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O Direito Universal ao Rendimento do Capital

ATENAS – O direito à preguiça tem sido tradicionalmente reservado aos proprietários ricos, enquanto os pobres tiveram de lutar por salários e condições de trabalho decentes, subsídios de desemprego e de doença, cuidados de saúde universais, e outros atributos de uma vida digna. A ideia de que aos pobres deveria ser concedido um rendimento incondicional suficiente para subsistir tem sido um anátema não apenas para os grandes e poderosos, mas também para o movimento operário, que abraçou uma ética que gira em torno da reciprocidade, da solidariedade, e da contribuição para a sociedade.

Quando os esquemas de rendimento básico incondicional foram propostos há décadas, foram inevitavelmente recebidos por reacções escandalizadas de associações de empregadores, de sindicatos, de economistas, e de políticos. Recentemente, contudo, a ideia voltou a emergir, recolhendo apoio impressionante da esquerda radical, do movimento Verde, e até da direita libertária. Isto deve-se à ascensão das máquinas que, pela primeira vez desde o início da industrialização, ameaça destruir mais trabalhos do que os criados pela inovação tecnológica – e tirar o tapete aos profissionais de colarinho branco.

Mas se a ideia de um rendimento básico universal voltou, o mesmo aconteceu à resistência tanto da direita como da esquerda. Os direitistas apontam para a impossibilidade de recolher rendimento suficiente para financiar tais esquemas sem esmagar o sector privado, e para uma queda na oferta de trabalho e na produtividade, consequência da perda de incentivos para o trabalho. Os esquerdistas receiam que um rendimento universal enfraqueceria a luta para melhorar as vidas profissionais das pessoas, legitimaria os ricos ociosos, desgastaria os direitos de negociação colectiva arduamente conquistados (ao fortalecer empresas como a Uber e a Deliveroo), minaria os alicerces do estado social, encorajaria a cidadania passiva, e promoveria o consumismo.

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