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Universal basic income

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A quick overview of universal basic income, also known as a basic income guarantee.

Published in: Economy & Finance

Universal basic income

  1. 1. BIG IDEA: Universal Basic Income
  2. 2. What is Universal Basic Income? • A fixed, monthly cash grant • Given directly to all adult citizens individually • To cover basic living expenses • With no strings attached
  3. 3. Why Universal Basic Income? • Eliminate poverty and reduce inequality, with dignity and security for all • Save capitalism, as technology substitutes for human labor and reduces wage income/purchasing power • Encourage entrepreneurship, life-long learning, creative and caring work, and civic engagement
  4. 4. Common Objections We WON’T • Fringe idea • No political support • Too many vested interests We SHOULDN’T • People are lazy and won’t work • Will be spent on alcohol and drugs • Something for nothing • Breeds dependency We CAN’T • Will cost too much • Inflationary • Geographic cost differences • People won’t do unattractive but necessary jobs
  5. 5. UBI Results? • MOREWORK and MORE ENTREPRENEURSHIP • MORE SAVINGS, LESS DEBT • BETTER HEALTH and EDUCATION outcomes • LESS CRIME and REDUCED RECIDIVISM • NO INCREASES in ALCOHOL, DRUG orTOBACCO USE
  6. 6. How CanWe Afford UBI? • Existing bureaucratic welfare program spending • Consumption taxes (VAT) • Financial transaction taxes • Tax expenditures (subsidies, deductions) • Carbon taxes • Patent fees • Income and property taxes • Savings from reduced governmental costs (health, crime)
  7. 7. Support for UBI? • Frances Coppola • Barbara Ehrenreich • Milton Friedman • Friedrich Hayek • Martin Luther King Jr. • Charles Murray • Richard Nixon • Thomas Paine • Robert Reich • Joseph Stiglitz
  8. 8. Political Logic • Right – Eliminates 300+ government programs and the nanny-state – Puts focus on individual responsibility – Preserves market based virtuous cycle of consumption and production • Left – Eliminates poverty – Eliminates holes in the safety net – Enhances individual bargaining power • Libertarian – IF some distribution is needed, maximizes individual freedom for the recipient
  9. 9. How to Make UBI Happen? Think Big Start Small Move Fast

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