Universal basic income
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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Default Universal basic income

    I can't seem to quote the article, but basically Switzerland is considering providing a universal basic income of about $2800 (in U.S. dollars) to every adult, rich and poor, just for being a citizen of the country. You could take a leave of absence to care for an injured spouse or elderly parents and still have some income, and so would they. Fast food workers and artists would be able to support their families. The article explains more about what a basic universal income is, why countries are thinking about it, especially now, and also why he thinks the U.S. probably will never do anything like it even though we probably should. Your thoughts? Would you support this in the U.S.?

    Rather than savage cuts, Switzerland considers “Star Trek” economics - Salon.com
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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    And so everyone is debating with the same information, I pulled some statistics:
    The U.S. population for 2012 was 313.9 million people. About 78.5 million are children, and about 48 million are legal and illegal immigrants, which leaves about 187.4 million people who would be eligible for a basic universal income.

    Federal poverty line for 2012 is roughly $11,500 for one person.

    In 2012, $74.6 billion in food assistance was distributed by the federal government. Most, if not all, states kicked in more but I can't find a total.

    In 2012, cash welfare distributions by the federal government totaled $790 billion. Again, most states kicked in more but I can't find a total.

    With 187.4 million eligible people at $11,500 a year, the cost of universal basic income would be $2.15 trillion dollars. Eliminating food assistance and cash welfare at the federal level would save $864.6 billion, or about 40% of that total, and state savings could probably bring it closer to 50%.

    I think it would be wonderful to bring every citizen of the U.S. above poverty level, to free up people to do a job they want to do rather than what they need to do to barely even survive. The socialist in me would be delighted. I think it's a far better way to spend our money than on prisons ($87.2 billion just at the federal level) and war ($626.8 billion).
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    Posting Addict fuchsiasky's Avatar
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    I think that is brilliant. It is probably way cheaper than other social services that are in place now. I wish all countries would do that.
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    Wow. Strongly against this. Imagine the researchers that would otherwise go on to cure cancer does not because there is no reason to go out and work. I do not even know where to go with this. There are so many reasons this would be a terrible idea I don't even know where to start.

    ~Bonita~

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    There are many reasons to go and work besides money. The love of what we do should be the first reason to work. But under the current system, the need to feed ourselves is more important. If we were able to work because we want to we might all be happier people!
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    I can't believe that any of you actually think this would work. Where would the money come from? Sure it would be nice if everyone had lots of money, free healthcare, free food, and free everything. That is just not realistic though. If you take away everything from the rich and give it to the poor all you are left with is everyone poor. You might have people who would still work for the sake of working, but they would not make enough to support the entire rest of the country.

    Fuchsia - You expressed frustration in another debate with someone getting a smartphone when they could not take care of the one they already had. That the way to teach someone to respect what they had was to earn it. Why does that concept not carry through with this for you? If you want people to be responsible with their money they need to earn it.

    ~Bonita~

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    Posting Addict fuchsiasky's Avatar
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    I do feel that people need to earn their money. But there are also times when they can't. Life happens and things go wrong. Right now Rob can't work. The cancer took his ability to work away from him. But because I make more than a welfare income we can't get disability allowance. So it is all on me to support out whole family. If there was a guaranteed income then I wouldn't have to worry about whether I can feed us. I feel that we need to support each other as a community and a society. We currently do this with welfare and the system sucks. I would rather everyone have an income and be able to eat regardless as to what life throws at us. Rob would happily work and contribute to society and our family financially but he can't. And the contributions he can make are not enough or financial. So we would be going hungry so the kids wouldn't, except that family, friends and food banks have come through hugely and very kindly. It is all good to say that people need to earn their keep, but sometimes that just can't happen. I am a socialist and an idealist though, so I am ok with taking care of each other.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    And so everyone is debating with the same information, I pulled some statistics:
    The U.S. population for 2012 was 313.9 million people. About 78.5 million are children, and about 48 million are legal and illegal immigrants, which leaves about 187.4 million people who would be eligible for a basic universal income.

    Federal poverty line for 2012 is roughly $11,500 for one person.

    In 2012, $74.6 billion in food assistance was distributed by the federal government. Most, if not all, states kicked in more but I can't find a total.

    In 2012, cash welfare distributions by the federal government totaled $790 billion. Again, most states kicked in more but I can't find a total.

    With 187.4 million eligible people at $11,500 a year, the cost of universal basic income would be $2.15 trillion dollars. Eliminating food assistance and cash welfare at the federal level would save $864.6 billion, or about 40% of that total, and state savings could probably bring it closer to 50%.

    I think it would be wonderful to bring every citizen of the U.S. above poverty level, to free up people to do a job they want to do rather than what they need to do to barely even survive. The socialist in me would be delighted. I think it's a far better way to spend our money than on prisons ($87.2 billion just at the federal level) and war ($626.8 billion).
    Quote Originally Posted by AlyssaEimers View Post
    I can't believe that any of you actually think this would work. Where would the money come from? Sure it would be nice if everyone had lots of money, free healthcare, free food, and free everything. That is just not realistic though. If you take away everything from the rich and give it to the poor all you are left with is everyone poor. You might have people who would still work for the sake of working, but they would not make enough to support the entire rest of the country.

    Fuchsia - You expressed frustration in another debate with someone getting a smartphone when they could not take care of the one they already had. That the way to teach someone to respect what they had was to earn it. Why does that concept not carry through with this for you? If you want people to be responsible with their money they need to earn it.
    The money would come from eliminating things we currently fund but would no longer fund.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlyssaEimers View Post
    Wow. Strongly against this. Imagine the researchers that would otherwise go on to cure cancer does not because there is no reason to go out and work. I do not even know where to go with this. There are so many reasons this would be a terrible idea I don't even know where to start.
    You are assuming that people who want to research cancer do so for the money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ethanwinfield View Post
    The money would come from eliminating things we currently fund but would no longer fund.
    If we all had the money to support ourselves we wouldn't need to fund these things anymore.

    If Rob had an income supplement right now we could contribute to the economy by purchasing the things we can't now. We could hire someone to help me clean instead of me doing it all (and being so tired from it that doing my job at work is hard). He could buy a scooter and be able to leave the house and spend money. But he can't. We can't. So we don't contribute to the economy besides basics. Instead we have other people taking care of us and the government will have to fund his scooter and the social services we need. We end up taking instead of contributing.
    Me- Fuchsia
    My Wonderful Partner - Rob
    DD - December 17 2008
    DSD 15
    DSS 18
    Feline Furbabies - Sophie and Indigo

    Little Babe 22/12/05


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