Utopia for Realists
|Audio read by||Peter Noble|
|Original title||Gratis geld voor iedereen|
Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-hour Workweek (alternatively subtitled And How We Can Get There and How We Can Build the Ideal World) is a book by Dutch popular historian Rutger Bregman. It was originally written as articles in Dutch for a virtual journal, De Correspondent and was since compiled and published, and translated into several languages. It offers a critical proposal that it claims is a practical approach to reconstructing modern society to promote a more productive and equitable life based on three core ideas:
- a universal and unconditional basic income paid to everybody
- a short working week of fifteen hours
- open borders worldwide with the free movement of citizens between all states
As a result of the advance of international trade and economic science in recent decades, globalization has radically transformed the traditional social and economic order from smaller, connected nations to a new world economy which, while already demonstrably capable of rescuing millions of people from poverty, could be extended to the entire human race.
However, the new global system unfairly compensates a few rich countries, and, with the progressive substitution of human capital with automation and robotics, has also generated an increase in inequality, both between the investment community and its workforce within the G20 states as well as between developed countries and their developing neighbours.
Each idea is supported by multiple academic studies and anecdotal evidence including numerous success stories. For example, it quotes
- Richard Nixon's 1968 plan for a basic income for Americans
- The Mincome project in the Canadian city of Dauphin, Manitoba which "eliminated poverty" and reduced hospitalisation rates
- The perceived success of the Schengen Agreement
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Bregman points out that many imperatives of modern law were once highly controversial proposals, perhaps even abhorrent innovations:
The author finally tries to provide a critical balance between socialist ideals of caring and sharing, the conservative impetus of directive leadership, and liberal concepts of equality and freedom. He claims there are proven solutions waiting to be implemented, lacking only political courage and financial backing.
- Disclosing New Worlds
- Social justice
- Distribution of wealth
- Income distribution
- Protestant work ethic
- Critical theory
- Critical thinking
- Utopian socialism
- Ethical socialism
- Rutger Bregman (2017-03-14). Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World. Little, Brown and Company/Hachette Book Group USA. ISBN 978-0316471893.
- Harford, Tim (March 9, 2018). "Rutger Bregman: 'Basic income is all about the freedom to say no'". Financial Times. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
- World Economic Forum Growth Development Index 2017
- OECD:Trade Between Developed And Developing Countries': The Decade Ahead
- Robotics and automation, employment, and aging Baby Boomers
- EconomicPolicy Institute, 2015:The decline in labor’s share of corporate income
- Jacobin:Nixon’s Basic Income Plan
- Huffington Post;A Canadian City Once Eliminated Poverty And Nearly Everyone Forgot About It
- The Conversation (website): Business will suffer if border crossings between European neighbours are shut
- Lucas, Caroline (March 22, 2017). "Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman review: A brilliantly written and unorthodox page-turner". The Independent. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
- Hutton, Will (March 13, 2017). "Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There by Rutger Bregman – review". The Observer. Retrieved February 22, 2019.