Universal basic income - what do socialists say?Capitalism has created enough productive capacity to enable the complete wiping out of poverty and poor living standards. However, not only will the capitalist classes not do that, they are presiding over the opposite trend – ever-increasing inequality, the enrichment of the richest at the expense of the majority. Eight individuals now own as much wealth as half of all humanity. It’s also the case that they are unable to use anywhere near all of the productive capacity they have brought into being. A socialist system based on public ownership of the main industries and services and socialist planning could not only use the presently unused capacity but could hugely increase the production of socially useful goods, and in an environmentally friendly way. Automation could be used to phase out the most tedious and ‘dirty’ jobs and reduce working hours, rather than being the threat to workers’ livelihoods it is under capitalism.