He argues for a new view of minimum basic income, not as a safety net to save people who may fall, but a foundation on which people can stand to rise up as productive citizens. His presentation includes the new technological context that for the first time in history, smart machines will eliminate far more jobs than they create. This then, according to Varoufakis, necessitates a basic income for all citizens.
What is really significant about this presentation is the creation of an alternative view of wealth creation which he brings about through reframing the concept of how most people think about wealth.
In the United States, it is a common concept that governments tax individuals, small businesses, and large corporations, and in doing so take wealth from those who create it, and then redistribute that wealth through governmental programs—programs which some people want and other people don’t want. …
So the public invests in a huge program of research, then the government hands it over to private companies for profit. This is a reversal of the primary way Americans have been told about how wealth is created. It actually is, in many cases, public-to-private, not the other way around.
What Yanis Varoufakis does brilliantly in this talk is to advocate that this process of governments creating aggregate wealth for society be the basis and reason to give each person in that society a solid financial foundation on which to stand for reaching up to live a good life, and to, in turn, contribute to society. In this way, he reframes a minimum basic income, not as a giveaway of free stuff to deadbeats, but as a fair allocation of aggregate wealth by a society to each of its citizens.
Review of my talk “Basic Income is a Necessity” – examiner.com