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Basic Income Guarantee

We need to have more up to date study like the Namibian Basic Income Grant Coalition for the Basic Income Guarantee in the developed world.
In Canada it work like this:
1. Each citizen receives $10,000/year once they are 18
2. A carbon tax is implemented and taxes for $80,000+ are increased to pay for the system
3. Minimum wage, Welfare, and any other social payments are eliminated.
4. The cost savings of eliminating bureaucracy are used to fund the system.

This would end poverty, end the welfare trap and support students and people who are caring for loved ones full time. It is time for a Basic Income Guarantee

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  • Oct 20 2011: Great questions! This seems to be the main obstacle in the implementation of a basic income is the notion that it will make people lazy. I encourage everyone to check out the results of one basic income pilot project here: http://www.bignam.org/BIG_pilot.html

    Now, the first thing to address is will people work? Well, there may be a portion of people that don't work under this system. They may be housewives/househusbands, elderly, students and of course we will have the people who are very satisfied with $10,000/yr. The fact is that we already have all these people in society and, in a large part, we have to pay for them through social programs like welfare. The cost to us for each person actually exceeds $10,000/yr because we also have to pay for the bureaucratic institutions that administer these programs. I do not think that a basic income will change human nature. What it will do is provide opportunities for people to leave their dead-end soul-destroying jobs that they are keeping just to make ends meet. These people could then get re-educated or start their own business in a field where they will be more productive.

    This leads me to answer the next question about how to eliminate the welfare trap. Right now, being on welfare is stigmatized and frowned upon, under a basic income, everyone receives the payment so it removes the stigma of taking "handouts" from the government. Also, right now a person who collects welfare will have their payments cutback once they find a job. After taxes have been assessed, a person earning minimum wage will have less money per year than a person receiving welfare, thus the incentive is to not work. Under a basic income, each dollar made through work will improve your situation, so there actually is a greater incentive to work under this system.

    I also mentioned that this system would replace minimum wage. Since everyone already receives a basic income, there is no point to having a minimum wage. This will great new jobs.
    • Oct 22 2011: "in a large part, we have to pay for them through social programs like welfare. "

      If these social programs were removed, we would not have to pay for them.

      "A person earning minimum wage will have less money per year than a person receiving welfare, thus the incentive is to not work."

      Elimination of welfare would force people to work to feed themselves. There is your incentive and society does not need to pay everyone a income. Plus you eliminate ALL welfare administration bureaucracy thus taxes can be lowered allowing people to retain more of their earnings.

      You are trying to switch one crutch with another. Forget about it and remove all crutches.
      • Oct 24 2011: How does having no social assistance address poverty? Can you actually support a government that looks the other way as people starve or die of exposure?

        We also have to realize that this basic income will largely be fully spent every year (not likely that someone would be able to save any of the $10K if that's what they were getting). This means that many businesses would benefit from this basic income spending.
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    Oct 23 2011: Well, I like the idea, but I'm also extremely liberal. Most people in my country (the US) would be belligerently against this.

    But to be realistic, although I love the idea of sitting on my ass and being entitled to my basic needs, that's probably what most people would be stuck doing. Eliminating minimum wage and relieving our employers (who would likely be much more wealthy in this situation) of any guilt associated with not supplying us a living would dramatically drop the average wage for everybody. There would be no middle class. We'd be working for ridiculously low wages, if we could even bring ourselves to work. I have a hard enough time selling my life for $8 an hour. Why would I even go to work if I was only to be paid $2 an hour?

    Sure it would end poverty, but the 99% (:P) would probably forever be doomed to live as peasants under their incredibly powerful corporate overlords. China would have to race to make their money even more worthless. :P

    Doesn't welfare already solve poverty?
    • Oct 24 2011: I hear this argument from Americans all the time. Is it possible that most Americans wouldn't bother looking for work if they received only $10K/yr from the government?

      I tend to think that the majority of Americans would be more ambitious than that, but I could be wrong.

      Anyway, I can only speak for Canadians and the majority of Canadians would have a hard time making ends meet with only $10K/yr. Plus, I know a bunch of Canadians who work very hard volunteering in their extra time for no pay at all. So the premise that people won't work if given a basic income I think is a flawed ideology. This is also why I would like to see an up to date study done in North America to scientifically prove or disprove this notion of "Original Laziness".
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        Oct 25 2011: My theory was more that the average wage would drop incredibly for your blue collar jobs... maybe even for the white collar ones, and that combined with an entitled living from the government would leave a lot of people feeling a bit unmotivated.

        But I could very well be wrong... for the wheels of capitalism to turn, goods and services need to be affordable. Maybe there would be more services targeted towards the poor and rich respectively, but I still see further reduction of the middle class.

        Not working and sapping off welfare is very much frowned upon in this country, but that doesn't stop people... but for the most part receiving welfare isn't something to brag about. The current generations would probably still work even for dramatically decreased wages, especially those obliged to support families, but for future generations just graduating high school, who knows.
  • Oct 20 2011: Just to finish up my last thought... without a minimum wage, new jobs can be created like community volunteers and affordable child care. People can get very creative in starting up new businesses and pay people in different ways because the pressure to have a pay check will not be as great. I really see this system as a method to remove some of the complexity in our economy and our governments that prevents people from living up to their potential.
  • Oct 20 2011: Can you please explain how this system will encourage people to actually work or in other words prevent young people from looking for job? How this system wouuld end the welfare trap rather than create another one?

    I do like the idea of moving our society on the next level where money is not necessary as important but perhaps I like to see people that do not have a job perhaps enganing in other way e.g. as a volunteer in local communities or educators?
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    Oct 20 2011: If I had these 10,000 $ a year, I'd become a hermit. And I don't see how society could possibly benefit from paying people not to get involved.
    My guess is that they expect greed to kick in and get people to suffer for an extra 10,000 bucks.

    But otherwise, how the heck can such a system not collapse?
    I'm serious, I'd love to know how it could work.