Would Universal Basic Income be an effective policy?

Most Validated
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Basic income is not just for reducing unemployment. The participants in the Finnish trial said they “felt happier and less stressed”.

UBI is not just about improving economic conditions; it's also about improving social conditions. By having a safety net, participants in the Finnish experiment experienced improvements in their mental health.

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A two-year basic income experiment in Finland did not help recipients find jobs.

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There is negligible evidence that recipients of unconditional transfer schemes spend the money on alcohol and cigarettes.

World Bank identified only 11 studies (from schemes in Africa, Asia and the Middle East) wherein transfer recipients had spent some or all money on temptation goods, and the median proportion of households was only 1.2%. UBI would not cause a significant rise in temptation goods.

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In areas of high poverty, unconditional cash could cause people to spend more money on goods like alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.

Unchallenged Claim
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Automation will lead to mass unemployment. Universal Basic Income is our best hope of avoiding catastrophe.

Robots are not just becoming more prevalent. The cost of robot implementation in factories, for example, is also decreasing. Therefore, the value of human labour is decreasing. UBI is not about utopia. It's about sustaining human income.

Most Validated
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Universal Basic Income won't solve the problems that accompany mass unemployment.

Worklessness leads to a range of social problems like crime and drug addiction, as happened in the UK's North East. UBI is not a living wage—it doesn't replace income—therefore it won't prevent these problems.

Less Validated
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In Namibia, crime rates dropped in a small pilot program of Universal Basic Income.

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Universal Basic Income would normalize precarious work.

There may be a reason Silicon Valley tech celebrities tend to support UBI: UBI could universalize precarious work. UBI could build and normalize labor market instability on top of a poverty safety net.

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Unchallenged Claim
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There are two types of UBI: high-cost and low-cost. High-cost UBI would be too expensive and low-cost would be ineffective.

For example, high-cost UBI in France would mean spending 35% of GDP just to meet the poverty line at €1,000/month. And a study shows low-cost UBI (£292/month) in the UK could actually worsen conditions, increasing child poverty by 10%.

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Universal Basic Income would simplify welfare.

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In doing so, Universal Basic Income could harm poor people more than it would help them.

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Alaskans receive a dividend from the Alaska Permanent Fund. The payouts have not raised unemployment—they've grown demand for labor.

Less Validated
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The Alaskan basic income has not affected employment because payouts are yearly, not monthly.

Most Validated
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A Universal Basic Income policy would encourage a culture of dependency.

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There's mounting evidence that UBI would spur entrepreneurship.

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Most Validated
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All a Universal Basic Income would do is cause inflation and raise the cost of living. The policy idea is pointless.

Less Validated
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Universal Basic Income wouldn't cause significant inflation because it would be making use of money already in existence within the economy.

Unchallenged Claim
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UBI experiments have produced incredibly varied results.

Unchallenged Claim
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Universal Basic Income would help people leave poverty.

Unchallenged Claim
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Universal Basic Income could help the US's falling birth rate, in turn tackling the country's aging economy problem.

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Most Validated
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Universal Basic Income would help society mitigate the effects of a recession.

Less Validated
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During financial crises, basic incomes have been cut.

Unchallenged Claim
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Universal Basic Income would make benefit fraud a thing of the past.

Unchallenged Claim
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Countries have had periods in which their welfare spending was higher than what would be required for a Universal Basic Income.

Unchallenged Claim
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Substituting Universal Basic Income for welfare programs would be unfair on those who need support more.

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