Universal Basic Income - Top 3 Pros and Cons
|Monday, Sep. 18, 2017 | Author: ProCon.org | MORE HEADLINES|
Alaska residents filing applications for their Permanent Fund payments in Anchorage, Alaska, last year.
Source: Rashah McChesney, "Alaskans Weigh in on This Year's Smaller Dividend Check," ktoo.org, Sep. 23, 2016
|A universal basic income (UBI) is an unconditional cash payment given at regular intervals by the government to all residents, regardless of their earnings or employment status. Pilot UBI programs have taken place or are ongoing in the United States, Brazil, Canada, Finland, and other parts of the world. In 2017, Hawaii passed legislation creating a working group to study UBI. In that same year, 77% of Swiss voters rejected a proposal to introduce a UBI.
The Alaska Permanent Fund (AFP), created in 1976, is the only genuine UBI in existence today. Funded by oil revenues, AFP provides dividends to permanent residents of the state ($1,022 in 2016, $2,072 in 2015, $1,884 in 2014).
Proponents of UBI say that it reduces poverty and income inequality, encourages employment and skills training, and values normally unpaid roles such as homemakers and caregivers. They also say it improves the health of recipients and empowers women. Opponents of UBI say that it does not reduce poverty, that it deprives the poor of needed targeted support, provides a disincentive to work, and weakens the economy. They also say it is unaffordable and less effective than targeted aid and welfare.
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