Poverty isn't a disease you catch that can be cured by simply giving people money. It should be obvious that poverty isn't caused by low income. Low income is a symptom of other factors that cause poverty. In most cases in the U.S., poverty is temporary. Some persists for generations. Understanding the root causes of poverty—there are many—is important in order to come up with "solutions". A universal basic income makes sense only for a very, very small group of people who otherwise probably couldn't support themselves because they have a physical or mental handicap. Some poverty cannot be solved because some people who are not handicapped persist in making debilitating life choices.
Find out who is long term unemployed, and look for reasons: uneducated; low IQ; unwillingness to work; disability. All can be addressed. Just giving money is like giving to a beggar. The person usually remains the same.
I wonder if in the future we will have robots do almost all of our work, food and power will be free, and birth control for men will reduce our population dramatically. Will we sink into oblivion or rise to emotional and literal freedom?
Aksdad, Poverty is literally the lack of money. Not a personality trait. At the same time isn't "a persistance in making debilitating life choices" a handicap in of itself? The U.S has the largest and deepest poverty rates of the G20, It has held that distinction for years. Nothing temporary about it. Blaming the affected is just a way to wash one's hands of a situation.
James Tang
Username, seeing poverty as "literally the lack of money" is too shallow. Money is difficult to use effectively. There are people who would just blow it all on drugs, alcohol, or any other instant gratification, then remain in poverty. Many First Nations have this rep. Why doesn't this article mention how well or not well the first Nations have been doing despite receiving government cheques? UBI is not a new idea. It's been tried on a large scale in many communist states and all have failed miserable with billions starving to death. "We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us". The problem with these small scale experiments is that it ends up feeling like winning a lottery. If the entire country gets UBI, I think it'll just raise the price floor of many essentials like inflation. Speaking of winning the lottery, this is another example of money being difficult to use. If you win the lottery, you are highly likely to quickly revert back to your standard of living pre-lottery. You are unlikely to change to a millionaire mindset and start investing and running successful businesses. Or if you start investing, you'll just lose it all because the hat is bigger than your head. You'll make huge mistakes because you didn't take the baby steps and make the little mistakes along the way to become a millionaire. Giving money is not the answer, developing people is. But it's important to note that people with low IQ will become more and more difficult to develop into someone useful as our technology continues to improve.
Michael son of Lester
Governments have no money. Every cent spent comes from taxes of borrowing. Where I live in Ontario, the provincial debt from this and other boondoggles is around a billion dollars a month. To put that into perspective, that's enough to pay for the building, equipping and staffing of a new hospital every month. While it was nice to read how an individual was able to get his guard license, my question is how much did that license cost the people of Ontario in taxes or borrowed funds?
It is not "Basic Income" if you lose it when you work. That's called Social Welfare - a totally different mechanism. No wonder people getting Social Welfare don't want to work - they lose it when they do. That's the big difference.
Darren Harrison
Are you kidding me. Lazy people must love this. This is just Communism, doesn't work at all. Talk about empowering the government. People can't really lack this much intelligence or common sense.
Brian M
@Username Unfortunately a universal wage will not solve all poverty due to some people making bad life choices, spending money on the wrong things, getting into debit , too many children, bad financial management etc - basically a fairly common human condition! But the advantage is that it does give everyone a basic living wage. The Ontario scheme was just wrong in reducing the payment as you started to earn, should be left to a progressive tax system rather than imposing a trap. Done correctly a Universal wage might be no more expensive that the current welfare schemes that European countries have, including the UK which hints at a way forward with its 'Universal credit' system which tries to wrap up a multitude of social payments with one - good idea just poorly implemented. Removing unemployment, housing benefits etc and replace it with a universal wage makes a lot of sense both financial and morally for a society. That just leaves social payments for those who have disabilities and need the extra help.
With AI getting more and more capable of doing jobs that once only people could do,we will see even trained people being displaced by automation,with factories replacing them with machines. Business owners must love it,as a robot doesn't need breaks,holidays,and in fact,doesn't need to be paid. I read somewhere that even some semi-professional jobs will be affected. No need to hire paralegals,for example, if a machine can search for legal precedents in minutes,while a para might take days or weeks to do so. As a result of this,thousands of people will be thrown out of work. A guaranteed basic income might be the only solution. Taxes on corporations running automated factories would support a GBI scheme. If you object to this idea,ask yourself who will buy the products made by automated factories if most people are unemployed? With a GBI, business owners could recoup much of the cost of a GBI tax through sales of their products to those on a GBI.