Universal Basic Income

1895 WordsMay 15, 20168 Pages
Citizen’s dividends, unconditional monthly grants, or free money to everyone. This is what a universal basic income (UBI) has been called in other names. The notion of a universal basic income has been literally everywhere for a very long period, at least since the aftermath of the world war I. A UBI is an income given without any strings attached to every adult and child (or in some version, only citizens) to provide at least an adequate level of resources. A basic income guarantees each citizen an income sufficient to meet his or her basic needs. The money would be given even regardless of whether the recipients are in the jobs or not. Strikingly for UBI, it is not mean-testing benefits, meaning that no family stuck in poverty traps…show more content…
The current system of welfare gives benefits to some people but not to others. That means we spend a lot of resources inquiring through the details of people’s private lives to see if they really qualify or not. The difficulty of this patchwork is overwhelming to individuals experiencing it directly. Monitoring people, Coordinating hundreds of arbitrary and ever-changing rules, ensuring people are destitute first before qualifying for welfare or social housing increases unnecessary complexity to government (Perieira, 2015). And that also means that there’s a big incentive for special interest groups to gain the system to their own advantage, or even to oppress or disenfranchised groups they don’t like. But what if what you really need is something completely different. What if you want to forego present consumption, and save your benefits for the future? Under the current system, when the government gives you housing vouchers, or food stamps, you have to use those benefits on what the government thinks you need. This is only one of many examples of an individual facing multiple welfare bureaucracies. Clearly, you cannot save food stamps in the bank, but you can save cash and you can spend it on whatever you think you need. In this way, a basic income gives people the freedom to make their own decisions about how to improve their own lives. In this way, a simple rule namely basic income is not only fair, it is also more stable. In the case of the
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