Chicago might be the largest city in the United States to start a Universal Basic Income… meaning, they’re going to pay people for doing absolutely nothing. I guess the more accurate word is “giving” instead of “paying” since a payment infers a transfer of goods.
The Intercept describes the Universal Basic Income in this way:
The UBI is based on a simple premise: People don’t have enough money to provide for their essential needs, so why not just give them more?
UBI schemes entail giving a standard cash grant to everyone — regardless of need. Traditionally, the United States has addressed poverty by delivering in-kind goods. For instance, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program, issues electronic cards that can be used to purchase certain types of food.
Why not just stick with what we’re already doing? Food stamps, welfare, etc? Well, some economists believe it’s better to just give the money away to avoid the stigma of food stamps. Plus, they rationalize, families know what they need more than the government knows, so they can spend it more wisely.
Also, giving money away avoids the “administrative costs of distributing in-kind goods. The theory is that people know their own needs and can allocate money more effectively than the government. Moreover, the hope is that because UBI is a universal initiative, it will avoid some of the stigma associated with need-based programs, which have historically been criticized as handouts to the ‘undeserving’ poor.”Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar is considering this radical move to combat the future of automation and its possible impact.
What a silly, silly concept.
Though the coming automation will have a significant impact on our nation’s economy, this is no solution. A quick calculation shows that this $500 a month giveaway will cost taxpayers $6,000,000 per year. One year. And don’t tell me these numbers won’t grow, or that the amount won’t grow. (Wait five minutes and some liberal activist will be emotionally yelling, “You call $500 per month an income? Shame on you!” You and I both know this will happen.)
Pawar fails to factor in a basic fact about human nature. If someone will pay you to do nothing, they will actually do nothing. Americans will have to do what they have always done — adjust. We did it in the Industrial Revolution, and we’ll do it again.
Propping people up financially takes away the incentive to change and thrive.
Americans have always known this.
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