Summary

  • As of 2015, the Current Population Survey tells us that 18% of unmarried males and 23% of unmarried women ages 25 through 54—people of prime working age—weren’t even in the labor force.

  • A powerful critique of the current system is that the most disadvantaged people in America have no reason to think that they can be anything else. They are poorly educated, without job skills, and live in neighborhoods where prospects are bleak. Their quest for dignity and self-respect often takes the form of trying to beat the system.

  • Fifty million Americans live in poverty. Sixteen million live on the equivalent of $8.60 a day.

Arguments For

  • Technology is destroying jobs.

  • An Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development study concluded that 9% of American jobs are at risk. 

  • The entire bureaucratic apparatus of government social workers would disappear.

  • Nobody will starve in the streets.

  • Under a UBI, a judge could order part of his monthly grant to be extracted for child support before he ever sees it.

  • It would say to people who have never had reason to believe it before: “Your future is in your hands.”

Arguments Against

  • How does UBI not automatically create inflation?

  • Should UBI be standard…or dependent on your location? i.e. San Fran get's a higher UBI than Des Moines?

  • Government agencies are the worst of all mechanisms for dealing with human needs. They are necessarily bound by rules applied uniformly to people who have the same problems on paper but who will respond differently to different forms of help. Whether religious or secular, nongovernmental organization are inherently better able to tailor their services to local conditions and individual cases.

  • it would leave many poorer people, such as those who rely on the state pension, worse off than they are now

  • a basic income would make it almost impossible for countries to have open borders. The right to an income would encourage rich-world governments either to shut the doors to immigrants, or to create second-class citizenries without access to state support.

  • a check of $10,000 to each of 300 million Americans would cost more than $3 trillion a year

  • Disincentive to work

Potential Solutions

  • UBI would replace all the current welfare systems, not an add-on to the existing system.

  • Graduated System starting at $X amount, and then slowly declining to a base level as a person's salary increases. 

Other Options to raise money:

  • Mandatory Carbon Footprint tax

  • Additional BAH is taxed like regular income

  • You pay for the waste you produce

  • Capital Gains are taxed like regular income

  • Tax Credits (or a raised standard deduction) to qualified nurses, teachers, civil servants.

  • Expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit