Universal Basic Income: Not Just An Idea But A Feasible Solution

Not everyone can work. Yet everyone needs to eat. So how does one who doesn't have the capacity to work have the means to eat? Guaranteed basic income might be the answer.

Universal Basic Income

Universal basic income is a concept that pertains to giving an amount of money to citizens without any requirements or conditions other than being legal citizens and probably a certain minimum age (most likely what’s considered as the working age). Although the idea of handing out money for free is generally viewed in a negative rather than a positive light, maybe it’s time to rethink and reconsider our perceptions.

Ideally, the amount of guaranteed basic income should be enough to cover basic needs like food, clothing and shelter, but insufficient for everything else. That way, recipients will still be motivated to work — either as a part-time or full-time employees, or an entrepreneur with a small business — to earn more so they can afford not just their needs, but maybe some small luxuries too.

Although the possibility that some might become satisfied with simply receiving income without having to do anything else, the hope is that not many will go down this road. Instead, with basic income as their safety net, more individuals will start taking more risks — doing what they love, what they want to do, or what they’re passionate about, rather than working in some industry because they don’t have a choice.

Of course, giving free income to each citizen is no small undertaking. If it’s done, let’s say, in the U.S., a $1,000 monthly income for each of its 319 million residents will amount to around $4 trillion every year. And where will the funds come from? Most likely from taxes that will have to be increased, especially for individuals who can afford to pay higher tax rates.

But will the cost be worth the benefits that free income is suppose to give? Just think — with guaranteed income, one will no longer be forced into doing something he/she does not want to because he/she knows that even without having to work, at the very least, there’ll be food on the table. Which means basic unconditional income might become instrumental in ending one of the world’s oldest problems – human trafficking. No one really believes that anyone who has a choice and is in their right frame of mind will voluntarily sell their body for money, right?

And what about the many who are forced to stay in jobs they don’t want because they have no other choice? As more people have the luxury of actually choosing what job they want to do, the threat of robots replacing the human work force may then be solved too. The jobs people don’t really want to do, will be the jobs that robots will take on. It’s a win-win situation. Robots will not displace workers, instead, they will replace workers who want to be replaced.

When people aren’t forced into anything, they’ll be able to do the things that they really want to do. And of course that will mean happier people and a happier world.

Although it might be too presumptuous to assume that having guaranteed basic income may lead to a happier world, you have to admit that it’s not impossible. And with all the threats we’re facing — from global warming ending our planet, to AI taking over, and gene manipulation giving birth to superhumans – having something to look forward to is quite a welcome change. That’s why it’s encouraging to note that the move to push universal basic income is gaining momentum. There’s still hope for us after all.

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10 Comments on Universal Basic Income: Not Just An Idea But A Feasible Solution

  1. Soft Currency Economics, or economics since Nixon, has made this feasible and desirable. But everyone is still stuck on gold standard economics. Oh, well.

  2. Is this going to apply to undocumented aliens? That’s I’ll have an impact on immigration and increase the cost dramatically. Once you start this the flood gates will open.

  3. President Nixon proposed a universal basic income for any who worked and submitted an income tax form. Democrats rejected and prevented the idea because paying vote slaves not to work retained the power of the slave holders.

  4. Supremely bad idea. People who work should not be forced to support people who can work but do not. People who can work, should work. People actually benefit from working and contributing to their families and society. Not working or contributing in some way can be a soul killer. This proposal is an example of another BS agenda by those who are completely out of touch.

  5. It will never work… MANY of those who don’t work, will never work, and the $1000 a month is not enough to provide Shelter, Food, and Clothing, let alone their health needs. Many would spend it on booze, drugs, cigarettes, and other such items, and NOT on the “basics”. (If you check into it, there are homeless shelters and other “assistance programs” around the nation, available to all…BUT, there are RULES, and many of those who are homeless and don’t work, are in such a position because they don’t want to, and WON’T FOLLOW THE RULES. Of course the next step would be to give them MORE, and then give some to all people, non-citizens as well…. IT’S CALLED SOCIALISM, and there is no place in the world where that has ever been successful and fruitful for long periods of times. As Margaret Thatcher said, “the problem with socialism is, sooner or later you run out of OTHER PEOPLES MONEY”….

  6. My version is $5000/year for adults, $2500 for children, non-citizens can only use this money to pay taxes. Health insurance provided for citizens; 35% individual tax rate on all income. Corporate tax rate of 20%. Interest is not deductible. No limited liability entities except corporations. (Would it work?)

  7. An Interesting Idea But There Are Some Misconceptions:
    A GRand a month wont cut it even for basics if you look at Modern prices as 1500 is really about it and that is darn slim even for Basics and i know cause I’m on Social Security now.
    Yes food and shelter are critical but if you intend NOT to be just a drone or want to work say part time you need to toss a Car into the Mix as w no car you cannot get to work period!.
    Also the idea of taxing people is almost at the point of failure now so we need to rethink capitalism period.
    I mean why in Heavens name dont we do like other nations do and start a National Lottery to pay for health care needs is beyond me…..
    Yet this could also be used to provide nation wide -Basic Income- but why these programs NEVER get voted into action is beyond me.
    Maybe Common Sense is just -Too Hard- for our political masters in ‘Both Parties’ to figure out etc!…..

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