an you imagine a world without poverty, where everyone has enough money to survive each month, and aren’t stigmatized for not working a full-time job or a job at all?
In Finland, the people there are getting ready to clear their eyes and open it to a reality where their families, neighbors, and then, hopefully, everyone else in the world will have a “Universal Basic Income.” The concept, once finalized sometime in November 2016, will provide eight hundred and seventy-six dollars a month to everyone in Finland. The said amount will be non-taxable nor will it be conditional—meaning, everyone is entitled to it no matter what.
Progressives out there, and those fighting for income equality and minimum wage increase, this is your dream, right here. And, yes, even those on the far right, this is your dream as well—finally, a chance to abolish welfare benefits, unemployment lines, and other so-called social safety nets that are costing tax-payers billions of dollars each year.
By now, I’m anticipating that someone with a practical mindset will say something, like, “..but don’t we still have to work…everyone just can’t sit on their buttocks all day?!” Yes, everyone can not and will not sit on their buttocks all day. What the above concept is proposing is a basic income not a living wage. Fortunately, people still have to work.
Furthermore, people still have to work, but not without options or bargaining power—under the umbrella of the latter proposal. I invite you to imagine, you can have more time to lend a helping hand, go on a vacation, volunteer or travel….because your not constrained to the monolithic obligations of the workplace.
In America we have over seven-point-nine million people that are unemployed. As of November 29, 2012 and according to the congressional budget office report, state and federal unemployment insurance programs have cost roughly five hundred and twenty billions dollars. As of then, I’m sure it has risen. And for young people, like myself, our unemployment rate is costing the government eight-point-nine billions dollars a year—since two-thousand-eight. In addition to that, four-point-five percent of Americans are living below the poverty line (True U.S. poverty Rate). How much longer can we keep this up….before more people become unemployed, downtrodden and forgotten?
Now, then, in order to kill two birds with one stone, wouldn’t it make sense to implement a basic income system akin to Finland’s, which will help us save billions of dollars and remove people out of poverty? Consider this, before your attention-span dissipates any further, if you can live, just, without working, then boss’ power over you is vastly reduced. Are you hooked yet? Another way to look at this is that reservation wages rise—the amount you have to be offered to go to work rises. Still not hooked? Well, the former will surely convince you, Charles Murray in his book, “In Our Hands,” did the math and found that if we paid ten thousand dollars each year to each adult over twenty-one, it works! We spend about the same on providing welfare.
If the idea of “Universal Basic Income” is implemented, someday, do you believe that some form of poverty will still exist?