Basic income

the so-called unconditional basic income (BGE), designates an income financed by taxes and deliveries, which everyone (humans and/or. Citizen is unconditionally paid).

Without an socialadministrative means test, without a work or an activity obligation /-bereitschaft is individually guaranteed, and paid in existence and sharing of securing height of the community.

Different models of the basic income are discussed by sociologist, economist, by most different groupings and political parties. Some forms of a citizen money can be a BGE. The BGE is possible in two forms: Social dividend and negatives income tax, if it o. g. Criteria fulfill.

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a basic income as absolute legal claim for all humans/citizens is provable, not even in none before modern society as utopian conception. All differences of utopias such as Platonsstate “, Thomas MorusUtopia “, Francis Bacons „new Atlantis “or „the sun state “of Tommaso Campanella, like also the most diverse monastery movements, the earliest enclaves of the common property, find their strict border in the general work obligation. Also in the people such ideas seem to have been only the subject of the mockery, as in the lying and fool stories of the Middle Ages. As the people fairy tale property with diligence posed and the bad with putridness, such supplying or liberty utopias becomes accordingly scoffed, because for such fools: „the paradise is the straight correct country. Each hour sleeping brings there a piece of silver and each time to yawning a piece of gold. Who works gladly, does to property and bad leaves, which driven out from the paradise. But who cannot do anything, only to sleep, eat, drink, dance and to play, that the count one appoints. And the putrid one becomes king in the paradise.

Background and purchase of such moral teachings a common „plebejische utopia “must have been however even, which applied to instruct and morally fight it. Still the classical authors marxism actually did not float a basic safety device however forwards. Their vision of a communist social order went of many far all conditions insisting on the revolution, which new humans should get out of. Their view of the desired more near future works in the contrast in addition the more conservatively. Also the socialist August Bebel writes: „As soon as the society is, becomes in the possession of all media the work obligation of all able to work ones, alike the sex Basic Law… The society cannot exist without work. It has thus the right to demand that everyone, which wants to satisfy its needs is active also in accordance with condition of its physical and mental abilities at the production of the articles for the satisfaction of the needs everything… Socialism agrees with the Bible if this says: Who does not work, is not to eat also. ... Without work no benefit, no work without benefit. “Corresponds, also in communism, which did not emphasize distribution of the goods „after the work “and „after the needs “, like Lenin, with reference to Marx, expressly. In the further developed utopia of communism work is “the problem „of the putridness “to have at the same time disappeared with the removal „alienated.

A rather inconspicuous current within the socialist-communist ideas 19. Century, in front, the age-old question about the equality of all citizens places Paul Lafargue all beyond the ownership structure against the work. Only who has „the right to putridness “, can be same and free. Thus of Lafargue the demand is for the first time expressly placed after a basic safety device as legal claim in the name of the liberty for everyone and the equality. When such goes it far beyond all models to the poverty fight since the antique one and needs, in contrast to the classical authors of the marxism Leninism, no special revolution of the ownership structure. After the collapse of the states of the Eastern Bloc around 1989 one Renaissance of the ideas Lafargues took place in consequence.

Lafargue, explain-measured neither scientists nor economist, speculated as a layman upon a financing with one's own means of his conceptions. Afterwards one becomes „released Bourgeoisie… release indeed immediately the quantity of soldier, an official, servants, Kupplern etc., which had extracted it from the useful work. Consequently the job market will be so overcrowded that one must have an iron law, which forbids the work; ... If no more Lakaien and generals be decorated, no married or unmarried prostitutes more in points be wrapped, no more cannons be poured and no more palaces must be furnished, then one will stop the Schnick Schnack, sharpening, iron, building worker by means of drakonischer laws and - female workers to healthy water haven and dance exercises, in order to repair their well-being and to improve the human kind. “

The philosopher Bertrand Russell reached Lafargues thought into its essay praise of the idle course and pleaded for a basic income.

