It sounds great on the surface. Three beautiful and important words. Universal. Basic. Income. Taken together, they sound even better. So what’s not to like about it?
Universal basic income (UBI) is emerging as one of the most hotly debated issues in development and social protection policy.
But what are the features of UBI? What is it meant to achieve? How do we know, and what don’t we know, about its performance?
What does it take to implement it in practice?Read more
A recent survey by Gallup and Northeastern University finds a slight majority of Americans opposed to a universal basic income (UBI) program as a way to support workers displaced by AI adoption. Conversely, about three-fourths of residents in the U.K. and Canada favor the idea.
These findings come from a Gallup/Northeastern survey of over 10,000 adults in Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. conducted from April to June 2019. By some estimates, up to 50% of jobs are expected to be automated within the next decade. An OECD study across 21 countries suggests that while only 9% of jobs are currently at high risk of automation, low-skilled workers are most vulnerable to job displacement.Read more
People have many reasons for supporting a universal basic income (UBI). Moralists maintain that an income sufficient to cover the necessities of life is a basic human right that should be guaranteed by society as a whole. Futurists fear that jobs, as we know them, will become obsolete due to automation. Environmentalists see a UBI as a way of breaking a treadmill of overproduction and overconsumption that is destroying the planet.Read more
People's Policy Project
Max Sawicky has a piece in Jacobin that again repeats the clearly incorrect claim that it would be impossibly expensive to provide everyone in the country a significant cash grant each year.
So what’s wrong with the UBI? In a nutshell, if it’s universal, it can’t be basic, and if it’s basic (provides a decent income floor), it can’t be universal. The US population exceeds 300 million. If the UBI benefit is $10,000 a year (less than Yang’s), you can do the math. The entire federal budget is about $4.4 trillion.
A homeless person asking for change. An unemployed hopeless youth. A single parent working two jobs. A worker earning a minimum wage that’s way below a living wage. A child deprived of nutritious food. A family striving to find an affordable place to call home.
Poverty is real and we witness it every day.
Defined as economic deprivation, poverty is more than that. Poverty is an assault on human rights.
People susceptible to poverty experience it differently, but for many there is one shared factor: it’s hard to get out of the cycle of poverty. Sadly, poverty could be passed to the next generation as well.Read more
UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn will use a speech in London on Thursday to announce that Labour will research the radical policy of universal basic income, which would replace means-tested benefits with a flat-rate payment.
Some on the left see the idea, which would guarantee every citizen a taxpayer-funded income, as the best way to protect low-paid workers against the insecurity of today’s labour market.
Corbyn will say: “Technological changes and the so-called ‘gig economy’ can mean increased insecurity and uncertainty across our society. It is one of the reasons I am looking at policies that can help provide more security for working households.
“One such possible answer may be the often-discussed suggestion of a universal basic income.”Read more