Freedom, not Full Employment
By Ute Fischer, Stefen Heckel, Axel Jansen, Sascha Liebermann, Thomas Loer
[This declaration is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, www.FreiheitStattVollbeschaftigung.de]
1. Making output the basis of sharing work prosperity is only justified as long as prosperity is mostly gained through human manpower. However human manpower is replaced more and more today by "machines" (machines, computer software).
If we hold to the exclusive distribution of income through output or performance, this will lead either to increasing unemployment or to declining incomes.
2. The prosperity of our country is the prosperity of all citizens. This prosperity depends on the achievements of all citizens and the works of preceding generations.
Therefore justice commands that all citizens share in this prosperity.
3. Our prosperity is the result of successful innovations. Innovations increase productivity and promote value creation. They make possible automating the flow of work and saving human manpower.
Unemployment is not a sign of poverty but an expression of the productivity and assets of our country.
4. Refusing innovations is refusing prosperity and thus freedom from unnecessary work.
The freedom of citizens is also freedom from unnecessary work that can be performed by programmed machines.
5. Forcing the unemployed and social security recipients to work mistrusts their commitment to public welfare and limits civil freedoms.
6. Insisting on the goal of full employment punishes the unemployed and employees for the economic productivity of our country.
Those forced to work sell their manpower at declining wages and salaries with reduced social security even though their manpower is no longer needed.
7. Holding to the goal of full employment has the result that citizens are unnecessarily forced to activities that can be automated. Automated work is replaceable work and replaceable work cannot create meaning.
Holding to the goal of full employment goes alone with the loss of vocational meaning for an increasing number of citizens.
8. Emphasizing the goal of full employment squanders the lifetime of citizens since it is bound to mind-numbing, undignified work. Time is senselessly "devoured" and cannot be used for meaningful activities. The dignity of the person is violated.
9. The political community is shaken to its foundations when the dignity and integrity of the person is no longer the supreme guiding principle of political decisions.
an unconditional basic income for all citizens that
- strengthens the family. The family can then be devoted to the education and care of their children without worrying about income security.
- promotes innovations in all social areas and makes possible the leisure necessary for innovations. Innovative ideas could be freely developed without depending on sales on a market.
- strengthens businesses. Businesses could automate without worrying about dismissed workers. They can rely on performance-oriented workers doing gainful work voluntarily.
- strengthens the economy. Unproductive industries and economic branches no longer need to be subsidized.
- makes possible a drastic dismantling of bureaucracy in the social systems. An unconditional basic income would replace existing far-reaching social benefits.
An unconditional basic income for all citizens increases readiness for responsibility and gives people the freedom to take responsibility.