Elizaveta Fouksman has written an article, ‘Why universal basic income costs far less than you think’, for the website The Conversation.
Want to get rid of poverty, lessen inequality and provide financial stability in a world of precarious work? Well, why not simply give everyone enough money to ensure basic sustenance?
This is the deceptively simple solution proposed by advocates of universal basic income (UBI). Just transfer enough money to everyone, every month, to guarantee a basic livelihood. The policy is universal and unconditional (you get it no matter who you are or what you do).
This means no bulky bureaucracy to administer the programme, or onerous reporting requirements on the poor. Nor do you have to wait to file paperwork to benefit: whether you lose your job, decide to strike out on a new career path or take time away from work to care for a family member, the money is already there.
But the UBI movement has a major problem: both critics and even many supporters don’t understand how much the programme would really cost. To calculate the cost, most people just multiply the size of the monthly income (say, $1,000) by the population (it’s universal, after all) and – voilà – a number that seems impossibly expensive.
But this is not how much UBI costs. The real cost – the amount of money that actually needs to be taken from someone and redistributed to someone else – is just a small fraction of these estimates. …
To read the article, click here
Readers might then wish to read about an illustrative Citizen’s Basic Income scheme with no net cost.