These Basic Income experiments are really focused on the impacts that the measures will have on the people being tested, with a major focus on to what extent “labor market participation”, which really means readiness to take low paying jobs, is enhanced. In truth, it’s really poor people who are being evaluated and not a system of Basic Income (…) As the neoliberal agenda took root and intensified and, as employers sought to lower wages and increase the rate of exploitation, a systematic degrading of income support systems was carried out in all countries that had the elements of a welfare state in place. This led to a scramble for the worst jobs and an explosion of low wage and precarious employment. From the standpoint of the architects of neoliberalism, this has been an enormously successful and profitable strategy. Yet the advocates of a progressive Basic Income imagine that all this can be put behind us simply by somehow convincing governments to adopt a social policy that will make everything rational and fair. They don’t ask themselves why the neoliberal powerbrokers would give up decades of gains by providing income adequacy and, in doing so, increase workers’ bargaining power massively. They don’t ask how, with our unions and movements significantly weakened by the neoliberal attack, we could force the employers and the state to make such a vast concession. The danger of not dealing with such issues lies in the above-mentioned right-wing version of Basic Income. When the exploiters and enablers who gather at Davos consider the policy, they realize that it has enormous possibilities for them. With a whole progressive lobby laying down a welcome mat, they can now work on very different brand of Basic Income. A meager and dwindling payment can be provided that in no way interferes with the flow of workers into the low-wage sector. Moreover, if they extend the payment to the working poor, it becomes a de facto wage top-up for employers. The struggle for living wages is now undercut. The most exploitative employers know that their workers are being paid out of the tax revenues and they are under little pressure to raise wages. Governments can freeze of even lower minimum wages and a general lowering of wages sets in.
John Clarke in Basic Income as a neoliberal weapon (Telesur)