Universal Basic Income

November 24, 2017
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Today, 14.5% of all Americans lived under the poverty line this year. Many different people and countries have tried to find ways to solve this problem, and UBI seems to be the correct solution. Universal basic income is the idea that the government would pay every person a living wage no matter what state they are in. This would solve many different problems like poverty and help developing companies.

 

Universal basic income is an idea that Canada and the U.S.A toyed with in the 1970’s. During 1974 a small town in Canada was introduced to a small government operation dubbed Mincome. For 5 years everyone was given a monthly payment and “for five years, poverty was completely eliminated” (Lum). UBI could be a great way for governments around the globe to completely eliminate poverty. It would allow for people to not only leave poverty but make sure they do not return by giving them enough of an income to start a new job. This may put an end to poverty everywhere and allow for further help in developing countries.


Universal basic income would also be a great way for people to try developing new companies and products. With UBI up and coming companies will at least have something to keep them running while they are starting off. It may also help people who do not like their current job and would like to switch, giving them the time and money they need to settle down and get used to their new job. This would lead to much happier working conditions and more productivity overall.


UBI could also be used as a way to prepare humanity for automation. With more and more automated work it is hard to know when robots will completely take over work but with UBI humanity might be braced against such an epidemic and might even have time to implement more powerful versions of UBI. As CEO of Tesla Elon Musk is very aware of advances in robotics. He believes that not only will we need UBI but that it will be inevitable, “I think we'll end up doing universal basic income,” he says “It's going to be necessary”(Musk).


Many people argue against Universal basic income saying that people that get paid will not actually work, but, when UBI was tested under the name Mincome, many people who used to be in poverty and without a job went straight to work even while being paid a living wage. Studies conducted by Harvard University that “employee engagement levels were three times more strongly related to intrinsic than extrinsic motives” (Chamorro-premuzic). This means that employee engagement levels are more related to the work itself than money or other rewards.


Universal basic income would be a great way for governments to solve problems such as poverty and may help develop new companies. This would be useful because for many countries poverty is becoming a very big problem and with automation growing many people could find themselves without a job. Though UBI is not perfect it is still steps towards the right direction.

 

Works Cited:
Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas. "Does Money Really Affect Motivation? A Review Of The     Research." Harvard Business Review. N.p., 2013. Web. 9 Nov. 2017.
Lum, Zi-ann. "A Canadian City Once Eliminated Poverty And Nearly Everyone Forgot About    It." HuffPost Canada. N.p., 2014. Web. 9 Nov. 2017.
Weller, Chris. "Elon Musk Doubles Down On Universal Basic Income: 'It's Going To Be      Necessary'." Business Insider. N.p., 2017. Web. 9 Nov. 2017.






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