There are serious advantages to basic income that make such a system inevitable in America.
In fact, these advantages are why Democratic presidential candidates like Andrew Yang (D-New York); and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-California), are proposing basic income schemes. Hence, those who dismiss basic income as a crackpot notion or hope it goes away will be disappointed.
Basic income is here to stay because of its inherent advantages. Moreover, I think some form of national basic income is inevitable in the United States and most countries.
The Advantages to Basic Income include:
- A basic income will reach those who need it quickly. All government needs to do is pay cash to people, something Uncle Sam is very good at it.
- We can implement a basic income quickly all we need to do is start sending money.
- The basic income requires no additional infrastructure because it can be paid through existing programs like Social Security or tax refunds.
- A basic income requires no additional bureaucracy. Instead it can be paid through the banking system or digital wallets like PayPal. Those who lack a bank account or a smartphone can be paid with a preloaded Visa or MasterCard debit card.
- Accounting and bureaucratic oversight costs will be minimal because the only activity involved is distributing money.
- A basic income can share the benefits of capitalism and technology with those not currently receiving them.
- The benefits of the basic income are felt quickly. In contrast, traditional solutions like tax cuts, public works, additional government jobs, and reeducation of unemployed workers can take years or decades to have an effect.
- The money will reach those who need it quickly.
- A basic income increases freedom by reducing the need for bureaucracy and increasing the options available to average people. For instance, basic income recipients can decide where to spend the money and what to buy.
Basic Income as Reparations
- A basic income can serve as reparations for slavery; and other crimes against African Americans, without penalizing white people. In fact, most whites; and many white nationalists, like basic income because they will receive it too.
- The basic income can reach those traditional government programs fail to reach. This includes rural whites, the suburban poor, the rural poor, Native Americans, many African Americans, the lower middle-class, and the working poor.
- The basic income can serve as a safety net for the working poor and those in the Gig Economy.
- The basic income can augment existing programs like Social Security without adding bureaucracy.
- A basic income can take the place of pensions, which most workers no longer have access to.
- A basic income can redistribute the benefits of capitalism to everybody without restricting the operations of business.
Basic Income can Stop the Luddites
- A basic income can limit the appeal of anti-technology radicals and bigots by redistributing Wall Street and Big Tech’s money to everybody.
- The basic income can limit the appeal of socialists, Marxists, fascists, Communists, Luddites, anti-Semites, racists, nationalists, cultural conservatives, religious fanatics, and other anti-capitalist radicals by making capitalism pay for everybody.
- New technologies like cryptocurrency could make it possible to distribute the basic income to everybody at little or no cost.
Basic Income vs. Income Inequality
- A basic income can alleviate the effects of income inequality and head off social unrest.
- A basic income can alleviate the effects of technological unemployment quickly and more effectively than reeducation can.
- For instance, basic income will help a 50-year-old truck driver or secretary who loses her job. On the other hand, retraining a 52-year-old truck driver or secretary to write computer code is a fantasy, as Andrew Yang correctly points out to Joe Rogan.
Basic income is here to stay because of its advantages. Everybody needs to understand the basic income because it is the next big issue in our politics.