Universal Basic Income

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There have been many casualties from the Covid Crisis, in Ireland one of the Industries that was severely affected was the Arts, Is Universal Basic Income part of the solution?


Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

This post is about Universal Basic Income as a policy or movement and how it may be an unexpected winner of the Covid Crisis.

The Land of Saints and Scholars

Ireland has a long heritage of writers, poets, playwrights and musicians. It's sometimes even referred to as the land of Saints and Scholars. From literary greats like Joyce and Yeats to more contemporary musicians like U2 and Christy Moore. There is a strong tradition of the Arts in Ireland, and it's exported to the 4 corners of the world. In 2022, it’s hard to find a place in the world where you don’t hear an Irish Musician popping up on the radio.

Covid ...

Without a doubt today Music, The Arts & Live Performances are part of the fabric of Irish daily life but unfortunately the Industry has been massively overlooked and taken for granted in the last 2 years. It may never recover. This would be a tragedy and a huge loss for the Irish people.

The article that sparked this post was released by the World Econo mic Forum, and I came across it on LinkedIn today.
In Ireland, struggling artists might not have to struggle so hard.

Universal Basic Income (UBI)

In this post I wanted to share it with the Hive Community and a few thoughts more generally on UBI.

  • The linked article provides a nice summary of UBI as well as the results of some recent trials.

Reading through the comments on the LinkedIn post there are certainly two very polarised schools of thought on the topic.

I would love to hear the Hive communities arguments for or against it.

The history of this social movement includes several trials, which have been accelerated due to Covid.
For example one of the policies of the Irish government during Covid has been to provide a support to working people who suffered unemployment due to covid. A temporary form of UBI called the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) was introduced.

The proposal for the Arts industry in Ireland, highlighted in the linked article, is even more interesting and we will see how that helps the Industry recover.

The results from other global trials to date also tell an interesting story and show positive results.

Social Safety Nets


Photo by Andrés Canchón on Unsplash

Politics in my country, Ireland, since the foundation of the state has always veered on the Socialist side. The state has provided unemployment payment called the Dole to people who have not been able to find work.
This has acted as a social safety net for people, however it has been abused by many. Employed people that work 9-5 jobs, employers that pay employer tax and rates, give out about it all the time (including me) but having said that I have travelled to many other countries where such safety nets don’t exist and I have never liked what I have seen. My experience is that society benefits when people have some sort of Social Safety Net.

Recently I have had interesting conversations from people on the new more recent Government PUP payment and their views on returning to work. We will see how this plays out in Ireland, but I don’t think UBI in any form works unless there is some form of penalty for just milking the system.


Can Blockchain Communities provide Universal Basic Income,

  • What if by being part of Hive you could get a living wage?

On the Steem blockchain I joined a community called @steembasicincome which was experimenting with this and since the hardfork now has evolved with the vision of “Social Experiment to provide every Hiver with Stake Based Income help us change the world”

It will be interesting to see what emerges out of the ashes of the Covid Crisis and how Blockchains like Hive can play their part. I am not sure leaving it up to Governments will get us very far.


During January I am visiting different communities virtually on Hive to see where I get the most engagement, and which inspire me most to write. Where I get the biggest welcome I might stick around :)

I hope you enjoyed this post to the Hive SBI Community about my observations on the Universal Basic Income and how Hive might be able to play a part in making this a reality.
If you would like to follow me to hear more I write mainly about Blockchain and Crypto but this month I am really going to explore different communities on Hive so my posts will be quite varied.


When discussing the topic of UBI, whether this is a system that we shall deploy, or not, we shall first understand where the 4th industrial revolution will take us. This 4th industrial revolution is defined not 100% uniformly, hence I give you my kinda definition. Like all the previous industrial revolutions, the 4th is about automation. Unlike all the previous industrial revolutions, this one will make humans obsolete. Whilst the previous industrial revolutions the automation resulted in jobs being removed, and new types of jobs being created (eg a machine automates the production not requiring a human anymore to put things together, whilst the repair of the machine was a new job required and carried out by a human), this 4th industrial revolution will automate anything and everything (as time progresses we go from a lot to most, to all) without the need for humans anymore. Automation will not just be the production of something, but also the automation of maintaining all systems that are required for the production process. Additionally, this 4th industrial revolution will not only automate the whole production process but will also automate the creation of new things, like the design of a new object with new features. This industrial revolution will even bring is the automation of inventing something totally new. All this is driven by quantum computing, robotics, AI and singularity that is not too far out into the future. We'll see more and more job types not required anymore, whilst we see the number of new types of jobs required decreasing over time. How long it'll take before we don't need any human anymore to invent, create, design, produce something, that is the question. This can be anything between a few decades to the end of this century (or longer). I'm inclined to believe we get to such a situation rather sooner than later. Maybe we still need 3 to 4 decades. Seems still like a long time, but 30 to 40 years is just one or two generations. People that are starting their first job today, will have to deal with such a situation before they reached the pension age.

