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”:
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.
Would this make goods and services cheater or more expensive?
Will companies stop providing health-care benefits to their employees, knowing fully aware that their dividend/UBI would cover it?