The Role of Pilot Studies
The idea of basic income has intellectual charm, but however much this may inspire the intellectual discourse, it cannot overcome the political indifference. Much of the sympathy the idea has gained in the past is based on the frivolous expectation that it would bring the vast majority of citizens an increase in prosperity and an easier life. This assumption often goes along with the prediction that digitization will lead to an unprecedented upsurge in productivity and an unprecedented destruction of jobs, increasing both distributable income and the need for redistribution to an unprecedented extent. If such a state of the world were to emerge, the conditions for the implementation of a citizens’ stipend would actually improve, but such expectations are highly exaggerated. Therefore, even the noteworthy increases in public attention the basic income idea has meanwhile triggered will not overcome the fundamental political indifference it normally encounters.
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