What is Universal Income and how does it work?


What is Universal Income and how does it work?

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Universal income is money paid to each and every citizen, regardless of income.

There are many different schemes proposed, but that’s the gist. Some put age limits on the payments (no payment until you’re 18, for example).

The point is that you get enough money to live *without having to do anything to deserve it*. You don’t have to work, you don’t have to apply, you don’t have to fill in a form, you don’t have to stand in line, you don’t have to live in a specific area, you don’t have to be disabled, you don’t have to be elderly, you don’t have to be sick, and so on.

The idea is that humans have a *right to life*, and in order to live you need some basic necessities like food. Not giving people food because they don’t work is similar to withholding food for people who don’t work, with is in essence the same as withholding life, which is stumblingly close to killing people who don’t work hard enough, which is eerily similar to slavery.

Financially, it works through tax. Those who do make money pay tax, and that tax is redistributed back to everyone. If you make less than a certain amount you get back more than you pay in so you benefit from it directly, if you make more than that amount you do not benefit from it directly.

The proponents argue that *all* would benefit from it indirectly, because lifting people out of abject poverty is good for the economy. You can’t sell widgets to people who are starving. Give them enough to eat, and they may be interested in buying widgets. Then you can build a widget factory, hire engineers and designers to make better widgets and so on.

Critics argue that it will never work, it will make people lazy, that humans are inherently lazy and that we *need* the threat of homelessness and starvation to do any work at all.

It’s actually called universal basic income.

It’s to ensure everyone has the necessary minimum income for basic needs.

Here, everyone is just given a certain income by the government

Of interest.. in Australia we spend $227bn a year on all welfare payments and the system to administer it. If you scrapped the lot you could give $11k a year to every adult (20m people) without it costing one extra cent.

Essentially it’s a welfare program that everyone gets instead of just the poor people.

It replaces every welfare system. Food stamps won’t exist. Housing subsidies won’t exist. You just get money.

The purpose is to give people a bottom floor that should be able to afford the bare essentials and then from there any work they do will let them reach higher and get more.

So ubi would give you enough for a small apartment and food and a used car. If you got a job you would keep your ubi but now that income can go to something like a better apartment or even a house. Or it can go toward better food or maybe things like a nice tv. All of these things help the economy too since that money is (likely) being spent.

Another major benefit is since you have the basics set already you can risk your time and any savings on a business yourself if you want to be a painter you can quit your job and try and be a painter and make money without needing a massive nest egg to survive for months or perhaps heads of no money. Same for starting a business or anything else. You will have a guaranteed minimum income.

One of the reasons this is better than welfare is most welfare systems have caps. If you make too much you lose it. This encourages people to actually make less money. It’s stupid and counter productive.

Funding is another talked about point. Funding would mostly come from getting rid of all the current welfare system and then more taxes on the rich would need to come about.

It’s debatable if it would work or not. But it would need a massive shift in corporate thinking and work forces around the country/planet if it did start.

It is considered one of the best options for the impending ai/robotics shift though. As automation increase jobs will decrease. Ubi is a way to change that from being a catastrophe.