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National University of San Juan

National University of San Juan

Laura Garcés, Doctor of Social Sciences, Trustee of UNSJ University Extension and Director of the Master of Social Sciences at the Faculty of Social Sciences at this university, was part of the “Symposium on Social Assistance, Approaches to Law, Welfare and Social Justice”. The activity that was part of the course “Congress and 40 Years of Democracy”It was held on Monday, September 11, in the Delia Parodi Hall of the National Congress, in which the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Cecilia Moro, participated; National Rep. Daniel Arroyo; From the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires, Ana Arias, and from UBA Professor and Doctor of Social Sciences, Adriana Clemente.

The Guidance Secretary of the International Syndicate of Journalists referred to basic income for citizens, a social protection policy that has been talked about for some time in the world and on which Garcés was working at the Faculty of Social Sciences. “What would happen if the pandemic gave us a sustainable universal income for all citizens? -Laura Garcés asked-. Certainly the problems would have remained the same on the health level, but not on the economic level. Representative Daniel Arroyo recently spoke about what it means to take care of millions of people who are literally left from one day to the next without income. “If the pandemic has shown anything, it is the danger it poses in terms of massive loss of jobs and income.”

Another problem mentioned by Garcés is informal employment in the country and Latin America. “To this we must add income poverty among registered and unregistered wage earners. Before the dictatorship, the vital and mobile minimum wage was the minimum income of the majority of the population. It was the coverage, it was the guarantee of coverage. Today, half of workers are outside this range. He pointed out.

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Hence, he highlighted the importance of defining the policies and tools necessary to determine the minimum income of workers. “Three lines of action can be addressed. The first, public policies that allow the sustainability of those incomes. On the other hand, the sustainability of productive economic units, small and medium enterprises, cooperatives, self-sufficient economic units, and everything in the productive fabric; and the third line: that those who have more, contribute more.” .

Garcés then spoke about obscenity in reference to inequality in Latin America and Argentina. “I call them obscene numbers, they are no longer possible. 71% of the wealth in Latin America is in the hands of 10% of the population. In the case of Argentina, this is slightly reduced, but no less important: 10% of the population owns 58% of the wealth. These data speak to unsustainable levels of inequality in the development of any society, not just ours, but any society. (…) Inequality is not primarily economic. Inequality is ideological and it is political. Therefore, the solutions are also political. There are hundreds and thousands of studies in the world that show us with data that we will not be able to maintain the full or near-full employment levels that prevailed in other times. He pointed out that increases in unemployment levels are due to the advancement of robots in production and the advancement of highly speculative financial capitalism.


Fundamental change

That is why he emphasized that we must think about permanent, global structural policies and a comprehensive strategy for a new order in which society is built. “Basic income, which is what I have been working on since the 1990s and which is known in Europe and is known here as citizen’s income or universal income, is a potential proposal that has been discussed in Europe and Latin America since the 1980s. And with the pandemic, it gained a lot of attention. He entered It is unconditional, comprehensive and guaranteed to all citizens Regardless of their employment status and family situation. “This is a qualitatively fundamental change in terms of transfers as we know them,” Garcés explained.

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Then he developed: “This is a policy of preventing exclusion. He does not wait for unemployment to arrive, or for the epidemic to arrive, or for the disease to take action, but rather he waits It is the minimum sustainable income permanently, on which any other income accumulates. The main philosophical basis is that no one can be free if his physical existence is not guaranteed. We believe that when food is guaranteed, collective projects can be thought of and worked on. If this is not guaranteed, it is very difficult. Since it is a right to basic income or universal income, It would avoid the classic and costly stigma of planners and non-planners“This caused great damage to the social fabric.”

Laura Garces pointed out that it is a social policy articulated with economic policy. “Think about integrated protection systems, not social policy on the one hand and economic policy on the other hand. Because if not, we will continue to have social policy for the poor and growth in wealth concentration on the other hand“said UNSJ University Attaché Secretary.