Universal basic income

Excerpt

After years spent on the political fringes, the notion of UBI (or “minimum income,” or “guaranteed income”) may be coming into its time not through the front door of political or ideological revolution but via a backdoor opened wide by an epidemiological crisis compounded by technological disruption. Those suffering through economic uncertainty unprecedented in our lifetimes likely won’t care how it gets here or how it’s marketed to voters if and when it arrives. “Whether we call it a guaranteed income, an income floor, whatever you want to call it,” says Stockton’s Mayor Tubbs. “I’m agnostic as long as people get what they need as part of a new social contract so they have some foundation to stand on.”

MLK’s UBI

Excerpt

We have coming long way in our in our understanding of human motivation and of the blind operation of our economic system. Now we realize that dislocations in the market operation of our economy and the prevalence of discrimination thrust people to idleness and bind them into constant or frequent unemployment against their will. The poor are less often dismissed from our conscience today by being branded as inferior and incompetent. We also never know that no matter how dynamically the economy develops and expands it does not eliminate all poverty.

Charles Murray’s UBI

Excerpt

When people learn that I want to replace the welfare state with a universal basic income, or UBI, the response I almost always get goes something like this: “But people will just use it to live off the rest of us!” “People will waste their lives!” Or, as they would have put it in a bygone age, a guaranteed income will foster idleness and vice. I see it differently. I think that a UBI is our only hope to deal with a coming labor market unlike any in human history and that it represents our best hope to revitalize American civil society.

Universal basic income

Excerpt

A more targeted effort that did not aim to be universal could do much more on that score. Ms Smith, along with 1,000 other residents of the Bronx, received a one-off $1,000 grant from Mr Yang’s outfit. This allowed her to buy food and to restore the internet, which her 14-year-old son needed for remote learning. This helped a great deal. But UBI advocates still have to explain why it would not be better to give families such as hers larger sums rather than a smaller payment that also goes to those who do not need it.

Finland’s basic income experiment

Excerpt

Almost a year ago, I wrote that the era of “experimenting” with basic income to determine whether it causes “laziness” should end. This question is more often than not asked in bad faith by opponents of basic income, who ignore overwhelming evidence that it generally increases the number of hours recipients work: even leaving aside the productivity gains in those work hours, as people are given more freedom to choose how their labor is allocated.