Basic income: will it work? | The Tylt
Y Combinator is starting a universal basic income (UBI) experiment in Oakland.
According to Quartz:
This initial small pilot program will run for between six months and a year. People will be selected from across the economic spectrum, and include both the employed and the jobless. Each person will receive $1,000 to $2,000 per month, with no strings attached. The study will test payment methods and data collection, as well as whether the money meets people’s core needs, and how it affects people’s “happiness, well-being, financial health, as well as how people spend their time.”
The UBI has become a popular idea lately as the spectre of the coming automation disruption looms over the economy. A guaranteed income would help to close the inequality gap as jobs continue to disappear with technological progress. It is the best way to help those who would be otherwise unable to make ends meet.
Additionally, our social safety net has eroded and proved itself to be increasingly unreliable for the most vulnerable in society. It is too easy to fall through the cracks. The UBI can help fix things.
But would it actually work? Critics see a guaranteed income as removing all incentive to work and provide for yourself, creating a perpetual welfare state as people learn to rely on the government to meet their basic needs. The foundation of our free market economy would be pulled out from under us.
Another issue with UBI is its lack of realism. If UBI were introduced here, it wouldn’t take long for a politician to point out that, say, blind people need more support than those without physical disabilities. And then that workers who are disabled on the job deserve extra support over and above their base-line UBI benefit. And then it wouldn’t take very long for UBI to transform into something that looks very much like the system we have today. Why, then, change in the first place?
In light of this, what do you think: #BasicIncomeWorks or #FixWelfare
Basic income: will it work?