Among the sources of resistance to universal basic income is the sense that it would constitute a terrible defeat, a last resort after everything else has failed. Monthly payments to all, according to this view, would be like setting up a drip to feed a comatose patient. It keeps her alive, which is good, but it is no substitute for curing her so that she can sit up and smile and eat with a knife and fork.

I think that is exactly the wrong way to understand universal basic income. Places in SA that are dying, places strangled by the politics of patronage, would come to life were everyone to be paid a decent monthly cheque...

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