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El derecho universal al ingreso de capital

ATENAS – El derecho a la holgazanería tradicionalmente ha sido sólo para los ricos hacendados, mientras que los pobres han tenido que luchar por salarios y condiciones laborales decentes, un seguro de desempleo y discapacidad, una atención médica universal y otros elementos de una vida decorosa. La idea de que los pobres deberían recibir un ingreso incondicional suficiente para vivir ha sido un anatema no sólo para los ricos y poderosos, sino también para el movimiento laboral, que abrazó una ética que gira en torno de la reciprocidad, la solidaridad y el aporte a la sociedad.

Sin embargo, cuando hace décadas se propusieron los esquemas de ingresos básicos incondicionales, inevitablemente se toparon con reacciones indignadas de parte de asociaciones de empleadores, sindicatos, economistas y políticos. De todas maneras, la idea ha vuelto a resurgir recientemente y reunió un respaldo sorprendente de la izquierda radical, del gobierno verde y hasta de la derecha libertaria. La razón es el ascenso de las máquinas que, por primera vez desde el inicio de la industrialización, amenazan con destruir más empleos de los que crea la innovación tecnológica -y con asestarles un duro golpe a los profesionales administrativos.

Pero al igual que ha regresado la idea de un ingreso básico universal, también lo hizo la resistencia tanto de la derecha como de la izquierda. En la derecha apuntan a la imposibilidad de recaudar el ingreso suficiente como para financiar este tipo de esquemas sin sofocar al sector privado, y a una caída de la fuerza laboral y de la productividad, debido a la pérdida de incentivos de trabajo. A la izquierda le preocupa que un ingreso universal debilite la lucha para mejorar las vidas laborales de la gente, legitime a los ricos ociosos, erosione los derechos ganados de negociación colectiva (favoreciendo a empresas como Uber y Deliveroo), mine los cimientos del estado benefactor, aliente a una ciudadanía pasiva y promueva el consumismo.

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