic Income: Positions from Nahles to Precht


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Minister of Labor in the Shitstorm

On Tuesday, the 09.05.2017 Andrea Nahles spoke at the Re: publica in Berlin on the subject of unconditional basic income - and thus triggered a Shitstorm. In fact, their speech did not trigger a shitstorm, but what Germany radio made of it.

The handle took the following quotation from the speech and thus from its context and posted the following post on its website:

“Basic income means that no one does poorly or low-paid work anymore.”

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What did Andrea Nahles really say?

No wonder that then the comments at Facebook piled up: 4.000 times the contribution was now shared, the Shitstorm also taken up by other media such as the Berlin morning mail.

Andrea Nahles questioned precisely this argument, which is often led by opponents and advocates of the basic income. The quotation in the context:

“Basic income means that no one does poorly or low-paid work anymore. Guys, if that were true, I would waver. ”

The conservative point of view: work as value

Only in the further course of the lecture it becomes clear what Nahles means by that: The basic income can not, in their opinion, prevent badly paid jobs. On the contrary, just because people only have to earn extra, the pay is rather worse - and probably the reputation lower.

For me, that is actually the crux of Nahles' argument: work is seen as a value in itself in our society. The Minister of Labor has no desire for a basic income because she would rather stay independent. And your own work is the means of independence, whoever is active is also rewarded.

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In the history of mankind, this point of view is only a few hundred years old; in antiquity, for example, idleness was regarded as fancy. Ms Nahles's testimony also shows how much this way of thinking has now become flesh and blood.


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The future: we no longer work for money?

If one, however, the forecasts of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Richard David Precht or brain researchers Professor Dr. Gerald Hüther may believe that there will be no other solution in the future than an unconditional basic income.

The reason for this is the digitalization and also the transformation of the automobile industry Interview with Deutschlandfunk:

"People will continue to work in the future," he admits. "But they may not do it for money anymore, and they may not do it for a company anymore, and they will no longer do it in an employment relationship."

And the brain researcher Professor Dr. Gerald Hüther will be in the Epoch Times quotes:

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“In 20 years, only those who really want to work and do something for society will work”

Experiments on Basic Income

It is therefore exciting that there are already first successful field trials with the unconditional basic income:

For example, non-profit association “Mein Grund income” from Berlin. His goal is to find out what Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) does to people. “My Basic Income” has financed BGEs via crowdfunding since September 2014. As soon as 12.000 euros are available, they will be raffled off to a person who will then unconditionally receive 1.000 euros per month for one year. The club recently equal to 15 for one year.


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