Historically, universal basic income in the United States stretches as far back as the American Revolution.
Back then, proponents meant for universal basic income (UBI) to prevent poverty. Now, it has grown into a larger, more complex concept.
Today’s supporters of UBI point to artificial intelligence threatening jobs. They believe UBI to be the solution to maintain a healthy economy as automation and AI grow more prevalent. In a survey by Gallup and Northeastern University, 48% of Americans polled supported UBI.
Others support UBI for far different reasons. Guy Standing, who has a Ph.D. in economics and is the co-founder of Basic Income Earth Network, believes the justification for UBI is ethical.
Whatever the reasoning, UBI is gaining traction. It has even grown more noteworthy in politics of late.
Read on to find out the top 5 reasons United States economists argue for universal basic income.
Universal Basic Income in the United States
Several politicians want to target people with a low base income or the unemployed for UBI. The problem is that many poor people don’t have bank accounts or paystubs, both of which are typically required when applying for assistance.
There exists a potential workaround for people to use an online check stub maker like PayStubCreator to generate the required paperwork. However, universal basic income would remove this issue altogether.
There are numerous arguments for and against universal basic income. We’ll let you decide if the positives outweigh the negative.
1. The Behavioral Effects Are Positive
Ioana Marinescu is an assistant professor of economics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
She conducted a survey to show the behavioral effects of unconditional cash assistance. The results showed an improvement in mental and physical health. People obtained higher levels of education and criminal activity dropped off.
2. Everyone Has a Fallback
UBI support for American families would ensure everyone had a safety net to fall back on. If someone’s job is outsourced to another country, it wouldn’t destroy their financial safety net.
3. Help the U.S. Spend on Welfare More Wisely
Poor Americans must fight an uphill battle to gain assistance, much less retain it. All of this oversight comes with a lot of administrative costs. Proponents of UBI hope it’ll reduce costs.
4. Less Bureaucracy to Deal With
There are over 126 federal welfare programs and each one’s overloaded with rules and restrictions. There are so many regulations built into these welfare programs that navigating through them is difficult. UBI wouldn’t require as much in administrative expenses and oversight.
5. Preserve the Dignity of All
Under current welfare programs, recipients must surrender to a variety of invasive procedures. These range from submitting a urine sample to allowing an unscheduled home inspection. Under a UBI, everyone would be entitled to a check, requiring no conditions to be met.
Final Thoughts on UBI
While there exist arguments for why not to support universal basic income in the United States, there are just as many, if not more, for why it should be enacted.
Browse online magazines for more insight behind UBI and the healthy lifestyle it could lead to and judge for yourself.