DiEM25 – European New Deal

„DiEM25 ist eine europaweite, grenzüberschreitende Bewegung von Demokraten. Wir glauben, dass die Europäische Union dabei ist zu zerfallen. Die Europäer verlieren ihren Glauben an die Möglichkeit, europäische Lösunbgen für europäische Probleme zu finden. Zur gleichen Zeit wie das Vertrauen in die EU schwindet, sehen wir einen Anstieg von Menschenverachtung, Fremdenfeindlichkeit und Nationalismus.“

„Bedingungslose Grunddividende“

Planung einer post-kapitalistischen Wirtschaft, die authentisch, liberal und offen ist: Demo­kratisierung der wirtschaftlichen Vorgänge und Einführung der Bedingungslosen Grund­dividende. Die langfristigen Politikvorschläge von DiEM25 sind diejenigen, die tiefgreifende institutionelle Veränderungen innerhalb der Nationalstaaten sowie länder­über­greifend in ganz Europa und der EU benötigen. Beispiele dafür sind die Bedingungslose Grunddividende und politische Strategien zur Demokratisierung der Wirtschafts- und Finanzwelt.


2.5 Sharing the returns of capital and wealth and democratising the economic sphere – a Universal Basic Dividend

DiEM25 is convinced that capitalism is impossible to civilise in the long term, primarily due to its inimitable capacity to undermine itself through technological innovation that engenders excess capacity, inequality and insufficient aggregate demand for goods and services. Automation and the Rise of the Machines is a clear and present danger in this direction, ‘promising’ to deliver the next crisis even before Europe manages to resolve the current one.

Some propose a universal basic income (UBI) as the remedy. DiEM25 rejects the idea of a universal minimum income if it is to be funded by taxes. A tax-funded UBI would undermine the existing welfare state and sow the seeds of antagonism between the working poor and the unemployed. However, DiEM25 is proposing a different scheme – a universal basic dividend which encapsulates the following three propositions: taxes cannot be a legitimate source of financing for such schemes; the rise of machines must be embraced; and a basic unearned payment is a contributor to basic freedom. But if the scheme is not funded by taxation, how should it be funded? The answer is: From the returns to capital.

A common myth is that capital is created by capitalists who then have a right to its returns. This was never true. It is far less so today. Every time one of us looks something up on Google, she or he contributes to Google’s capital. Yet it is only Google’s shareholders that have a right to claim the returns to this, largely socially produced, capital. Moreover, automation, digitisation and the role played in capital formation by government grants and community contributions to the stock of knowledge make it impossible to know which part of a corporation’s capital was created by its owners and which by the public at large.

DiEM25 proposes a simple policy: That legislation be enacted requiring that a universal basic dividend (UBD) be paid to every European citizen from funds accumulating in the European Equity Depository (see section 2.8 below) stemming from the income streams generated by: (i) the assets purchased, as part of their quantitative easing programs, by central banks, (ii) a percentage of capital stock (shares) from every initial public offering (IPO) and capital increases of corporations, and (iii) levies on the derived distribution of Intellectual Property rights and on common knowledge monopolies.

The proposed UBD should, and can be, entirely independent of welfare payments, unemployment insurance, and so forth, thus ameliorating the concern that it would replace the welfare state, which embodies the concept of reciprocity between waged workers and the unemployed. For Europe to embrace the rise of the machines, but ensure that they contribute to shared prosperity, it must grant every citizen property rights over the monetary returns they produce, thus yielding a UBD.

A universal basic dividend allows for new understandings of liberty and equality that bridge hitherto irreconcilable political blocs, while stabilising society and reinvigorating the notion of shared prosperity in the face of otherwise destabilising technological innovation. Disagreements of course will continue; but they will be about issues such as the proportion of company shares that should go to the Depository, how much welfare support and unemployment insurance should be layered on top of the UBD, and the content of labour contracts.

Additionally, DiEM25 proposes that, in good time, the governance of financial institutions (especially those backed by taxpayers) and other corporations be democratised, with increasing participation on their boards of directors of representatives of local, regional and national communities.


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