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Is Universal Basic Income a good idea?

Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a 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. This allows different UBI programs to align with both progressive and conservative goals. Several UBI pilot studies have been tried throughout the world, but the interpretations of results vary. UBI proponents 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?

No, UBI is a bad idea

Universal basic income is not practical. The massive cost of a UBI program is too steep to implement and would cause more social issues than it would solve.

UBI is financially irresponsible

The financial deficits greatly outweigh the financial benefits when considering the immense public costs of UBI. Increased tax rates as well as an inappropriate allocation of funds away from public health and education toward UBI creates significant disadvantages and budget deficits directly affecting public life.

UBI increases economic inequality

UBI supplants programs targeted at reducing poverty, redirecting that funding to the wealthier members of society.

UBI undermines social cohesion

Socially destructive outcomes occur when income is no longer connected to work.

UBI reduces the marginal utility of work

Giving people a basic income will mean that the first dollar that they work for will go to a lesser-valued purpose than the dollars in the UBI. That in itself means that work will be less-valued and leading to a greater number of people who do not work.

Yes, UBI is a good idea

Universal basic income programs can work and should be explored. An effective UBI program will decrease inequality and a more productive society.

UBI is simpler to implement than other forms of welfare

Because UBI is unconditional, it requires less testing and monitoring than other programs.

UBI does not reduce incentives to work

UBI benefits are not withdrawn if a person works, so work is not disincentivized. UBI allows people more economic stability to pursue other fulfilling work: entrepreneurship, arts, child-raising, or higher education.

UBI enables everyone to meet their basic needs

UBI can help people during times of economic crisis or widespread unemployment. Everyone should have the unconditional ability to meet their basic needs in life. When basic needs are met, people are healthier and less-stressed, a state of living that everyone deserves.

UBI enables everyone to better participate in society

Proponents of UBI believe that a guaranteed income will allow everyone—even the impoverished—the freedom to participate in society.

It depends how UBI is funded

Right-wing arguments favor universal income without welfare. Left-wing versions favor tax increases. Others favor means-testing.

UBI will only work if it replaces the welfare state

UBI will save money if it is used to replace all other tax benefits. It will not work if it is used in addition to extensive welfare measures, because there will be no way of paying for it.

UBI should be funded by tax increases alongside social welfare

UBI will only benefit people economically if it is used in addition to other welfare measures. It can be paid for by taxing the richest in society.

UBI should be means tested

UBI is expensive, but the cost can be off-set only if it is given to the poorest in society. Some form of tax should be employed to provide for everyone under a certain income bracket.

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This page was last edited on Friday, 25 Sep 2020 at 08:39 UTC