Universal Basic Income is Imminent

Why The Future of Work is in Dire Need of a Revision

Jakub Ferencik
6 min readMay 24, 2022


Inflation is making regular shopping unaffordable, a surge in oil and gas prices make many reconsider their car usage, and the possibility of the pandemic coming back with a more lethal strain — causing more lockdowns — still looms.

Many have criticized the increasing disparities between the poor and the rich. The rich seem to be getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. With all the problems mentioned and the increasing regularity of automation, many wonder, what if the poorest among us will never make it back to business-as-usual?

What’s the solution to all of this? Well, some have called for a universal basic income. Its aspirations should make us hopeful.

Modern methods of production have given us the possibility of ease and security for all; we have chosen, instead, to have overwork for some and starvation for the others. Hitherto we have continued to be as energetic as we were before there were machines; in this we have been foolish, but there is no reason to go on being foolish for ever. — Bertrand Russel from his collection of essays, In Praise of Idleness

Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash

The argument for UBI is not new.

It has been promoted by Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates to Richard Nixon, Bertrand Russell, Martin Luther King Jr., Bill Gross, and many others.

UBI has been attempted on numerous occasions, most notably in Europe, the Manitoba project in Canada in the 1970s, and in libertarian Alaska, where basic income has become a key component of everyday life.

Following the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns, many countries also flirted with the idea of stimulus checks.

Some even handed them out.

My home country, Canada, was one of them. This relief was known as the Canadian Emergy Relief Benefit (CERB). Many of my friends, myself included, who were out of work because of the pandemic, applied for it and received it.

I was able to write my first book because of it.

Putting pandemics aside, do we have reliable evidence that automation is imminent?



Jakub Ferencik

Author of “Up in the Air” & “Beyond Reason” available on AMAZON | MA McGill Uni | Research assistant for EUROPEUM Prague | 700+ blog posts with 1+ mil. views