The below is a special extended comment, a response to Bernard Keane's article on April 10, "Universal basic income? More like universally bad idea". Over the next little while, Crikey's associate editors will occasionally publish longer comments from our readers. So if you've got big ideas about something you've read in Crikey, get in touch at [email protected].
Sir Thomas More, who presented the idea of a universal basic income in his great work Utopia, in 1516, would be surprised to hear Bernard Keane’s claim that it is a “neoliberal solution to a particularly neoliberal problem”. His proposal, which preceded liberalism by centuries, let alone neoliberalism, was grounded in the search for social cohesion by supporting people to feed themselves rather than punishing them for failing to do so.