When the robots come to take our jobs, what are we all going to do to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table? That’s the question that the universal basic income (UBI) hopes to answer. The government gives everyone JUST enough money to afford the basics so that no one falls into total, abject poverty. Supporters think a universal income is essential to fight financial inequality and help the millions of people who could lose their jobs to artificial intelligence. But opponents think it would be WAY too expensive and could hurt the economy by stripping away the incentive to work. Where do you stand? Is the universal basic income a good idea or bad idea?
How much money would the universal basic income give you?
It depends. In the U.S., most experts think that $1,000 a month would be the ideal target amount. It’s just enough (maybe) to prevent total financial devastation, but not enough that it would dissuade people from keeping their job or looking for a job if they don’t have one.
Who would get the universal basic income?
A true universal basic income would be universal, meaning everyone would get it. Even the wealthy like Bill Gates, although he would owe WAY more in taxes than than he’d get from the government.
What are the main arguments FOR a universal basic income?
Some liberals think that a universal basic income is an effective method to fight financial inequality, which is big and growing. The wealthiest 1% own half of all the world’s wealth, and by 2030, it’s estimated to increase to two-thirds! Some conservatives think a universal basic income could shrink current welfare programs, and would put more choice in the hands of the individual.
What are the main arguments AGAINST a universal basic income?
Some conservatives think that giving everyone a universal basic income would be so massively expensive that it would be totally impractical to implement, and would almost certainly require people to pay more in taxes. Liberals worry that in order to afford the universal basic income, government welfare programs like food stamps and housing assistance would need to be significantly cut or eliminated.
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