Isn’t it Impossible and Useless?: The Cons of a UBI

If there are so many benefits to a UBI then there must be a reason why they haven’t been implemented, right? There are a number of political reasons for this, but leaving that aside I wanted to look at three actual issues with UBIs.

Obviously a UBI would be extremely expensive. There are a number of ways this could be financed (which will be looked at in a future post). Some costs would be covered by replacing other forms of welfare but one of the most straightforward ways to finance the rest would be through higher taxes.

Between the higher taxes and the fact that you can get money for nothing, some people think that people would end up working less. A Canadian trial in the 70s showed some people did work less, but this was only mothers who could spend time with their families and teenagers who spent more time on their schoolwork. Not a bad thing!

However the most serious criticism of the policy (as outlined by UNSW’s own Dr. Gigi Foster) is that it wouldn’t be effective. The fear is that it would end up distributing a limited welfare budget more thinly than happens under the current means-testing method.

No policy is perfect and looking at the criticisms for it can only lead to better and more effective ideas, so if you think I have missed anything say so in the comments below!

JD

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5 thoughts on “Isn’t it Impossible and Useless?: The Cons of a UBI

  1. Robotics and AI are a given. It’s only a question of time before employment as we know it will no longer exist. I believe creative jobs will continue to need humans, but most of the world’s population do not earn a living doing ‘creative’ work. That means, they will end up with no work at all, and in an odd twist of fate, that is an outcome most manufacturers should not want because then who will buy they goods they produce?
    So something has to change. Whether it’s a UBI or something else I don’t know. I just hope that the princes of industry think about the problem before it happens, otherwise all their automation will be rather pointless. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true but a lot of people seem to forget that if people can’t afford to buy things and keep up demand it makes no difference how efficient technologies are and how much manufacturers can produce. At best it would be pointless, at worst the scale of all that waste might even make things worse.
      Clearly I support a UBI but there definitely are other alternatives which could work towards this aim and I’m actually planning to do a post on this in a few weeks’ time, I hope you’ll stick around to read that!
      Thank you for your comment! 🙂

      Like

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