10 Reasons You Should Support Basic Income

10 Reasons You Should Support Basic Income

The basic income offers something for everyone.
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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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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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