The leftist/statist/altruists have a “new” mantra, universal basic income. Finland, socialism personified, is attempting this as we speak (but only to the unemployed). And Stockton, California is providing such benefits to a group of its low-income residents in a pilot version of universal basic income.
These “pilot” programs are NOT UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME. They are simply new forms of welfare with the leftists’ latest “virtue-signaling” name. Here is the problem with leftists of all stripes. They need a DICTIONARY (footnote)! Universal basic income is a policy that gives all people a set amount of benefits without requirements or stipulations. That means that Jeff Bezos (net worth $112 billion) gets the SAME AMOUNT as the homeless guy on the corner! Everyone receives, say, $500 a month, no strings attached.
[Source: The Government Has Already Tried Universal Basic Income. Here’s What Happened, by Mimi Teixeira]
Leftists want you to think that this is a “new” policy. They really don’t want you to know that it is, in actuality, a “tried and failed” policy. The renewed interest in such programs is baffling because similar programs have been tested and the results were terrible. But, always remember, when leftist policies fail it is “invariably because we needed to do it a little longer and we didn’t fund it adequately.” They never say, “Oops, sorry about that!”
[From the Teixeira article] After a brief stint of popularity in the 1970s, the idea has resurged in the public interest. In the 1970s, the government ran four random control experiments across six states to try the negative income tax, a similar policy proposal that was popular at the time. In each test, the work disincentive effect was disastrous. For every $1,000 in added benefits to a family, there was an average reduction in $660 of wages from work.
There are many reasons universal basic income proposals fail. The policy tends to direct resources to people who do not need them, while increasing dependency and decreasing work across the truly needy population.
The most apparent flaw in the universal basic income proposal is the lack of work requirements. Work requirements are important because they help those in poverty achieve self-sufficiency. Additionally, a vast majority of Americans believe that people should be required to work in exchange for benefits (upwards of 90 percent by The Heritage Foundation’s latest estimates).
Robert Rector, senior welfare policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, spoke recently about universal basic income with The Daily Signal. In the podcast, he suggested expanding the earned income tax credit, a program that rewards work with benefits, as an alternative to universal basic income. Rector pointed out that the earned income tax credit “has the same effect as a guaranteed minimum income, but it’s linked to positive contributions to society…”
Footnote: Universal basic income is a model for providing all citizens of a country or other geographic area with a given sum of money, regardless of their income, resources or employment status. The purpose of the UBI is to prevent or reduce poverty and increase equality among citizens.