We kind of touched on this weeks ago when looking at the cons of a UBI, but since that seems to be the main criticism from people who are against UBIs we thought we’d take another look.
To be fair a UBI would be pretty expensive so that’s a pretty good criticism, except for the fact that it’s wrong.
There’s quite a few straightforward ways to finance a UBI, here’s a couple:
The most straightforward way to do it would be changing some of the taxation and spending systems the government uses. A number of people have written specific plans of how to do this (LINK). Unfortunately these are mostly by Americans, but they give us some idea of what we could do. Mostly it involves raising taxes, either corporate or income taxes, and closing a number of tax loopholes, combined with reducing the current welfare spending which would be replaced by a UBI.
Another, more radical, approach is for governments to simply print more money and give this to people. This approach is often opposed because people think it will lead to high inflation. Basically they fear that printing more money will lead to prices going up which would make the money useless, but new research suggests that the inflationary effect would be very small if they exist at all.
Finally, a suggestion that could be part of the first solution but deserves its own mention. As we mentioned in a previous post, tech companies are making massive profits off your data. Although the profit they make off any individual’s data is pretty small (definitely not enough to make a UBI) taxing these profits throughout the industry would be a major source of revenue which could be distributed among the people who are creating these profits, ie you.
What you think of these ways of financing a UBI? Let us know in the comments below!