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Apakah Basic Income Bisa Membantu Negara-negara Miskin?

BERKELEY – Gagasan kuno tentang menyusun kembali welfare state (negara kesejahteraan) dengan memperkenalkan unconditional universal basic income (jaminan pendapatan dasar diberikan tanpa syarat bagi semua warga negara) akhir-akhir ini menjadi sorotan dalam spektrum politik. Di satu sisi, konsep ini dipandang sebagai alat untuk menghapuskan birokrasi kesejahteraan yang rumit sembari mengakui adanya kebutuhan atas kewajiban transfer sosial (social transfer) melalui cara yang tidak melemahkan insentif secara drastis. Konsep ini juga memberikan jaminan atas masa depan yang menakutkan ketika robot menggantikan manusia sebagai pekerja di berbagai sektor. Tapi apakah konsep ini akan berfungsi?

Sejauh ini, pertanyaan tersebut muncul dan dibahas terutama di negara-negara maju – dan statistiknya kurang menjanjikan. Meskipun Kanada, Finlandia, dan Belanda kini dilaporkan tengah menggodok ide basic income, beberapa ekonom terkemuka dari negara maju memperingatkan bahwa ide ini jelas terlampau mahal. Di Amerika Serikat, misalnya, pemberian sebanyak 10.000 dolar AS per tahun kepada setiap individu dewasa – kurang dari batas kemiskinan (poverty threshold) resmi – dapat menghabiskan hampir seluruh pemasukan federal dari pajak, jika diberlakukan dengan sistem sekarang. Barangkali perhitungan seperti ini yang memacu pemilih di Swiss menolak ide tersebut secara tegas pada referendum yang dilakukan di awal bulan ini.

Tapi bagaimana dengan negara-negara berpendapatan rendah atau menengah? Faktanya adalah basic income mungkin sangat layak secara fiskal (fiscally feasible) – bahkan didambakan secara sosial – di negara yang mana batas kemiskinannya rendah dan jaring pengaman sosial (social safety nets) yang sudah berlaku dinilai sudah usang dan pengelolaannya memakan biaya besar.

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