This is an introductory statement, so that my readers can immediately grasp the tone of today’s article: I am a opponent of the “Unconditional Basic Income” (german “Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen”) which has been hotly discussed for several years and has already been tested by several pilot projects.
To understand this attitude you have to know where I come from and how I grew up: My father has been a self-employed entrepreneur since I can think of it and is still working full-time in our company today (although being retired since years). He is the role model from whom I drew all my knowledge and my attitude to life, a person who has never been dependent on the state in his life and has earned everything by himself. This goes so far that he has renounced various state subsidies (e.g. for operations) in order to pay for everything himself instead. Not only because he could, but because he wanted to. There are of course more than enough people who are happy to receive any kind of governmental support (e.g. if there is simply not enough money available for a dental treatment) – but someone who works a lot and is be able to say “this is my body, so I pay for the treatment myself” – earns my respect!
In this sense, I grew up under the aspect of my own performance, with the words “If you want to achieve something in life, you have to earn it”. This is first of all a stark contrast to the above mentioned unconditional basic income and secondly it is totally contrary to the “Welfare State” in which we already live. At this point it should be noted again that many people with low income are dependent on state subsidies, this is good and should not be questioned in any way. But is it educationally valuable to enable a society to make financial contributions for free or does this practice educate society to the exact opposite?
In the past, we have boasted a lot, as a productive society, as europe’s top performers, as pioneers and role models. But in my eyes these labels are as outdated as the slogan “made in germany” – nothing more than a brand name that has long since been overtaken by reality. But we have printed so many of these labels generously in stock, so that they are still lying around everywhere. The grinder-like processes of the last decades gradually strained not only our politics, but also society as a whole: We are drifting from an achievement-oriented society to an inefficient one, and this is also politically encouraged.
In my opinion, a trend reversal is necessary, people should be rewarded for their performance and commitment. This can go far beyond purely economic commitment and includes all social areas as well as environmental protection, art and culture. However, remuneration should only take place after a performance (in whatever form) has been rendered – to challenge and encourage people.
Finally, to come back to my own story: My father’s wine shop was no longer in the best of shape when I entered it (lovingly and with loyal customers, but simply not sustainable). Today we have a much broader range of products with our mail order business and are in a much better position than twenty years ago. I have invested a lot of work and time in the reconstruction – simply because I had to, otherwise we would not have had a chance. Would I probably have done the same if I had access to an unconditional basic income?
PS: And so that all conspiracy theorists get their bowls filled: The Unconditional Basic Income is also on the agenda of the “Great Reset”, because it creates a win-win situation: On the one hand people who are financed by the community without having to provide a service and are thus also immobilized to a certain extent. And on the other hand a state which feeds these people without any return service, but at the same time makes them dependent on itself. The unconditional basic income is like all points on the Great Reset agenda a poisoned gift!