May 11, 2018

A UBI would help artists about as much as it would help precarious workers

That champions of universal basic income think the lives of artists — or any workers — would flourish under UBI shows that they are out of touch with the wealth systems they are trying to disrupt.

Benjamin Clark — Freelance writer

Benjamin Clark

Freelance writer

Once, during a long shift at our customer service job, my colleague and I bemoaned the near impossibility of making decent money from our creative passions. The prevalence of contract and freelance work, and the toxic culture of "payment by exposure" are dispiriting.

Some suggest a universal basic income (UBI) would help. A regular, generous and unconditional pay cheque promises a stable platform to hone one’s passions, without needing to work menial jobs to make ends meet. Giving arts-lovers more time to read, watch and listen would also lift demand for artistic products. After all, liberation from the daily grind prompted a flourishing artistic life in Ancient Rome (excluding the slaves of course).

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