Ausformuliert became a concept of a guaranteed basic income already 1848 of Joseph Carlier („Solution OF the Social Question “, Brussels 1848) and Josef Popper Lynkeus („the general feeding obligation as solution of the social question “, Leipzig 1912). In Austria the first suggestion was well-being-called by Lieselotte and Herwig bake-heals submitted.

In the USA konzeptional the similarly stored negative income tax ( Earned Income Tax Credit) exists since 1975, which was expanded there in the meantime to the largest transfer program. In Great Britain generate the negative income tax an additional income of up to 6150 euro/year.

prominent representatives of the current discussion

one finds in the course of the reform - debate up-to-date to advocates predominantly from economics, culture and science. By suggestions of German Federal President Horst however end of 2005 the debate was brought to charcoal burners over the basic income back into the public discussion.

Götz Werner started a medium campaign for an unconditional basic income in the spring 2005. Apart from the pool of all social security benefits to be concept plans a gradual increase of the value added tax . On a long-term basis taxations of enterprises and income are to be replaced completely by consumer taxes.

The president Hamburg institutes for world economy of the Professor. Dr. Thomas Straubhaar endorses the unconditional basic income on the part of the economy, in order to carry for the current requirements to a flexible working sphere calculation.

The philosopher Philippe Van Parijs works among other things to the topic basic income and has in addition some relevant publications published, in particular Arguing for basic Income. Ethical foundations for A radical reform (Lit.: Van Parijs, 1992). He was a secretary of the basic Income Earth network (German: world-wide network basic income, formerly basic Income European network)

a further representative is Katja Kipping from the left wing party than spokeswoman network basic income. It demands and. A. a basic income for unemployed persons in structure-weak areas of East Germany.

In the social sciences the Frankfurt sociologist Ulrich Oevermann belongs to the most formed proponents of an unconditional basic income. It already supplied 1983 one of the analytically deepest analyses of that crisis constellation, which speaks for the introduction of an unconditional basic income. He continued to develop its analysis always since then. Today he formulates the crisis diagnosis under resort to a “structured model of Religiosität”, developed in the meantime in many material analyses, which moves the crisis diagnosis in culture and religion-sociological connection a crisis of the traditional achievement ethics bound at acquisition work.

To consider with this examples is however that the basic conditions, under which basic incomes are suggested clearly from each other to differentiate to be able itself.

to the legal situation in the Federal Republic

after today's legal situation no absolute legal requirement on a subsistence level exists, and/or in the Federal Republic. a basic income. Special constitutional meaning gets here the self-help conception of the social welfare assistance (§§ 1, 2 BSHG). In its adjustment as „an assistance for the self-help “and the principle „priority (s) of the self-help “excludes the today's social legislation „idleness wools “from all existence-securing requirements to the state. Turned around the claimant its „work willingness “to explain variously and reliably represent. It is of crucial importance that the so-called „Nachrang of the social welfare assistance “or „the Nachranggrundsatz “between material means, which the citizen has to use first and its worker does not differentiate.

This psychological expansion of the Nachranggrundsatzes to into the range of human will, is according to condition in accordance with opinion of different authors an extremely problematic interference into a row guaranteed fundamental rights: That , the freedom of conscience, the equal rights, the proportionateness, the occupation liberty, the welfare state principle.

The tendency of judicial basis for decision-making holds its own view for the opinion that with this identification by material possession and human will the Herabstufung of humans is fulfilled to the object in precise way, became more human against. So for instance the BVerwG, which judges: that in the work and self-help „liberty and would find its clear expression “. (BVerwGE 27, 58 (63); see. also BVerwGE 67, 1 (5); 23, 149 (153): The self-help is not „reduction of the welfare state thought, but its elucidation and corresponds thereby at the same time “.) According to opinion of the former Federal Constitution judge Paul Kirchhof the state becomes the opponent of the liberty, by by supply of „ausufernden “social achievements the liberty will of humans to suffocate threaten. (Kirchhoff, „the state as guarantor and opponents of the liberty “)

