Is Universal Basic Income (UBI) Possible?

Dan Hurt

October 24, 2022

Is Universal Basic Income (UBI) Possible?

A Universal Basic Income would be an excellent idea for several reasons. First, it could replace all the current government programs that make life difficult for low-income people. Such programs include the minimum wage, subsidized student loans, income assistance, SNAP, Social Security, and Medicare. UBI also has the advantage of being less of a drag on the economy than existing programs. This means it could eliminate a great deal of friction, creating poverty. Additionally, it would benefit the lower-income and middle-class populations the most.

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One possible drawback of a universal basic income is that it could drive some people out of paid employment, especially low-paid ones. But the benefits could be far more widespread. It could also pressure employers to increase productivity and pay higher wages. This would not only benefit low-income people but also help the economy. Universal basic income could also reduce the rate at which Universal Credit is reduced. As it stands, this payment is declined by 63p per pound of gain above a set level, but in some versions of UBI, that rate would be reduced to 20p.

Some economists warn that universal basic income is a poverty trap. This is because it would be tough to determine how much a beneficiary would earn. Some studies have suggested that it would require the person to make between EUR800 and EUR2,500 per month. This would be roughly 60 to 170 percent of the average EU household income. In addition, a study of a UBI in Alaska found that fund recipients were 15 percent more likely to start their businesses than those who didn’t receive the basic income.

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The concept of a universal basic income (UBI) is gaining momentum, but the debate is far from settled. While it has broad support from the left, it is less clear whether it is a viable policy. The discussion is about its vision and values rather than concrete policy. For example, one of the most controversial questions is whether UBI recipients should be expected to actively look for work and participate in social programs.

A recent study showed that people who received basic income reported higher life satisfaction and health levels. In addition, they reported lower levels of stress, depression, sadness, and loneliness. They also showed greater confidence in their cognitive abilities. The primary income recipients were assessed on their memory, learning, and problem-solving skills, scoring significantly higher than the control group. In addition, they reported feeling more secure about their finances.


There are several costs associated with universal basic income (UBI). For example, those at the bottom of the income distribution would see their revenue plummet while those at the top would benefit. For an average income earner of less than $10,000, a UBI would cost $12,316 a year. This was before the social benefits and the taxes imposed on income.

Inflation is also a concern. Since more people are likely to spend their income on goods and services, costs could rise. This would lead to unsustainable economic growth. Furthermore, the increased price of goods and services would not increase a person’s standard of living. As a result, rising prices would impact the most vulnerable people.

Impacts on poverty

Whether universal basic income (UBI) is an appropriate policy measure for developing countries will depend on policymakers’ objectives and social preferences, as well as other factors, including fiscal constraints and implementation issues. In addition, UBI’s potential benefits and costs must be weighed against the downside risks. For example, a UBI program may not be feasible in countries with low administrative capacity, and non-takeup could be a significant issue.

A universal basic income’s most likely impact would be poverty reduction. It is most likely to reduce poverty in countries where basic income take-up is high. It would also increase solidarity and reduce the number of poor people. However, the costs involved could be high. If UBI is implemented, it could significantly reduce the amount of money spent on aid to the poor, thereby reducing overall poverty levels.

Alternatives to UBI

In theory, a universal basic income would reduce poverty by raising the incomes of low-income households to a living standard. But it would also cost a lot more than targeted programs. Moreover, it would have no work incentives since the benefit amount would decrease as earned income increased.

Critics have raised several questions about UBI, including whether it improves conditions for the poor. The idea has been around since the 1700s when Thomas Paine proposed it in his book Agrarian Justice. Critics of the program argued that it is a romantic and symbolic solution to poverty and inequality. But new UBI policy proposals have emerged from former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14). These progressive proposals aim to improve social welfare and have a clear funding path.

One possible alternative to universal basic income is a conditional basic income. A basic income is intended for the poorest 20% of society, not for the wealthy. But this option is not popular with fiscal conservatives. It isn’t sustainable for the economy as a whole, and it would hurt the poorest and the working classes.