Cosima Kern is Vice-chair of Germany’s Basic Income Alliance “Bündnis Grundeinkommen”, founded in 2016. The party’s aim is to get established political parties talking about the Basic Income. “We are seeing that many people are interested in Basic Income, more than half of the German population are in favour, but politicians don’t like to address the topic at all which we think is quite wrong because they are the representatives of the state,” commented Cosima in the interview granted for the documentary UBI, Our right to live.
As a political party, BGE don’t support one model specifically, but have the goal to show society and politicians that it is affordable in Germany as, according to her, there is a lot of spending on the current welfare system. “What we think is the valid way to implement Basic Income is to first talk about whether the majority of the people and politicians want it, and then decide which model is the best for Germany to implement.”
For Cosima, the main challenge is people’s belief system because as we grow up we are taught that we have to work to get money. And especially in Germany, because of the protestant religion and its principle that you are only allowed to eat if you work. “It’s going to take some time and space and thinking to figure it out and shift to understanding the idea,” she believes.
In the interview, Cosima points out the combination of things that inspire her with Basic Income: it could actually be a tool to eradicate poverty one day, hopefully worldwide; the fact that it could solve challenges of the future regarding automatization, digitalization and robots taking over jobs; and also the health, psychological and emotional reasons, because if you secure every person’s life and give them money for food, water and shelter, then all of us would evolve positively in dramatic ways and fulfill our potentials.