Mapping the world's opinions

argument top image

Is Universal Basic Income a good idea? Show more Show less

Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a type of program in which all people receive a regular sum of money unconditionally, regardless of employment or current wages. Proposed UBI programs vary across the world, allowing different UBI programs to align with both progressive and conservative goals. Several UBI pilot studies have been tried throughout the world, and the interpretations of results vary widely. UBI proponents must consider many questions about logistics, economics, and human behavior: How will UBI be funded? Who will receive the income, every person or every household? Will people stop working or will greater economic stability allow them to better contribute to society? Does UBI even make sense?

Yes, UBI is a good idea Show more Show less

Universal basic income programs can work and should be explored.
< Previous (2 of 3 Positions)

UBI is simpler to implement than other forms of welfare

Because UBI is unconditional, it requires less testing and monitoring than other programs.
< Previous (1 of 4 Arguments) Next >


Conditional welfare programs require administration and monitoring in order to ensure that funds are distributed only to people who qualify. This can sometimes result in the need for elaborate (and expensive) testing and monitoring systems.

The Argument

Many different UBI schemes are possible. UBI can be used to replace all existing benefit programs. It can also be introduced alongside existing benefit programs as a complementary form of assistance.[1] UBI could also be funded in a number of different ways, such as a flat income tax or a more nuanced tax on undesirable socioeconomic outcomes such as pollution or extreme wealth. Regardless of the specific implementation chosen, the administrative overhead normally associated with social programs is minimized for UBI because UBI does not require means testing for eligibility. Everyone is eligible by definition, and everyone receives the same amount of funding.

Counter arguments

1. Implementation of UBI is dependent on the financial viability of the program. 2. UBI is not financially viable in any form that would have a significant impact.


Simplification of processes leads to more efficiency.


[P1] Conditional social welfare programs are more difficult to implement because they require testing for eligibility. UBI is unconditional; it does not require means testing.

Rejecting the premises

[P1] The difficulty of implementing a social welfare program is not solely determined by the need to assess eligibility.


Further Reading



Explore related arguments

This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Jul 2020 at 11:11 UTC