In this presentation at Future of Work Conference, in Zurich, Switzerland, 5th May 2016, Yanis Varoufakis, totally reframes the concept of how wealth is created in nations and the societies they structure. 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.
Yanis Varoufakis turns this dominant view of wealth creation around completely. He cites the iPhone as an example. He said that every part of an iPhone was created by some kind of government grant. Then, he says, after investment and technological innovation by the public, it is then sold, or given to private sector businesses which then make profits from it for executives and investors.