What is an unconditional stimulus

Society The Unconditional Basic Income: Dignity through Unconditional

By Hannah Essing

© Colourbox
The unconditional basic income is an impossible dream, some would say. The idea: every citizen receives a monthly basic income from the state - without anything in return, without this income depending on the salary or the living situation.

The basic income does not really want to fit into our capitalist system, which is anchored in our heads. Is it conceivable that people will get money regardless of what they do? Basically, an argument is very simple. So simple that we can even find it in the Basic Law.

The Basic Law expressly demands dignity in Article 1: “Human dignity is inviolable. Respecting and protecting them is the duty of all state power. ”So for each individual, dignity is more than a crazy idea on Twitter, but should be the basis of every interaction in our everyday life, should be the foundation on which we are live our lives.

But what is the value of people in our society? The answer becomes clear in those who work every day for less than they are worth. It can be seen in her hands, her back. Countless pensioners who toil all their lives and still suffer from poverty in old age. Visible to those who have to collect bottles. Those who don't know how to put the next meal on the table. Or not knowing how to explain to your classmates that you can't afford a school trip ... About the children who don't have winter jackets. We measure a person's worth by whether, what and how much they work. Wage labor as the non-plus-ultra of a capitalist society.

If we leave the discussion about the unconditional basic income to politicians and experts, we are missing out on a chance to point out injustices. Out of curiosity, I ask my friends what they would do with the Unconditional Basic Income. Like a pyramid scheme, the question is passed on to parents, siblings, friends, work colleagues and roommates. I ask my driving instructor and our postman. "That is not possible at all," comes an answer from Passau back to me in the Ruhr area. “If people get money just like that, they lose all appeal to work.” The answer fits the discourse we hear so often in the media - that everyone would lack the motivation to work if there was a secure income for everyone would exist. But that doesn't really fit in with all of the other answers I get.

A friend who is studying law explains to me that with a basic income, her parents could finally go on vacation again. Or renovate. And for them, above all, it would mean more security and less fear. “Fear that in the end there won't be enough money,” she wrote to me. “And I have to take out a loan or quit studying.” She still lacks a semester before she is finished with her studies.

My little sister ponders for a long time, then sits down and types up her answer on my laptop. "I could give my mom a hand and would have a better feeling and would feel more independent," she writes. "And I would look for a hobby, I could even pay for it myself."

Another friend has just started her legal clerkship. "I would save the basic income," she says in her voice message. “At the moment I don't have to pay for my own apartment, I live with my parents. If I had my own apartment, that would be a feeling of security. I know that I can always pay for my apartment, no matter what. I would certainly have money for the rent every month and thus a roof over my head. The apartments around Stuttgart are just so expensive that it is difficult to find something affordable. Most of my friends' salaries go towards the apartments. Every penny has to be turned over because the apartments are so expensive. At the moment I couldn't afford anything. "

Another friend of mine works 25 hours a week - alongside her studies. "Still, I can't get rid of the € 600 minus on my account," she says. “The basic income would give me the chance to spend the money I earn. And not just having to turn every penny. "

Would you stop working? I ask my mom, who has never stopped working in her life. She looks at me with big eyes, then shakes her head vehemently. "Oh god, no," she laughs. "But maybe I would do something quieter."

Who has the right to decide what a person deserves and what does not? We all deserve a life of dignity. And as long as the debate about the unconditional basic income continues, we should use it. The unconditional basic income is in stark contrast to the indignity that so many experience in their everyday lives. Whether the unconditional basic income is utopia or not - a right to dignity is more than that, it is anchored in our constitution. Even if we sometimes forget that.