Now when we assume we don't need any humans to work anymore, everything is done by AI and robotics, we need to come up with a new system that will allow all of us on planet earth to at least be able to enjoy the basics we need in life. How this new system shall look like, that is the big question. UBI is one system we could go for. If it is the best system, that is to be seen. In my view, when nobody has to work anymore, I believe we shall have a new system in which we make sure that all the earth resources are shared and distributed in an honest way. UBI is not addressing that part though.

Regarding SBI, I personally don't believe in such a setup of UBI. Why? Because it requires money to invest before some incentives are given out. People without the proper funds will not be able to set such a form of UBI up. I also don't believe in things like Web3 and all of that to provide the 'system' for all peeps on our planet to earn money, since this will exclude all those who are not able to participate in one or the other way.

I realise it's not gonna be easy to come up with a whole new system, but we have to. When we don't, we will see our current system fall apart at some stage whilst not having anything new... which essentially drives us more towards a 1984 situation, since when we for instance see our current financial system crumbling down towards a totally disbelieve in eg the USD and Euro, ie these currencies will trend to zero value, we end up in chaos. Out of that chaos, something new will rise. My fear is that this something new is worse than what we currently experience in our world. My fear is that this will be more centralised control by peeps that have no real concept of running a community, or society, other than the strong wish to control for own personal gains. We already see this more and more. Corporates becoming stronger and stronger, and better at controlling our governments, for their own personal gains.

I believe we shall further experiment with UBI. At the same time, I believe we shall have open discussions on local and global levels to try and come up with other systems to UBI that we at the same time also need to experiment with.

How can you abuse an universal basic income? It's universal, so everybody gets their share. No need for means test. Of course affluent folks will still blame the poor for poverty--that's what being rich entails.

In my country there is a support called child benefit. Basically each child gets a weekly payment to cover essentials. Great idea, popular, its not means tested, but people still complain, and on top of that it's abused. People actually have children to suppliment their income ( it's paid to the parents )

I agree with you, the key point here is it needs to be universal. The challenge is making it universal.

Though the challenge is to make UBI universal, we have to start somewhere. Any system is abused. Like our tax systems are abused big time as well. In most western countries it is the peeps earning somewhere between a lower average to the higher average salary that pays the taxes. The rich have enough means to evade taxes. Corporates, the same applies, they evade taxes. Just an example of another system that is abused.

Some peeps in my country (the Netherlands) calculated that if we would change all state benefit payments to UBI, this would save the state more money to control the current benefits program systems than the additional costs UBI will have. Obviously, we will have more peeps becoming unemployed, but they will receive UBI as well, at least those that doesn't find a new job. All this is made part of the cost calculations done by these groups.

Nice to see this here @eroche; I have long been a fan of SBI and continue to be... and I am also a fan of the fundamental concept of UBI, on a bigger scale.

In fact, my entire reason for even finding the "old chain" in the first place was that a friend sent me a link to an article about a private UBI-like initiative and wanted my opinion about it... as it happened, that article had been published on Hive's predecessor, and pretty much the rest is history.

I don't see UBI as a "handout," so much as a sort of social safety net for those who might otherwise end up on public assistance. I think the fundamental idea that it could provide an absolutely bare bones survival for someone leaves the encouragement open to still want to do something productive with your life.

Here in the USA, there's a lot of skepticism of the idea though... with the typical excuse being that people would just sit in front of the TV and eat bon-bons if they didn't "have to" work. I just don't see that.

I like the idea of Hive and its growing network of free standing communities because it's actually income for SOMEthing, without it being an actual job, and for those who stick to it for long enough, it might even turn into a modest income stream simply via curation.


