What do you guys think of Universal Basic Income?

I am agnostic on the issue. Personally I think it all depends on who you give it to.

Both Republicans and Democrats have supported the idea of universal basic income or at least providing everybody a dividend. Both Milton Friedman and Richard Nixon supported the idea. Now we see billionaires supporting the idea, like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. Their view is simple: More and more jobs will be taken over by robots and the average American will not be benefiting financially from it. We give people a dividend or universal basic income, they can use that money to not only pay their bills, but can spend, invest, and save. This can create more economic freedom, in theory at least.

Alaska for example has some form of universal basic income. The profits from the oil revenues goes to everybody between the ages of 18 and 64, and they get between 1-2k per year.

Milton Friedman supported the idea as a replacement for the welfare state and saw it as a gigantic economic stimulus for the economy. Look it up, if you don’t believe me.

What does everybody think of the idea? Obviously there are some important questions needed to be asked before giving people between the ages of 18 and 64 so-called “free money”:

  1. Doesn’t this discourage people from working or taking a small part-time job, and spend the rest of their time on the couch? Andrew Yang is talking about giving everybody between the ages of 18 and 64 12k per year or 1k per month. Alaska is giving people 1k to 2k per year.

  2. Would this make goods and services cheater or more expensive?

  3. Will companies stop providing health-care benefits to their employees, knowing fully aware that their dividend/UBI would cover it?

There must be a separation from those that give their best efforts and those that choose to not give their best efforts, using some sort of reward system. Historically…that was an income. If all incomes begin at a certain “universal basic income”…it will just push the price of goods and services up causing inflation until it either finds that balance again…or politicians again raise the income. It’s nothing but a law based on “feelings” and not what’s in the best interests of all. If you want to have a positive impact on us all, find a way to unleash the best efforts of all…and you’ve succeeded in your goal. Do NOT incentivize being lazy.

What if universal income replaced all forms of current welfare


It’s going to be absolutely necessary in future when so much manual labor is replaced by robots.

I will make an analogy between future people and pets. We will be like the robots’ cats and dogs. They will be responsible for a vast amount of productivity and will provide us with food, shelter, and entertainment.

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Addressing number 2 with a anecdote. A coworker of mine, when the 15 dollar minimum wage was being discussed, asked me if it was possible to calculate how much more money his tenants would be making at their jobs and wondered if he could raise the rent by exactly that much. He got deep into it, trying to figure out how many hours they worked.

Maybe this is just idle chatter over lunch, but it turned me off of the idea of directly increasing cash income of the poor. I am against UBI because, in that specific scenario, my coworker would get his own UBI and that of his tenants–which I find to be outrageous. My coworker would not be able to entertain such a thought if there were increases to itemized welfare benefits instead that he could not directly see.

Yep. Theyre going to try to squeeze out all they can get

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…balance. Everything seeks it’s balance.

Balance of what? What determines this “balance”?

The example that jumps out of history that best explains this is Jamestown and I do not want Jamestown-vu all over again.


Ahh the Socialist Jamestown myth.

It just won’t die.

Universal basic income will not be a thing until we fundamentally change our national ethics that a person’s worth is based upon their economic inputs and not that they are a Human Being.

Until that changes, we will continue to see productivity increase but the buying power and wealth held by the Middle and lower classes decrease.

The majority will not get to share in the National bounty because a large enough portion of the populous has bought into the idea that Ayn Rand’s amorality is the correct course.

I have a couple of questions.

  1. How much would this cost and who would pay for it?

  2. How on earth would 1k per month encourage couch potatoes? This isn’t 1970. If you’re referring to people that mooch off others that pay the bills, then yes, it might. But that’s up to the people allowing this to continue.

  3. Companies provide health care as a benefit, not because they are thinking of you and what you can and cannot afford. I don’t think anything would change on that front.

When you say everyone from ages 18-64, does that mean everyone regardless of income?

Good questions. I am glad you’re asking. I am trying to be as fair as possible.

There’s no official UBI bill on the table. All what we have is abstract ideas and countries/communities experimenting.

To answer your questions, I believe the money comes from either tax revenue (like we see from Alaska) OR through a VAT/Sales tax. In Alaska, all of the money the government earned from selling and drilling oil, goes back to the Alaskan citizen in form of a dividend. It’s a wildly popular program. With a VAT or Sales tax, the federal government would be charging an extra tax every time you purchased a new good or service. That’s basically how they are going to pay for the UBI. The government is either going to charge you more in sales tax or give the profits from a technology.

Alaska could have used the oil revenue for the schools and funding social programs for the less fortunate. But instead, they opted to give everybody money for being an Alaskan citizen.

My point for #2 is, would it discourage people from working and create a lazy society? Would it encourage people to seek part-time work rather than full-time work?

Yes, companies provide health-care as a benefit, but knowing their employees will get 12k per year, that MIGHT mean, they no longer have to provide health-care insurance and could easily get them on their own and be able to pay for their out of pocket expenses. I am not saying this will happen, but something to look at it.

According to all the proposals I have seen, it would apply to everybody between the ages of 18 and 64 or it would apply to people making under 50k per year. In Alaska, the dividend applies to everybody between 18 and 64, regardless of work status and income bracket.

Bernie Sanders is skeptical of the idea. He feels it would undermine social programs and would align with Milton Friedman’s free market capitalism. Biden doesn’t seem to be a fan either. He feels it violates the blue collar man mentality of you work for your money. Yang’s proposal seems to focus more on the Alaskan model.

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Personally, I feel like we’d have worse outcomes. Humans can make some pretty terrible decisions, even when otherwise working in their rational self-interest. Game theory proves this. I’d rather have centrally planned cooperation rather than a Nash equilibrium of always ratting (referencing the prisoner’s dilemma).

ETA: worse outcomes than if we vastly improved our social safety net/overall social programs.


UBI will become a necessity to keep the masses from revolting as the technical revolution continues. We are removing jobs through automation at a pretty good clip right now, and it’s only going to accelerate. The sooner these discussions happen in earnest, the better society will be for future generations.

I do see this happening in a fashion, but I don’t think it will in the way people are thinking.

Money has value because it directly correlates to a persons time. As soon as the line to a persons time is broken, money won’t have value.

But I do think goods and services will eventually be provided to all when the production of them becomes automated as once they are automated they won’t be valuable either.

Property, raw materials, machinery and electricity to run machinery are going to cost money for a long time coming.

The money of a person who is independently wealthy still has value. At that point, their money is completely disconnected from their time. This is nonsense.

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