" The idea is so refreshingly contrary to the petty conditionality that is
killing the welfare state that it began to fill me with optimism that
there may be a few people lying in this political gutter still looking
at the stars. Once upon a time, universality was the underpinning
principle of welfare. Every mother got child benefit; every child got
free school milk, until that was snatched away by … Oh, I can’t remember – I’m not one to bear grudges.
In Britain we’ve already experimented with a system in which one group
of people receive a guaranteed income with no obligation to work for it.
But what if this was extended beyond the royal family? Imagine now if
everyone in the UK started out with a guaranteed minimal amount of money
each week. All other benefits would be done away with, along with the
stigma and entrapment that came with the old system of welfare (and the
expense of policing and administering it)."
I like this idea because it takes care of so many problems at once; homelessness, beggars, people between jobs needing a bridge, etc. I work amongst the poor in my town. Very few could be called moochers. Some are unable to work. Others are desperately looking for a job every day. A bit of support could keep them afloat until they do find that job.