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Tag Archives: Universal Basic Income

How to Fund a Universal Basic Income Without Increasing Taxes or Inflation

The policy of guaranteeing every citizen a universal basic income is gaining support around the world, as automation increasingly makes jobs obsolete. But can it be funded without raising taxes or triggering hyperinflation? In a panel I was on at the NexusEarth cryptocurrency conference in Aspen September 21-23rd, most participants said no. This is my rebuttal. In May 2017, a team of researchers at the University of...

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TINA’s Legacy: Free Money, Bread and Circuses and Collapse

Every conventional “solution” to the systemic ills of our economy and society boils down to some version of free money: Universal Basic Income (UBI) schemes– free money for everyone, funded by borrowing from future taxpayers (robots, people, Martians, any fantasy will do); debt jubilees funded by central banks creating trillions out of thin air, a.k.a. free money, and so on. Free money is compelling because, well, it’s...

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Our Intellectual Bankruptcy: The “Religion” of Economics, UBI and Medicare For All

Here we stand on the precipice, and all we have in our kit is a collection of delusional magical thinking that we label “solutions.” We are not just morally and financially bankrupt, we’re intellectually bankrupt as well. Here are three examples of magical thinking that pass for intellectually sound ideas: 1. Mainstream neo-classical/ Keynesian economics. As economist Manfred Max-Neef notes in this interview,...

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The Future of Work, Technology, and a Basic Income Conference, April 7th-8th

Announcements, Academic Philosophy Bowling Green State University’s philosophy department is hosting a conference entitled, “The Future of Work, Technology, and a Basic Income” on April 7th and 8th. You can find a flyer with more information here. We have three keynotes: Evelyn Forget, Philippe Van Parijs, and BHL’s very own Matt Zwolinski. ...

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The UBI in Non-Ideal Theory and Ideal Theory

Phil Magness has complained, at length, on Facebook that proponents of a universal basic income (UBI) like myself have failed to grasp with various “public choice” problems that would surely plague the functioning of the UBI. Presumably people would distort the use of the UBI in ways that are counterproductive. I’ve seen other libertarians raise worries that the UBI involves “handouts” and something for nothing. I think these objections are mistaken and I think I can demonstrate as...

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A Moral Case for a Basic Income

Over at Café Hayek, Don Boudreaux has a nice post on a universal basic income. He says that he does “not believe that as a practical matter a UBI would make society freer or more prosperous.” However, he also writes, “I oppose any universal basic income . . . principally because I oppose the confiscation of private property regardless of the purpose, the motive, or the identity of the confiscator(s).” I think the sort of confiscation of private property involved in funding a UBI is morally...

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The Minimum Wage is a Bad Tool for Fighting Poverty

Today, California governor Jerry Brown will sign a law raising the state’s the minimum wage (currently $10/hr – tied with Massachusetts for the highest of any state) to $15/hr by 2022. This is a big deal. Although a number of cities such as Los Angeles and Seattle have passed $15 minimum wage laws in the past few years, California’s law will affect both a much larger number of people, and a much more diverse population of workers, than any other measure to date. California’s minimum wage law...

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The Flaws in Basic Income for Everyone

Finland made the news recently by proposing a pilot program of guaranteed income for all, also known as Universal Basic Income: Desperate Finland Set To Unleash Helicopter Money Drop To All Citizens. The goal is two-fold: by providing every household with a minimum income, regardless of what other income the individuals might earn, the program does two things: it provides everyone enough money to get by and it removes the disincentive to work inherent in the conventional welfare model: in...

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