Daniel Halliday
Mar 29, 2019 · Last update 9 mo. ago.

Would a basic income system help or hinder a society and its economy?

Universal basic income is a monetary social security system that pays every member of a society a regular payment of money without means testing or meeting any work or income requirements. The idea is that this payment will raise the income level of those at the bottom of the wage scale to alleviate poverty, while boosting the living standards of everyone else and possibly improving the economy as the money will most likely find its way back into the economy paying for goods and services. However the effectiveness and massive cost of such systems remains unclear and makes this a controversial economic proposal. Can a universal basic income actually work?
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Hinder - a welfare state is a welfare state
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Could help to lessen the damage of automation
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Both – solving monetary issues may birth new ones
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Hinder - a welfare state is a welfare state

The argument for universal basic income is always intertwined with a fear of automation, but we are not yet at the point where people no longer need to work due to the widespread nature of automation. A universal basic income system introduced to any current economic climate would be premature and would damage incentives to seek employment and work. There are many issues and negative effects of current welfare states and a more radical redistribution of income would arguably not solve the many problems inherent in them, but could instead give rise to a new set of problems.

In terms of replacing a asset of welfare systems UBI would be more dangerous than common welfare schemes as it would ultimately put the responsibility of saving for emergencies in the hands of every individual, if an individual maintains a certain lifestyle with the UBI payment they would not have the money to pay for emergencies should the need arise. This may actually be counterintuitive as the lowest earners in society may be put in a worse position in terms of paying for things like healthcare if healthcare welfare schemes were replaced with a monthly payment for everything. UBI remains a big gamble and currently it would be a gamble based on fear of an unproven future that may not come to pass, a study conducted by the accounting organisation Deloitte found that while automation may have eliminated 800,000 jobs in the UK, it is thought to have created up to 3.5 million higher paying positions.

fee.org/articles/the-top-three-arguments-against-a-universal-basic-income venturebeat.com/2017/09/07/automation-replaced-800000-workers-then-created-3-5-million-new-jobs www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/uk/Documents/Growth/deloitte-uk-insights-from-brawns-to-brain.pdf

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Daniel Halliday
Dec 18
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DH edited this paragraph
https://fee.org/articles/the-top-three-arguments-against-a-universal-basic-income/ https://venturebeat.com/2017/09/07/automation-replaced-800000-workers-then-created-3-5-million-new-jobs/ https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/uk/Documents/Growth/deloitte-uk-insights-from-brawns-to-brain.pdf

Could help to lessen the damage of automation

Automation is already leading to job losses, and as technological innovation continues these job losses will continue with an unprecedented swiftness, with the advent of widespread artificial intelligence utilisation and further inter-connectivity of technology many jobs will be obsolete. Furthermore the type of job losses that will take place are not just working class roles that were lost to automation in previous industrial revolutions. With smart contracts and AI many legal, medical and possibly even political roles may be at risk, along with common logistics positions such as truck drivers. But universal basic income is one proposal that may lessen the damage this will cause to society.

While many may be at risk from losing jobs with the next technological revolution it may not necessarily have to be the case of a complete loss of an income. With greater automation will come greater abundance also, and if governments act quickly and introduce greater social safety nets such as UBI much economic and social damage could be avoided. One example of an effective use of a UBI scheme already in place is in the state of Alaska, where revenue from extracting oil is invested and the interest is used to make monthly payments to all Alaskans. The Alaska Permanent Fund is hugely popular, and similar investment schemes that pay a national dividend could arguably be put in place elsewhere, especially in resource-rich countries, paying citizens as shareholders in a nations economy.

futurism.com/images/universal-basic-income-answer-automation vox.com/2017/5/12/13954182/case-for-and-against-universal-basic-income-united-states

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Daniel Halliday
Dec 18
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DH edited this paragraph
While many may be at risk from losing jobs with the next technological revolution it may not necessarily have to be the case of a complete loss of an income. With greater automation will come greater abundance also, and if governments act quickly and introduce greater social safety nets such as UBI much economic and social damage could be avoided. One example of an effective use of a UBI scheme already in place is in the state of Alaska, where revenue from extracting oil is invested and the interest is used to make monthly payments to all Alaskans. The Alaska Permanent Fund is hugely popular, and similar investment schemes that pay a national dividend could arguably be put in place elsewhere, especially in resource-rich countries, paying citizens as shareholders in a nations economy.

Both – solving monetary issues may birth new ones

UBI cannot work on its own, a whole new rethink needs to be applied to the jobs market, a job doesn’t just supply someone with money, food or shelter, a job for many people is more importantly part of their identity, giving their life purpose and meaning. Alleviating financial problems with a basic income program then may just solve the fringe issues surrounding money but doesn’t address the fundamental problem of purpose and meaning in life. For this reason UBI should possibly be looked at as more of a piece to the complex puzzle, a puzzle of a future well balanced job market of a society that is much more automated.

While automation is augmenting or often replacing jobs outright, there will gradually be less of a need to have as many people working, but the need to work, the need for purpose, the need to spend ones time meaningfully, will not diminish. If automation and AI are going to effect the jobs market moving forward maybe more people could collectively do the remaining jobs while benefitting from the rewards of technological innovation, but UBI will not address this issue alone and there are wider issues of purpose that need addressing in a basic income society. UBI could be useful though and especially if used as a suite of complementary policies, for example cutting weekly working hours and promoting job sharing. In this way UBI could alleviate poverty, while allowing people to pursue leisure or health based pursuits more often, addressing societal health issues also, and still providing the meaning, purpose and fulfilment that a job provides most people.

youtu.be/ELkEZJa74Y4?t=525 greenagenda.org.au/2018/08/environmental-impacts-of-ubi

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Daniel Halliday
Dec 4
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DH edited this paragraph
While automation is augmenting or often replacing jobs outright, there will gradually be less of a need to have as many people working, but the need to work, the need for purpose, the need to spend ones time meaningfully, will not diminish. If automation and AI are going to effect the jobs market moving forward maybe more people could collectively do the remaining jobs while benefitting from the rewards of technological innovation, but UBI will not address this issue alone and there are wider issues of purpose that need addressing in a basic income society. UBI could be useful though and especially if used as a suite of complementary policies, for example cutting weekly working hours and promoting job sharing. In this way UBI could alleviate poverty, while allowing people to pursue leisure or health based pursuits more often, addressing societal health issues also, and still providing the meaning, purpose and fulfilment that a job provides most people.
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