Next Meeting – “Universal Basic Income and the future of work”
Tuesday 20 September 2016 7.30–9.30pm, at the Bull
The idea of a universal basic income (UBI) payable unconditionally to all adult citizens regardless of work is not new. It was being proposed as far back as the 18th century by Thomas Paine.
The principle argument in favour of the policy is that it will eradiate poverty. What is more, where it has been tried out experimentally the poor who receive UBI are found to use it for improving their lives and don't idle their time away spending the money on drink and drugs as might be expected.
It is also a very cost-effective policy as it is much cheaper to administer than complex welfare payments. As everyone gets it regardless of need there are no means tests that have to be applied by expensive benefits staff---and no need to snoop on benefits cheats as there is nothing to cheat. More importantly as poverty declines so also does bad health and crime with attendant financial savings. Thus giving people free money results in financial savings by the state.
All this appears quite counter-intuitive at first sight as does the fact that the policy has support from both the right and the left but the real problem that people have with the policy is that it flies in the face of the idea that people should not get something for nothing. So how do we overcome this moral prejudice? It looks as if it will become more urgent as our society becomes progressively more automated and traditional work starts to disappear.
What is the Stoa?
The Stoa is a philosophy discussion group which meets every month in the The Bull pub in Tanners Street, Faversham to talk about serious issues but without being too solemn about it. None of us are professional, academic philosophers and although it's "popular" philosophy we're interested it's never dumbed-down!
When do you meet?
We meet on the 3rd Tuesday of every month from 7.30 — 9.30pm although many members continue informal discussion in the bar after the meeting finishes.
Where do you meet?
We meet in the back bar of The Bull pub in Tanners Street, Faversham, ME13 7JL. Directions...
How much does it cost?
There is no charge for membership but we do have a whip-round of £1 each just to cover the cost of the room.
What kinds of things do you discuss?
Browse through our Topics page to see what we've discussed at previous meetings.
What do you do?
Each meeting is led by a member or a visiting speaker and is generally based one or more articles we have all read (although it's not critical that you read the articles beforehand). Links to all the articles can be found on the Topics page and the dates of meetings can be found on the Schedule page (which includes a link back to the relevant reading).
Who can attend?
Everybody is welcome!
How can I get on your mailing list?
Drop us a line via the Contact form and you will be receive our monthly bulletin "News from the Stoa".
In classical Greek architecture the stoa was the covered promenade attached to the marketplace which became the place where philosophers frequently met to dialogue and debate. In fact it was this habit of regularly meeting in the stoa that earned the 'Stoic' school their epithet: it simply meant "guys who hang out at the stoa and chew the fat!". I like to think that the title of our group suggests an open marketplace where ideas can be traded and critical thinking is our currency.
What is Marginalia?
Marginalia is a blog containing random notes, scribbles, comments, jottings and drolleries on a variety of philosophical topics, including those discussed at the Faversham Stoa. While the notes in the topics section of this site are intended to be fairly impartial, the ideas and polemics in Marginalia are unapologetically my own. You are welcome, indeed encouraged, to append your comments to the entries and start a conversation.
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