10 Reasons You Should Support Basic Income

10 Reasons You Should Support Basic Income

The basic income offers something for everyone.

The idea of a universal basic income (UBI) has been around for a while, but it has been gaining attention recently. It is a fairly simple idea. Step 1 is to regularly give every citizen a check to cover basic expenses. There is no Step 2.

Despite —

or perhaps because of —

its simplicity, implementing a universal basic income would solve several problems in American economic policy and ultimately be beneficial. Here is an overview of some of the reasons why.

1. UBI appeals to both ends of the political spectrum.

UBI is one of the few economic policies that free-market capitalists and socialists agree on since it has something for everyone. It has plenty of supporters, including top economists as well as activists and philosophers:

There are plenty of other UBI supporters, but those are some of the most well-known.

2. UBI would make the welfare system more efficient.

One common criticism of the current welfare system is that it is inefficient. Money is lost to bureaucracy and administrative costs instead of going directly to the people it needs to help. However, in principle, the UBI is the most efficient welfare system possible because it skips the bureaucracy and gives the money directly to people who need it: "The most efficient way to spend money on the homeless might be to give it to them."

3. UBI would eliminate the welfare trap.

One of the problems with the current welfare system is that means-tested welfare programs have cutoff points. Someone with an income below the cutoff point could actually lose money if they tried to increase their income. With the UBI, there is no cutoff point, preventing any kind of welfare trap.

4. UBI could end poverty.

UBI ensures that everyone has enough money to afford basic living expenses. So, implementing a UBI could lift everyone out of poverty.

5. UBI would encourage innovation.

Let's say that someone has a cool new idea for a product, but they don't know if it will take off. Under the current economic system, they might be too worried to even try to invest in that idea. If their basic living expenses are taken care of, they will be less worried and more likely to put out new ideas.

6. UBI could improve your health.

In two separate instances, citizens had improved physical and mental health after a UBI program was implemented.

It would make sense if UBI was the cause since it helps financial security.

7. People who receive UBI don't tend to waste it.

A fear that some might have about UBI is that recipients would waste it all, that the poor cannot be trusted with money. However, a meta-analysis of 19 studies showed that, when poor people are given money, they actually spend less on alcohol and tobacco.

8. UBI can handle technological unemployment.

As I have mentioned about once or thrice before, automation will increasingly surpass human ability to do any given job. UBI will provide a stable, livable income for the increasing number of people who become technologically unemployed.

Even if automation somehow never ends up causing unemployment, though, UBI is still a good policy. It just so happens that UBI can insure us against the likely possibility that automation replaces human jobs en masse — and our current system cannot.

9. UBI works.

A UBI pilot program launched in Namibia in 2008 proved highly successful, especially in reducing malnutrition. In two UBI programs in India, "Villages spent more on food and healthcare, children's school performance improved in 68 percent of families, time spent in school nearly tripled, personal savings tripled, and new business startups doubled."

GiveDirectly, an independent and independently funded research group, has found that cash transfers are extremely beneficial to the poor. Plenty of examples show the same result: UBI works.

10. More UBI experiments are happening right now.

UBI is being implemented and studied in communities all around the world, including

Also, a group called the Economic Security Project recently invested invested $10 million to study the effects of UBI.

All of these will help us understand how well UBI works as a policy in the future. I am confident that they will show its effectiveness since UBI is a simple, non-partisan policy that can help us to move forward as a society.

For more information on this subject, check out some of the following resources:

Basic Income Earth Network

Reddit: Basic Income FAQ

Washington Post: "Free money might be the best way to end poverty"

Futurism: Basic Income articles

Cover Image Credit: The Daily Public

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5 Republicans That Could Challenge Trump In A 2020 Primary

Could these GOP members step up to the plate and challenge a sitting Republican President?

I'm not sure a sitting President has ever caused so much scandal and ruckus while in office, especially not for their own party, but, of course, Donald Trump would be the person to do just that. Between skirting around sexual assault charged, consistently lying to the American people, and even possibly colluding with a foreign entity to sway the 2016 election, you would think that Trump wouldn't have time to cause issues in the GOP, but that just doesn't seem to be the case. I never thought I'd see a Republican speak poorly of John McCain, who even I have respect for, but Donald Trump is a president of firsts.

Because he is such a toxic presence in the GOP, there has been rumor that popular Republican politicians could potential challenge the incumbent in a primary for the 2020 election. Could these people bolster the courage to take on a sitting president, not just to help their party, but to also save the reputation of the United States?

Mitt Romney

Former Governor of Massachusetts, former candidate for U.S. President, and now candidate for senator of Utah, Mitt Romney has quite the impressive resume. Of course, he failed his first time in his presidential ambitions, but it would not be the first time the GOP has nominated someone after they lost their first presidential election — Richard Nixon, anyone? Romney has all the experience and charm it would take to challenge the incumbent president, and he would have a pretty great chance of winning that battle.

Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley currently serves as the United Nations ambassador representing the U.S. Before serving in the U.N., Haley was the governor of South Carolina. While she now works closely with Trump, it wouldn't be too surprising to see someone make a political move to further their own career. Haley is so politically talented that Mitt Romney even considered her as a VP choice before going with Paul Ryan. It would also be nice to see the GOP present someone who isn't an old white male as the nominee.

John Kasich

One of the many faces that filled the 2016 GOP primary, Kasich presented a fairly moderate and easy to swallow candidate. He currently serves as the Governor of Ohio, which is an added benefit for any candidate looking to win swing states. It has been rumored that Kasich actually plans on running in 2020, and he wants to be president so bad that he would choose a moderate Democrat for his VP.

Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio was my favorite of the 2016 Republican candidates, and with good reason. He is politically talented, the son of immigrants, and isn't too far right for me to need a drink anytime he opens his mouth. Rubio has been frequently attacked by Trump, dubbed "Little Marco Rubio" by the current POTUS. With the influx of immigrants from Puerto Rico, Florida is likely to swing blue in the 2020 election, so presenting the junior senator from Florida would likely be the best move for the Republican party.

Jeff Flake

Jeff Flake is retiring from the senate, which begs the questions, "What will he do next?" Flake has been one of the most outspoken GOP members when it comes to opposing Trump, so much so that he openly says he didn't vote for Trump in the presidential election — he didn't vote for Hillary either, though. Flake also refused to support Roy Moore in the Alabama senate race. If the GOP wants to run someone who is a face of Republican morality and common sense, Sen. Flake is the obvious choice.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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5 Reasons Airports Are One Of The Happiest Places On Earth

There's something special about airports, and the people inside them.

n early January I dropped my twin sister Rebecca off at the Atlanta airport so she could fly to Boston for a couple days and have fun with her friends. She was incredibly nervous—on top of normal flight anxiety, this was her first time flying by herself.

I, however, was giddy. I’ve flown by myself both domestically and internationally and I was happy that Rebecca now had the chance to do the same. I was excited that she was starting 2018 by going somewhere new and getting out of her comfort zone.

Out of everyone in my family, I am the one who has flown the most recently. While my dad has traveled all over the world for work, he stopped doing that about 30 years ago. So I was the one to help Rebecca find where to check in, help her with the kiosk, and walk her to the right desk to ask questions. And in that moment, I realized something.

I love airports. Being in them, walking around in them, everything. I’ll admit security isn’t thrilling to go through. There’s a lot of waiting and looking for a plug to charge your phone. But there’s something special about being in an airport, and about people inside airports.

1. People are nicer.

This is going to sound surprising, I know, but the people I’ve interacted with in airports have almost always been pleasant. When I was running late for my connecting flight in Paris a businessman let me go in front of him in the security line. When my flight to London was delayed a couple sitting next to me offered to buy me a coffee.

When I’ve been stuck waiting in various airports I’ve gotten into great conversations with people. I met a couple going on vacation to Ireland. I met a man who had family in the city I taught English in. In line for security I got to talk to a woman who wrote professionally. People in airports are just generally better and usually interesting to chat with.

2. Reunions!

Especially in the international terminal, watching reunions happen is wonderful. I was sitting next to someone flying back to his home country to see his sister get married. I sat next to a man going to surprise his mother for her 90th birthday. There was once a family sitting in front of me taking their 2 year old to visit her mother’s native country and family.

People wait to pick up loved ones with flowers. There were two cute little boys waiting next to me once who rushed excitedly into their father's arms screaming, "Daddy!" Reunions happen because of airports, and they induce the best smiles.

3. New experiences

When in an airport, you know a lot of people are doing something for the first time. Some of them are flying for the first time; others are traveling somewhere new. Many people are facing their fears (aviophobia, claustrophobia, cleithrophobia, and more) to do something amazing. Learning how to cope with anxiety and that the reward can be greater than the cost is so important.

4. Travel, duh

Unless you’re there to drop off or pick up someone, in which you fall into the reunions category, you’re getting to travel! Travel is so fun. You’ll get to eat new food, go new places, and see new sights. Your social media is going to get lit and you’re going to have experiences to share with the rest of your life.

If you’re traveling for work then good for you! You get to be one of those cool people who walk through the airport looking all professional who everyone is secretly jealous of. You might even get to sit in first class, lucky person.

5. The flying itself

When you think about the innovation that flying is, it’s truly amazing that it’s so common. Like you’re literally hurtling through the air in a metal tube at thousands mph, thousands of miles above the ground. Isn’t that cool?

If you’re on a long enough flight there’s probably movies to watch, and I’ve watched some great movies on planes. It’s also a great time to read, journal, catch up on Netflix, or nap. You’re stuck in that seat for a while, you might as well use it for me-time.

Airports really are one of the happiest places on earth. I hope you get to fly somewhere cool this year and that the flight is the best you’ve had. Happy travels!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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