Homelessness Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Un nouveau débat sur les revenus de base

LONDRES – La Grande-Bretagne n'est pas le seul pays à organiser un référendum ce mois-ci. Le 5 juin, les électeurs suisses ont massivement rejeté, à 77 % contre 23 %, la proposition selon laquelle chaque citoyen doit être assuré d'un revenu de base inconditionnel (RBI). Mais ce résultat asymétrique ne signifie pas que le problème va disparaître de sitôt.

En effet, l'idée d'un RBI a connu plusieurs occurrences dans l'histoire, à commencer par Thomas Paine au XVIIIème siècle. Cette fois, cependant, elle risque d'être là pourtant longtemps, dans la perspective de moins en moins favorable à un revenu suffisant pour les pauvres et les moins éduqués. Des expériences de transferts de fonds inconditionnels ont lieu dans les pays pauvres ainsi que dans les pays riches.

Le RBI parvient difficilement à concilier deux objectifs : la lutte contre la pauvreté et le rejet du travail comme étant le principe cardinal de la vie. Le premier est politique et pratique ; le second est philosophique ou éthique.

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