Finally security with perspective

Active basic income for artists and freelance journalists

Künzelsau, 30 September 2020 - What would a country be without its poets, thinkers, musicians, painters, actors, singers, dancers, journalists, publicists and filmmakers? They bring colour, joy, questions, feelings, inspiration and visions into our lives. Now, however, the Corona measures threaten the existence of countless solo self-employed people from the fields of art, culture and communication. Emergency government aid is completely inadequate, the future uncertain. Desperately the affected people are asking for a rescue parachute with a perspective. The 'Active Basic Income' wants to fulfil this wish. Such a 'basic income in return' can not only prevent the crisis from destroying livelihoods, but can also finally offer artists, cultural workers and independent media producers a solid long-term basis for living and working. The 'Gradido model' of the academy of the same name aims to provide the ideal breeding ground for creativity and the joy of creation and thus save an indispensable part of our society from decline.

According to a recent survey by the German Journalists' Association (DJV), around 50 percent of freelance journalists have suffered such considerable losses this year that they can no longer make a living. Every third freelancer in the writing guild is currently not receiving any contracts. Among photojournalists, one in two is without income. The current crisis has hit artists and cultural workers even harder. The majority of independent creative people have been without income for months. The well-known actor and dubbing artist Frank Röth emphatically describes the current situation: "The lockdown and the months of closure of theatres, stages and dubbing studios, the cancelled or indefinitely postponed shooting, the cancellation of events and festivals are a catastrophe for us and are tantamount to a professional ban".

State aid is not effective for the vast majority of those affected. However, very few of those involved in the cultural sector have financial reserves. Uncertainty is virtually part of everyday life. Actors often fall through all social security and labour law stitches. They may have operating expenses but no permanent business premises, are employed on a 'non-salaried' basis or pay their unemployment insurance contributions so irregularly due to their short-term commitments that they can almost never acquire a claim to their own benefits.

Even before Corona, many artists had been moving from engagement to engagement and had lived in 'precarious circumstances'. Nevertheless, the passion for creative work was always greater than the pursuit of financial security. But the lockdown and the resulting consequences are now leading to economic problems that only a few artists can shoulder on their own. The father of four, Röth (61), has already successfully mastered many a difficult phase in his career. But now a completely new problem threatens: "Many actors now belong to the 'risk group' because of their age. Consequently, their engagement for production companies is connected with ludicrous cancellation insurance premiums. As a result, roles for actors over 60 are simply removed from the screenplays or rewritten for younger characters.

Normal work is not in sight in the art and culture business with the tightened restrictions in view of the approaching winter. Emergency state aid is insufficient, and the future is therefore extremely uncertain, according to Röth: "Since the federal government obviously has no exit strategy, there is no prospect of when and whether a return to a self-determined (professional) everyday life will be possible again.

Active basic income creates a basis for living and working
However, if one believes the economic biologists at the Gradido Academy, the current economic and financial crisis also offers the opportunity to correct structures that have long since been in need of a fundamental reorientation. The uncertain existential conditions in the media and our cultural business are definitely one of them. Here it is necessary to create a basis that makes creative work possible without existential fear. An 'active basic income' could not only alleviate the fatal effects of the crisis, but also offer our country's artists, cultural and media workers a more solid basis for living and working and thus provide a stable breeding ground for creativity.

For more than 20 years, the Gradido Academy has been dealing with the question of what business can learn from nature. The result of this extensive research can be found in the novel economic and financial model around the common good currency 'Gradido'. It is intended to provide people around the world with a secure livelihood and to make the world of life and work more diverse and fulfilling. According to Bernd Hückstädt, the co-founder of the academy, the 'Active Basic Income' is a central element of the Gradido model: "Everyone can achieve an 'Active Basic Income' with activities of their own choice for the common good. Artistic and creative skills are just as indispensable here as taking on practical and social tasks. Every month, 1,000 Gradido (GDD) is available as a basic income for every person. One Gradido corresponds to the value of one Euro. A maximum of 50 hours per month are remunerated with 20 GDD each. This sum is a basic amount, in addition to other sources of income. The existence of every human being is thus secured and art and culture are no longer almost automatically connected with existential worries.

The actor Röth and his colleagues have new hope for the Gradido model: "In times like these, a basic income of any kind would be a great help and support. The Gradido model is certainly one of the most radical and utopian approaches to a new economic and financial system, but what do we need more than utopias today? We should seriously discuss this new way, because it could not only save art, but could even prove to be suitable for the disciples".

For details of the complete 'Gradido model' see

Frank Röth has been working as an actor for over 30 years. He inspires audiences and critics not only in front of the camera (e.g. as the overstrained father of Josefine Preuß in the successful Lotta series of the ZDF), but also as one of the busiest dubbing actors in Germany (Ziemlich beste Freunde, Harry Potter and many more). In 2013 he was awarded the 'Hörbuchpreis des Deutschen Buchhandels'. (Picture credits: Christian Hartmann)

About the Gradido Academy
The Gradido Academy for Economic Bionics has developed an alternative 'common good currency' based on the models of nature. Nature follows the rule that only where something passes away can something new emerge, and thus long-term improvement (evolution) is possible. Its recipe for success is the 'cycle of life'. If our economy were also to follow this natural cycle, then, according to the assessment of the bionic economists, practically all the world's monetary problems could be solved. The Gradido model is based on the idea that not only every person, but also every state receives income generated on a credit basis. It can thus fulfil all its tasks without having to collect taxes. Deflation or inflation are a thing of the past. The economy is freed from the constant compulsion to grow, the danger of a collapse of the financial system is finally averted.(