Here in the USA, there's a lot of skepticism of the idea though... with the typical excuse being that people would just sit in front of the TV and eat bon-bons if they didn't "have to" work. I just don't see that.

I think in many countries larger groups of peeps think the same. That's why experiments are so much required. I don't have the figures in hand, but some experiments in my country showed that when a certain state benefit with obligations (like for instance 2 job applications a week) was turned into UBI, ie same benefits but without any obligations, the majority of people would still do something, from continuing trying to find a paid job, to starting unpaid jobs, like becoming a volunteer.

Something really interesting in my country: With about 17M people living inside the borders of the Netherlands, around 7M people do some to more volunteer work already. That's a super large amount of peeps in my opinion. All these peeps do some 'job' whilst not getting paid for it. This shows to me, that by far the majority of people are good.

The universal government handouts that supplement like 10% of your basic income aren't really UBI because it is clearly not enough to handle all basic economic needs.

I think the supporters say it can eventually grow to supplement 100% of your basic income needs, then it is sufficient UBI.

My question is how? This isn't a basic math problem. Productive people who are comfortable making a living already may feel discouraged by taxes and leave. Other nations without it may over-compete and destroy whatever economic advantage helped it work. It may work in some areas with stable geopolitical situations, but if it fails, I don't see other countries running to the rescue.

How do you prevent a serious attack on your economy when your focus is creativity? I can't see it working without achieving some sort of self-sufficiency.

The arts suffered heavily here in Oz too. I've been with SBI since 2018 and its been a great support to me.

Its my study of UBI which brought me to Steem in the first place and as you write in your post, although we often complain about the social safety nets in place in our safe, Western world, you don;t need to travel far to see the horrendous conditions people have to endure when there is none.

As a huge advocate of SBI/HbI , it works well on so many levels. It's not 'money for nothing', you still have to produce content to trigger it and that content is lightly moderated. Holding SBI share is also a long term investment which hopefully keeps people returning to the platform as this is the only way they will benefit.

I also am a firm believer in the benefits of UBI in a wider sense, but I do find it difficult to work out a solution for abuse but there does need to be a point, as there should be in traditional welfare systems, where enough is enough and a line must be drawn regardless of the consequences and it is this that needs a strong constitution and conviction to apply.

On a funny side note. I think the number one Irish thing that made it to all 4 corners or the world are it’s pub’s :-)

Maybe that's why i keep hearing Irish bands when i travel

I am visiting an Irish pub. 🤔

Yes. I totally agree. It is mindboggling how disrupting covid has been to all the arts. I was making a reasonable income from writing before the pandemic, and I would have thought people would have more time to read.

Instead, book sales dried up because people spent less and switched to safer comfort entertainment from streaming services. Online magazines I wrote articles for went under because people were panic scrolling and only clicking on things related to covid or Trump.

I know visual artist got hurt too because it's hard to land a sale just from looking at things online. They needed people walking into galleries and seeing their work as it was intended.

UBI would help all people through these times that want to contribute to the world artistically.

Let's see how it works out in Ireland.

This book details a way to escape corporate crapitalism.

I'll check it out, thanks.

I do think that SBI could be a much better solution to the current social welfare system.
We currently have one that disincentives people to work and is spread across so many channels that it is impossible to monitor.

I think we could have a much better system with an SBI that you could build on through work or community initiatives with a lot less cost to monitor. If implemented in the right way but that still covers all of our citizens and gives them the option of a good life. Unfortunately drink and drugs will still prevent a lot from doing this but anybody who wanted to could have it.

Everyone needs propose and meaning in their lives. Idle hands and all that.

It's just not as easy for everyone to find their purpose or to be happy in their own skins. Work often is a way to find purpose.

A full scale social experiment on UBI would be very interesting indeed but i generally am of the view that extremes never work. A hybrid or partial approach might be the optimal solution. Lets see what the fallout from the pup will be in Ireland and how the other ubi proposals pan out. Also lets see what blockchain brings to the table.

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Great concept. May be better managed on the blockchain, than the Government (mis)managing our pension and other funds.
The possibilities are endless.

There is an interesting other blockchain project with similar intentions, and perhaps lessons can be learned from there.

Good Dollar project has a substantial take p, with a marketplace to spend the free Daily Distribution of their tokens, which can also be staked on the Fuse network for rewards https://bit.ly/goodubi

As a new user to Hive, I trust we can go one better with a DAO format. 😌