Upper Management

Upper management

A long-time friend of mine who works in upper management was a very sceptical person at the beginning about the idea of an unconditional basic income.

We met every month in our local pub with two other friends for a beer or two and, as is usual with men, we talked a lot about football and politics.

Because of my intensive work for the implementation of basic income, it was clear that we often had a discussion on this topic. The other two friends saw positive effects that would come from this idea and were therefore basically in favour of it.

But our buddy, who was the highest earner of the four of us, was fundamentally against the idea at the beginning and thought it was absurd. The classic arguments that one often hears against a BGE were brought up, such as, among others:

  • That then no one would go to work anymore.
  • The system and thus the economy could collapse.
  • All the achievements of the last decades would be lost.
  • And this would mean the end of prosperity, etc.

At first glance, many of the arguments of the opponents and sceptics seem to sound quite logical. But if you take each and every criticism and concern and think about it for a moment, you would quite quickly come to the conclusion that many of these arguments would be quite easy to refute, as they do not correspond to the nature of human beings.

And that’s what happened over time, because my friend, whom I call a very intelligent person, has three children of his own. Yes, and one day at a meeting there suddenly came an unexpected statement from him when he brought up the subject of basic income of his own accord and simply said into the round:

“Actually, Alexander’s idea of basic income is not so bad”.

Wow, you can imagine how the rest of us listened at that moment to what else he was going to tell us.

Because all the time before, from the first day when I brought up this topic and all the other days when it was brought up, he was the only one of the four of us who spoke against it, and today was supposed to be the day when he changed his mind?

I can remember this particular day clearly, it was a hot August day, and it was the 11th of August. This day is also my brother’s birthday and there are already parallels to this, because my brother was also against it in the beginning, but now it seems he is also for it.

My good friend primarily mentioned the possibility of having more time for his three daughters, which he unfortunately doesn’t have now due to his work and the many overtime hours he would have to work. Of course, a basic income would be a great thing, because then both parents would have more leeway and thus more time for the family, which is currently not the case for either of them, to the detriment of their own children.

For the first time, I recognise the insight of a very successful manager, how he now agrees with this idea, which he initially saw very negatively, because he probably thought about it more often than he might have wanted to due to my influence and enthusiasm for this idea and probably also talked about it with his wife and perhaps others.

In retrospect, this experience shows me that it is simply enormously important to stay on the ball and to bring this wonderful idea of an unconditional basic income closer to people every day with the most diverse forms and arguments.

We are all human beings, no matter what our profession, we are social, peaceful and intelligent creatures and therefore the realisation of an unconditional basic income is also only a logical consequence that corresponds to our nature.

written by Alexander Zirkelbach

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