Basically, it can mean the same thing, but it is sometimes a kind of play on words, because you can interpret a lot into both. The most important thing about both words, however, is always what comes before them.
So we know the solidary, conditional, guaranteed, circular or also the unconditional basic income or just a basic security.
Many people seem to have a problem with the latter, either because they believe that there is nothing unconditional, or they are afraid of it because unconditionality could guarantee people’s freedom.
Another reason why unconditionality often falls by the wayside is that people still see people as objects who have to spend the money they receive from a basic income in the country where it is paid out. This creates an expectation towards the people who receive a basic income, which corresponds to the consideration that the basic income has to be spent again in the respective country.
Georg Vobruba (professor of sociology) aptly said in 2017 that we are not dealing enough with questions of strategy and have thus fallen into a utopia trap.
According to Vobruba, the place of residence at least already constitutes a condition (cf. Vobruba, 2017).
The basic idea of the unconditional basic income is “the freedom of the individual” and this can only be achieved through unconditionality, especially if it is implemented as a human right.
For only through this would it be guaranteed that one could never again lose an “unconditional basic income” once received, or only through the occurrence of one’s own death.
In many UBI models, the main residence is considered a fixed component and a clear condition for receiving a supposedly “unconditional” basic income.
A contradiction in terms?
Or perhaps just another form of unconditionality, if one sees basic income merely as a fiscal measure within a country.
Yes, there are often small and subtle differences.
Whether an unconditional basic income is only implemented as a fiscal measure or as a human right remains to be seen.
I think we should implement it as a human right, as this could save us enormous administrative and control effort and at the same time send a clear signal to finally comply with human rights in their true essence and to bring them from paper into reality.
Especially if one sees a UBI (unconditional basic income) as a human right that has to apply universally (regardless of a border), setting a residence requirement would be contradictory, since a human right once acquired should not be lost at a border.
With the introduction of the unconditional basic income, human rights would be implemented for the first time. Unfortunately, at first only for the respective citizens of a country – whereby the birthplace principle would have to be applied here – which would take this first step.
This would be the first step, but it could create a domino effect that would make other countries follow suit.
The model “UBI+” meets exactly these requirements to bring it into the world as a human right.
The wonderful thing that always excited me about the UBI was that it could help to implement human rights for the first time.
You too can help and become part of the movement.
written by Alexander Zirkelbach