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  • Writer's picturesuryasrikumar2

Universal Basic Income or Universal Basic Inconvience?

Updated: Feb 7, 2021

A Universal Basic Income. One of the most prominent socialist ideas in the modern areas. Many socialists have a problem with the current American Welfare System, which is a viewpoint corroborated by many different social groups. The reasoning is that the current Welfare System is flawed and causes many different “Welfare Traps” and does not go to all those that need it. The current Welfare System has a problem in that it forces those who rely on it to never get high paying jobs. In order to qualify for different types of Welfare, you need to be under a certain income threshold. The purpose of Welfare is to help you accrue more income and to raise your economic status but due to forcing reliance on Welfare, the second you get a higher paying job you are locked out of the Welfare and thus you lose the extra perks from Welfare and fall back into the lower-income trap. Putting you onto a cliff where if you get a good job you lose Welfare and thereby get locked into poverty. This is titled the idea of a “Poverty Trap or Poverty Cliff”. A Universal Basic Income will solve this because a set income of 1000 dollars and thus they don’t need to rely on Welfare and can get both the 1000 dollars and can safely keep the job without getting cut off. This will pull a large amount of Americans out of poverty. The only counter-argument to this is the fact that it takes away specialized care. For example, right now, there are food stamps and other types of Welfare. Giving them 1000 dollars takes away these specialized marks. This is really bad because intrinsically if everyone has an extra 1000 dollars, there will be a lot of inflation going on. This means that it will both raise the amount of money for goods everywhere while also taking away care from all those who currently rely on it. Another issue is that sometimes 1000 dollars is not enough to cover every expense or multiple different ones, like both Medicaid and Food Stamps. This means that this small margin of people will be worse off under this scenario. In total, however, there is a net benefit as the majority of Americans do not have Welfare costs that exceed over 1000 dollars rather they rely on one type of Welfare. Thus a monthly 1000 dollars or annual 12,000 will solve as they will have a net benefit of cash. The idea of inflation has no historical precedent and thus is usually considered speculation. Due to these reasons, I would conclude an annual 1000 UBI being a good idea.

Tanner, Michael D., et al. “Universal Basic Income Might Fix Our Broken Welfare System -- Give It the Serious, Scholarly Debate It Deserves.” Cato Institute, 21 Jan. 2021, www.cato.org/publications/commentary/universal-basic-income-might-fix-our-broken-welfare-system-give-it-serious.




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