Monday, February 8, 2016

Experts weigh in on Universal Basic Income (UBI)

"My favored model is an unconditional basic income, high enough to cover a person’s basic needs and given to every man, woman, and child as a right of citizenship. There are many good ways to finance it. I favor taxes on resources and rents. Start charging the market rate for the broadcast spectrum instead of giving it away; the Fed should make money off the banks instead of vice versa; land value should be taxed; all forms of pollution should be taxed; and so on. But there are other ways to raise revenue. A wealth tax is a great idea, but you could also finance a basic income with an income tax—even a flat income tax. All of those are workable, good ways to do it, and all of them will effect redistribution from the very wealthy to the middle and lower classes."

"I approach UBI by dividing people into three age groups: You have children, you have elderly, and then you have adults. Children should receive allowance handed out by the parents. Elderly people receive old-age pensions, which are often already a kind of basic income. And adults would get the universal basic income. One approach would be to have it replace all other adult benefits. If you’re going to do that, you could make it pretty high, probably equal to 10% of GDP."

A good starter conversation for this topic.

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