those did not become however is a as uncertain thing as the liberty, but absolute, indivisible, all common and not suspendable right property, „the all national force “(kind. 1 GG) to serve has. The German condition is therefore incontestablly in the core a constitution that will, the liberty and does not set each citizen, equally, to come into a position of absolute requirement to the state, from which the subsistence level is to be excluded with difficulty, without in contradiction with the entire fundamental right constitution. Neumann in addition: „The obligation of the state to the safety device of the subsistence level follows from kind. 1 exp. 1 in connection with the welfare state principle. As the general personality right its “seat” not in kind. 1 GG, but in the fundamental right of the general freedom of action has, then the basis of this obligation is the welfare state principle. This to the production of social justice and is called obligated primarily to the equality. “(To the connection of welfare state principle, social justice and equality BVerfGE 5, 85 (197 f.); 22, 180 (204); 40, 121 (133 f.); 59, 231 (163); 69, 272 (314); BSGE 55, 224 (231). K. - J. Bieback, welfare state principle and fundamental rights, EuGRZ 1985, 657 (665); H. F. Zacher, the social state goal; And. Sacksofsky, the fundamental right on equal treatment, 1991, 194 f.)

the relevant line of the iurisdiction in this point does not see turned around in the social welfare assistance „pension-same continuous duty with a supplying character “(BVerwGE 57, 237 (239); 25, 307 (308 f.); 28, 216 (222)). It serves thereafter only the overcoming of of a concrete state of distress (BVerwGE 28, 216 (222)). Therefore it becomes as it were daily again regulation needy „“. (BVerwGE 25, 307 (308 f.); 57, 237 (239)). All assistance of the state is thus in last addition one „basic safety device for work-looking for “. This people picture in the sense of the job market underlines in particular the one exception: In a purely psychological sense after legal situation only one is protected „mental false attitude “. (see BVerwGE 29, 99; supplementing VGH Mannheim judgement of 2.10.1974, FEVS 23, 117, 122: mental false attitude of some importance, is present, „if it for the work arbeitsverweigerung causally and if they procured in such a way after kind and extent are that the assistance-looking for cannot overcome it without strange assistance, in particular without psychiatric or psychological treatment. Otherwise also bare putridness, surmountable will weakness, defiance and community-hostile world views at expense of the public were recompenced. “)


the motivation for the introduction of the unconditional basic income is multilevel, even apparently contradictory. On the side economic aspects stand and on the other side politically - social.


expected overall economic effects

  • bureaucracy dismantling with economical use, since social welfare assistance, unemployment insurance, old age pension insurance, pensionses of public servants, student financial assistance scheme and child benefit to freiwillige private precaution could be reduced.
  • The ancillary wages could sink by being void the employee and employer portions for the unemployment insurance and old age pension insurance. The employers, more coworker makes possible to employ. Additionally if the health insurance contributions were taxfinanced, the ancillary wages were void even completely.
  • Entrepreneurs would be to a large extent released from their social responsibility and can use without bad conscience and public Denunziation rationalization chances radically and offensively, even if this meant dismissals.
  • Decrease of the market entrance hurdle for business startups, since the subsistence level would be secured independent.
  • For the citizens it is worthwhile itself strengthened to take up also low remunerated activities since the wages are paid additionally to the basic income. Thus the pressure sinks on the economy to shift jobs into low wage countries.
  • By a stronger rearrangement the private consumption could increase. A restricting of the economic circulation is to be prevented on a small layer of wealthy and be stabilized and promoted by preservation and reinforcement of a broad Binnenkaufkraft thus the national economy altogether.

social effects

  • also without control measures a possible abuse of the social system is avoided and nevertheless the Privatsphäre of the particular is ensured.
  • The possibilities for part-time job would increase by smaller job market entrance hurdles, which would favour above all recent families.
  • Proponents expect a higher efficiency in the appropriation of funds.

job market-political effects

  • incentive for employers for arranging jobs attractively for employees
  • employees are rather ready to give a job up and one better for them fitting look for each other. The consequence is a higher work motivation and a higher productivity.
  • The position of the employees opposite the employers would be with work-political arguments (e.g. Strike) strengthened, since the economic dependence of the employees would be reduced.
  • By a possible reduction of the offer at workers, the position of the employee could be strengthened.
  • A job seeker is rather ready to begin an activity with lower pay because…
    1. the financial job market entrance hurdle sinks and
    2. its gross income in relation to unemployment in each case substantially improves and
    3. it no disadvantages with any renewed unemployment (decrease of its unemployed person purchases) to be afraid must.


