What would happen if we just gave people money?

10385552_479102985558780_2515272025941356803_nEver hear of basic income? A basic income is

a periodic cash payment unconditionally delivered to all on an individual basis, without means-test or work requirement.

So what would happen if your income — or at least some of it — was taken care of? People with pensions and trust funds already know, but for most of us, this is is a dream.


3 responses to “What would happen if we just gave people money?

  1. Who decides the “basic” income? Because if you’re going to be “getting rid of most of the welfare state and tax code complexities we use today” you’re going to need a way to determine how universal basic income is defined in a capitalist economic system that drives cost increases…inflation…in everything. Poverty levels are not static. Because cost of living is not static. And cost of living is not the same from region to region… State to State…sometimes county to county.

    And once you figure that out, along with a host of other problems, you’re going to need to figure out how to sell that to the people who own this country. And experience tells me that if the people who own this country appear to sign up for this? There’s something seriously wrong with the concept.

    • I don’t think this has a snowball’s chance in hell of every being implemented, certainly not under our current economic system. But it’s not a big leap from pensions to basic income, is it? Somehow, this would have to be pitched as benefiting the people you refer to as owning this country. Give everyone a basic income and cut down on so-called entitlement programs. Give everyone a basic income (I’m not smart enough to figure out the equation for that) and everybody wins.

      • Deal with the failures of Capitalism first. Then talk about universal basic income. Because universal basic income will not going to do anything to ameliorate the detriment inherent in an economic system based on inequality.

        If the people who own this country, and the people who run this country, see any value in universal basic income, it will only be because they can use it as a tool to reinforce their status and privilege…their entitlement…at the cost of sustaining the detriment of structural and institutional inequality that creates such status and privilege.

        So the system has to change first. Otherwise we’re just doing the same thing over and over and over again expecting different results each time.

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