There’s been a lot of talk about robots taking jobs and recently I saw something implying that people may be dying prematurely because of the perception of not enough work.
While the robots taking jobs is definitely happening (and it’s not all a bad thing). I’m not sure there is enough data for the second point.
Regardless, these two points and many other factors contribute to the idea that the time might be right for a Universal Basic Income (UBI)
A Basic Income was proposed by Thomas Paine over 200 years ago.
A “basic income” is an income unconditionally granted to all on an individual basis, without any means test or requirement to work.
Another term for Basic Income is Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI) sometimes called minimum income. And, yes it is a system of social welfare.
The idea of a Universal Basic Income is brought up here because, a little like Star Trek, there should be a way for people of every region (or quadrant in Star Trek speak) to have their basic necessities covered.
The argument against a UBI
There are a lot of arguments against a universal basic income. Most of those arguments come from people that already have money or have worked really hard for what they do have. The implication is that people that receive, or may receive, a UBI somehow don’t deserve it.
I don’t want to use this post to identify every possible thing wrong with a UBI. I’m sure there is a long list of people that would be happy to line up and say 10 reasons each why a UBI is bad, won’t work, and how it offends them on so many levels. However, I would like to hear your thoughts in the comments. Also, I’d like to get your thoughts to what I call the “root question” below.
Soft skills and a UBI
One question I have been mulling over in my mind for several months has been a very simple one.
What would you do with a UBI?
To me this is the simplest and most logical question to think about as to whether a UBI is good or bad.
If you had your basic necessities covered what would you do with your time?
- Volunteer more
- Work more
- Add a few Side Hustles (see Get a Side Hustle)
I can see a case for all of these and probably a whole lot more. I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments.
By the way, just because you have a UBI it does not mean that you can’t continue with your current job or seek out a completely new job or passion project that really get you excited. Having a UBI does not preclude you from being entrepreneurial
Real World Scenarios
There are experiments with Basic Income going on in Oakland, California with Y Combinator; and another in Finland is ongoing; Switzerland has already voted down a Basic Income measure, but there are many more in the works. Will all of these succeed? Probably not. Will they provide valuable insights into Go to the full article.