What are your thoughts on universal basic income?
1. Instinctively I’m against it.
But that doesn't mean it's a bad idea.
2. If implemented, it would have to replace, not supplement current “safety net” payments.
SSI, disability, ETC.
3. Universal Basic Savings account instead?
Instead of regular payments to adults, what if each person was assigned an interest-bearing account when they were born with an initial and one-time deposit of $10-50K. They would only gain access to at the age of maturity (different debate). It could then either be a windfall to do with what they want OR have a maximum withdrawal rate of 4-5% /yr. I would also include an option for the individual to continue to make contributions to the account.
UPDATE: While it seems that no one source knows how much the U.S. Federal Govt. spends on "welfare programs"; current estimates have it anywhere between $775 Billion and $1.2 Trillion per year. The UBS outlined above would cost between $40-200 Billion per year. Even recognizing that these are rough estimates and that we could never eliminate all forms of "welfare" payments, it seems there may be savings here that also would be a stimulus to every citizen.
At a conservative %4.5 APR, the UBS would be between $22K and $110K at the age of 18.
4. UBI shouldn’t be enough to meet all needs
But enough to smooth over the rough spots and prevent catastrophe.
5. UBI might lead to a new era of advancement in human creativity.
If UBI + 10 hrs of labor / wk. met all your needs, what would you spend the rest of the time on?
6. If implemented, UBI would have to be truly Universal
Any other form of means testing would further divide society.