particularly the left-oriented forces place gladly following moral goals and human rights into the foreground, which would come during particularly high basic income to carrying:

  • Solution of the crisis (high unemployment), in which the work company - as consequence of the technological rationalization dynamics and the globalization - is. Could to the fortune and income polarization between arm and realm be worked against.
  • Humans became from the economic dependence on the acquisition work and/or. released from its fellow men and such a certain life could lead.
  • Each humans are right to social security as a member of the society; it has requirement on it, by domestic measures and international cooperation with consideration of the organization and the aids of each state the benefit of the economical, social indispensable for its and the free development of its personality and cultural rights would arrive.
  • Each humans have requirement on a living standard, which ensures its and to its family health and well-being including food, clothes, dwelling, medical support and the necessary achievements of the social welfare service; it has the right to security in case of of unemployment, illness, disablement, Verwitwung, age and of other one loss of its maintenance means by undeserved circumstances.
  • Each humans have the right to participate in the cultural life of the community freely to enjoy of the arts and to scientific progress and its Wohltaten participate.
  • The status of unemployment or social welfare assistance as stigma for the concerning, which is connected partly for lack of financial possibilities with Ausgrenzung by the sharing at the society and the cultural life, but often also with personal courage and lack of perspectives and small reputation in the public opinion, changes. One defines oneself less over the job than over the activities, which one exercises.
  • Non-profit social, sporty, scientific and artistic activities are promoted. Instead of frequent authority courses and the appropriate bureaucracy have concerning enough time and leisure for unbureaucratic, organized commitment within ranges such as hobby (spare time, amateur, DIY), associations, groups of self-helps, about which again also the total company profits.

eligible for financingness from the view of the proponents

regarding the financing of the basic income gives it different beginnings: In the simplest case an increase of the income tax could be made. This means an additional charge of higher incomes and a discharge of smaller incomes. A further suggestion consists of it reaching by means of the change of the control system [1], in particular a continuous rise of the VAT rate a financing.

In addition with the long-term financing under the conditions of one „“the following factors a role play basic income company:

the conceptions over the height of the basic income reach from a subsistence level up to a certain standard of living, which makes possible also the cultural sharing at the society.

Pelzer (Professor have a founded financing calculation. at Institut for naturopathy) and Fischer with the Ulmer model and their follow-up studies production. Thus on scientific basis the eligible for financingness was proven.


disputed is apart from the economic or political feasibility whether the basic income already today, approximately in Germany, which Kraft of a legal claim on the basis comes. Opponents of the basic income refer in their criticism among other things to the following points:

the eligible for financingness

of the concept doubts problem of the eligible for financingness critics. They analyze whether savings with pension subsidies, child benefit, educating money, social welfare assistance, unemployment pay II and further social expenditures as well as with the personnel in the appropriate offices would be sufficient and whether tax additional receipts could be actually obtained by a purchasing power increase and a higher economic growth.

connection of work and wages

critic fear that during a high basic income the achievement thought, which exclusively given with the conventional Lohnarbeit they see was strangled. They fear therefore a decrease of the total production.

the absence of empirical data

researchers, who argue with the topic scientifically, deplore the absence of empirical data, which describe the connections of growth, productivity increase and basic income. (see [2] Chapters 6.4)


we live today in a Einkaufsparadies, i.e., our ability, to bring goods and services out is larger than the needs of humans. (...) The productivity overhauled the need development long, we has satisfied markets, and we need less and less humans, in order to produce this oversize at goods. Now the moment came, in which we can free ourselves from the obligation of the work. (...) If however humans any longer to work do not have, because machines settle that to a ever larger part - then we must supply them evenly with incomes.
(Götz Werner, Gründer of the chain DM drugstore market, in the magazine fire one in March 2005, [3])

for 15 years one discusses different models. The most radical comes from the French philosopher André Gorz: He speaks of a” unconditional basic income “for all citizens and citizens. But its beginning requires hard rearrangement measures, which would be very with difficulty interspersable in a parliamentary democracy.
(Peter Glotz, SPD - politicians and former professor at the University of pc. Gallen, in Brückenbauer No. 28, 11. July 2000)

