Summary: “It’s Payback Time for Women”

The text has been published in the January 10th, 2016 issue of The New York Times. It was written by Judith Shulevitz.

The article is about the U.B.I that stands for Universal Basic Income. This measure would touch the poorest people in the United States and the women in general. The author writes from a feminist point of view and encourages the U.B.I as a measure that could reward the women for all the heavy work they’ve been doing for free, e.g. housework. Even if the subject reveals some contradictions about the generation of value between non mothers and mothers, the author supports the idea of “reparation”.  She adds that the U.B.I is a “necessary condition for a just society”.

Judith Shulevitz discusses the implications of the measure, pointing the gap between the richest and the poorest. The discussion includes similar past projects as the Plan of Family Assistance during Nixon’s presidency, as well as the case of “lump sum” proposed by Karl Marx as a minimum income.  Both didn’t have the expected results. However, the U.B.I takes a different perspective compared in the previous initiatives. It should replace the Welfare State and bring some security for the near future, where automation seems to be imminent.

In this topic the author presents another important argument, coming from an Oxford University study, which explains how computers will replace human jobs for at least half of the labor activities (including “non-routine cognitive tasks”).  These arguments suggest that the wealth will be distributed differently and people could enjoy more of their free time.

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