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The winner of the 2014 Young Writers' Prize: The labour market crisis and the welfare burden: towards a universal basic income by Henry Ward "The implementation of a universal basic income would not only eliminate poverty and liberate workers from the shackles of a failing labour market and from the stigma of current income support systems, it would strengthen the rights of labour relative to capital by allowing workers to discriminate between attractive, sustainable jobs and lousy, destructive jobs while driving up productivity and automation in undesirable but socially necessary jobs. It would also provide compensation for unacknowledged "reproductive" labour, would go a long way towards eliminating the gender paygap, and would drastically reduce the social costs associated with higher levels of unemployment such as crime, poor health, and poor education."...

Australia faces new challenges. Fragile prosperity built on a boom. Far too many kids left behind. A changing climate. A divided culture. Knee-jerk responses to real security threats. The underlying causes are also new: increased mobility, interdependence, and the breakdown of old economic structures. Year after year conservatives have failed to tackle these threats. Current responses aren't working because they're based on tired ideas. They've failed to design markets that encourage investment in the drivers of future prosperity. Short-term solutions are propping up the nation's profit-and-loss while running down its balance sheet. These challenges require fresh thinking and pragmatic responses, grounded in hard evidence. Progressives are looking to emerging fields - like behavioural economics, energy technologies and paediatric neurology – for new ways to manage complex interactions between family and society, citizen and state. That's where Per Capita comes in. The people, ideas and evidence are out there. We intend to draw them...