Why Universal Basic Income Will Not Work

Author: Alexx | Category: Democrats | Date: 11-29-2019

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Universal Basic Income, or UBI, is an idea that has been promoted by “progressive” capitalists who are not interested in fundamental structural changes.  Instead, they advocate glitzy band aids slapped on gushing wounds, believing that such measures would alleviate serious problems like the extreme income inequality that plagues many developed countries.

There have been a few real-life experiments with UBI schemes.  Most of these experiments show that it only works in improving wellbeing among extremely impoverished groups in third world countries.  Even the well-received “Alaska Fund” that has been giving out $1600 in dividends to each adult and child in Alaska supports the finding that positive impacts are mostly limited  to impoverished groups—in this case, rural indigenous Alaskans.  Moreover, the Alaska Fund payouts have done nothing to reduce child poverty, much less reduce overall income inequality.

The cost of UBI programs is very high as most estimates show that these payments will constitute 20 to 30% of a country’s GDP—this is money that can be put to much better use in establishing sustainable programs that will pave the way for jobs that pay family-supporting wages. 

Finally, there are some clear negative consequences of adopting University Basic Income programs:  UBIs will divert attention away from programs such as infrastructure projects offering family-sustaining incomes and the urgent need to reform  social safety nets, strengthen unions, regulate the power of large monopolies, help small business, and improve public education/public services. 

Instead of the minimal government handouts from UBI, most people would prefer the sustainability and dignity of well-paying jobs over which they have a degree of control. (more)

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Comment:

Jake Kim April 6, 2020 3:52 am

I very much agree with this article. Especially with the presidential elections coming, this policy has been brought up by Andrew Yang and adopted by others. While it seems ideal to have free money flowing into your bank account, I think it will severely reduce the incentive to work hard. While it ... Read more definitely opens up great opportunities for many and will even be a life-changing amount of money, I think the drawbacks will ultimately outweigh the benefits. These drawbacks have already been demonstrated throughout history in Communist states. It sounds amazing in theory, but there are always a few negative factors that have led to many breakdowns in the past. However, if this does take place, I sure hope that people will use the money to benefit their own lives Less

Kylee Kim March 29, 2020 11:09 am

While it appears to have many benefits, Univeral Basic Income is a system that would be very difficult to sustain in the long term, especially with millions of people living in the United States. Especially in the light of certain capitalist supporters, there is little motivation for them to seek ... Read more to support the impoverished. However, the overall idea of the plan would be absolutely beneficial, from providing education and health care to public transportation or other everyday essentials. Less


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