Why Guaranteed Minimum Income Is Entering The American Political Discussion


If you have paid attention to the United State’s unemployment rate you know that there are more working age adults than there are jobs. Those born into our society are forced to beg for handouts or accept whatever job is available upon graduation from high school or college. Many argue that this is a life without dignity. Some argue that the “American Dream” has turned into a gruesome nightmare. This is precisely why so many are pushing for the implementation of a universal basic income (UBI) for all working age Americans.

Why UBI Is Needed And How It Would Work

Commonly referred to as a “guaranteed minimum income”, UBI has the potential to alleviate widespread suffering while simultaneously boosting our economy. Imagine having a monthly stipend or allowance to cover the cost of food, utilities and rent in a studio apartment. Sure, it’s not a lavish lifestyle but it would be enough to live a dignified life. UBI would provide funding for each of these necessities and it would not mean an end to capitalism. Our economic system would continue onward, unchanged, except for the fact that each adult is provided with just enough money to survive in a cubby hole sized apartment. Those who desire luxury items, vacations and other niceties will still be allowed to reach for the stars, whether it is as a CEO of a business, company founder, manager, scientist, doctor, lawyer and so on. Any income earned from a job will be tacked onto one’s monthly UBI stipend that covers the cost of rent, food and utilities.

An Economic Stimulus

Those who are in favor of UBI typically argue that such a stipend would jolt the economy. Imagine if America’s poor and lower middle class suddenly had an influx of cash to spend on housing, food, utilities and other necessities. Nearly all of that money would be put directly back into the economy in the form of rent payments, supermarket purchases, utility bill payments and so on. These individuals would not be living like modern day kings and queens. Rather, they would be scraping by while pumping much needed funds into our struggling economy. This is precisely the boost that America’s economy so desperately needs as we slowly emerge from the recession.

UBI Is The “Right” Thing To Do

While UBI would likely jump start the economy, there is another strong argument in favor of such a government program. Many argue that instituting UBI is the moral thing to do. After all, nobody willingly chooses to be born on this planet. Nobody gave their consent to be a wage slave to the capitalists. No human being has ever given his consent to 45-plus years of 40-hour work weeks. It can be safely said that in the history of humanity, no single person has ever stated on his deathbed that he wishes he would have worked more. On the contrary, the average person works too many hours. Add in the fact that there are over 100 million working-age Americans currently out of work and it is easy to see why so many are pushing for UBI to passed into law.

How Long Will We Allow Technology To Displace Human Workers?

If the moral and economic arguments outlined above have not convinced you that UBI is long overdue, consider the argument adopted by progressive capitalists. These individuals subscribe to the capitalist ethos yet still favor UBI simply due to the fact that our technology is replacing human workers with automated machines. We are quickly reaching the point where the automation of workplace tasks makes the contributions of human beings unnecessary. How can an individual be blamed for his unemployment or underemployment when technological advances took away his job? As technology continues to improve, more and more human beings will be left jobless, hungry and in financial ruin. At some point, technological advances will force UBI into law so every American can live a respectable life with some comfort and dignity.