The consequence would be that at the job market the core was emphasized to all liberty to say i.e. the liberty no.
(Claus Offe, sociologist)

see also


  • BAG of the Sozialhilfeinitaitiven (Hrsg.): Existence money for all. Answers to the crisis of the social one. New around 2000, ISBN 3930830140.
  • Zygmunt Bauman: The crisis of the policy. Curse and chance of a new public. Hamburg 2000, ISBN 3930908603.
  • Herwig bake-heals, Lieselotte well-being-mentioned: Basic income without work. On the way to a kommunikativen society. Vienna, Munich, Zurich 1985, ISBN 320350898.
  • Ronald Blaschke: Guaranteed basic income. Drafts and reasons from the last 20 years. Asking and problem definitions. Dresden 2004 Blaschke guaranteed basic income
  • Ronald Blaschke: Guaranteed minimum income. Models of basic safety devices and basic incomes in the comparison. Meissen/Dresden 2005 Blaschke Synopse
  • Wolfgang Engler: Citizen, without work. For radical reorganization of the society. Berlin 2005, ISBN 3351025904.
  • Manfred filling bag: Live without to work? To the social theory of the basic income. Berlin 2002, ISBN 3930064073.
  • Axel Gerntke, Werner Rätz, Claus's shepherd and. A. (Hrsg.): Income for getting along. Of unconditional basic incomes, legal minimum wages and other distribution questions. Hamburg 2004, ISBN 3899651103.
  • André Gorz: Ways in the Paradies. Berlin 1983. ISBN 3880222797.
  • André Gorz: Work between misery and utopia. Frankfurt/Main 2000, ISBN 3518410172.
  • André Gorz: Knowledge, value and capital. To the criticism of the knowledge economics. Zurich 2004, ISBN 3858692824.
  • Michael Hardt, Antono Negri: Empire. The new world order. Frankfurt/Main 2003, ISBN 3593372304.
  • Hans's Peter Krebs, Harald pure (Hrsg.): Existence money. Controversies and positions. Münster 2000. ISBN 3896914758.
  • Ulrich Oevermann: Can work serve the distribution justice further as basal criterion?. Internet publication of the university library Frankfurt, Frankfurt/M. 1983,
  • Ulrich Oevermann: The crisis of the work company and the probation problem of the modern subject. In: Becker, Roland; Andreas Franzmann; Axel Jansen & Sascha dear man (Hg.). Self-interest and public interest connection. Culture-specific forming out in the USA and Germany. UVK, Frankfurt 2001, S. 19-38.
  • Michael Opielka, George Vobruba (Hrsg.): The guaranteed basic income. Development ud perspectives of a demand. Frankfurt/Main 1986, ISBN 359624109X.
  • Werner Rätz, Dagmar Paternoga, Werner Steinbach: Basic income unconditionally. Hamburg 2005, ISBN 3899651413.
  • Thomas forge (Hrsg.): Release from wrong work. Theses to the guaranteed minimum income. Berlin 1984, ISBN 3803121094.
  • Philippe Van Parijs (Hrsg): Arguing for basic Income. Ethical foundations for A radical reform. Verso, London, New York 1992, ISBN 0860913716.
  • Yannick Vanderborght, Philippe Van Parijs: A basic income for all? History and future of a radical suggestion. Campus publishing house, Frankfurt 2005, ISBN 3593378892.
  • Ralf Welter (KAB Aachen): Solidary free-market economy by basic incomes. Conception for lasting social politics. Aachen 2003, ISBN 3832216707.

Web on the left of

portal about” unconditional basic income “, Interfakultatives Institut for Entrepreneurship,
University of Karlsruhe (TH), leaders: Götz Werner

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