As I’ve blogged about previously, being a cord cutter I watch YouTube instead of TV, and it’s because of this I think I don’t see people in the same way many do, where there’s a mistaken belief people do nothing unless paid to do something. To the contrary, it’s clear on YouTube that people love doing all kinds of things when they have the ability to do them. Therefore, YouTube to me is a window into a post-basic income world full of intrinsic motivation, where video after video is made for the love of making an...
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Can UBI function as reparations?
One very interesting but not so easy to understand element of universal basic income is how it disproportionately helps traditionally marginalized groups more than anyone else.
I think we should avoid letting our ideologies inform our opinions on matters of social and economic policy. What matters is scientifically observed evidence. I support the idea of providing everyone with an unconditional basic income not because I just think it’s the right thing to do, and the best way to make ongoing technological unemployment work for us instead of against us, but because such an overwhelming amount of human behavioral evidence points in the direction of basic income.
The question of an unequal UBI
A common first question in response to the idea of unconditionally guaranteeing a monthly cash stipend to everyone sufficient to meet their basic needs is in regards to a potential need for differing amounts of basic income. Let’s examine this question from two perspectives: that of the individual and that of the location.
That’s the highly cited estimate out of Oxford by Frey and Osbourne of the percentage of existing jobs that are likely to be automated away with the help of technology within the next two decades. According to this paper, flip a coin and call heads or machines to see if your job will exist in 20 years. This is the 21st century fear for many called “technological unemployment.”
The question of slowing productivity amidst rising automation
The Fall of Human Labor
The latest numbers are in, and there are now more people not working in the US as a percentage of the total population, than ever in the last 38 years. It’s being called the “new normal.”
There’s a common belief that people who don’t have jobs somehow just aren’t trying hard enough, and this belief is therefore based on the idea that there are enough jobs for everyone. To get a job, all one really needs to do is just try hard enough.
“Just go get a job.”
Once again John Oliver has shone a light on something important we tend to not discuss, and that is the way we in the United States collectively treat those who just gave birth.
We force them right back to work.
In a somewhat surprising turn of events, The Economist in its May 23rd edition, published a piece with no name attached, where it labeled the idea of a basic income for all as “basically unaffordable.” It then followed the publication with share after share via social media, with tweets such as “Why a ‘basic income’ for all is a bad idea for all”, and “Why the Green Party is wrong to support a ‘basic income’ for all.”