Entries by Soomi Lee

What if States implement guaranteed income programs? Jolley Examines the Impacts of UBI Pilot Programs on State Economies

Soomi Lee (Blog Editor) Basic income pilot programs have garnered attention, with initiatives like the SEED program in Stockton leading the way. These programs, often studying the effects on individuals’ financial and mental wellbeing, have provided us with the potential benefits of guaranteed income. However, their impact on local economies has been somewhat constrained due […]

The false promise of conditional social policies (Mandatory Participation on Trial, Part 11)

Source: Christopher Weyant, New Yorker Cartoons As my book, Universal Basic Income: Essential Knowledge, discusses, the traditional approach to poverty and inequality relies on conditional programs designed to make most forms of aid to the disadvantaged consistent with mandatory participation. Programs with genuine conditions cannot eliminate poverty, homelessness, or economic destitution because they have to have some punishment for […]

Marginal Tax Rates and Cash Assistance

Michael Lewis I recently attended the 21st Annual Basic Income Conference, which was held in Chicago, Illinois. While there, I moderated a panel on universal vs. targeted cash benefits. One of the presentations on that panel was focused on the crucial topic of marginal tax rates (MTRs). As I watched that presentation, it occurred to […]

UBI: Good for workers (Mandatory Participation on Trial, Part 8)

Underlying the work ethic, reciprocity, and exploitation objections are two questionable presumptions: that UBI is somehow bad for workers and that there is a recognizable dichotomy between “workers” and “UBI recipients.” My book, Universal Basic Income Essential Knowledge, shows that a modest UBI system is a direct net benefit to nearly 50% of households, and a […]

Exploitation and UBI (Mandatory Participation on Trial, Part 7)

The exploitation objection to UBI, which goes hand-in-hand with the reciprocity objection, is essentially the following. Most of the goods people might buy with UBI require labor. Therefore, people who receive UBI benefit from the labor of others with no obligation to contribute their labor to production. Opponents say that this feature of UBI allows […]

Reciprocity and UBI (Mandatory Participation on Trial, Part 6)

The above discussion answers one of the most common arguments against UBI, the allegation that it provides something for nothing in violation of a principle of reciprocity under which everybody who gets something gives something back. The phrase “UBI is something for nothing” has it exactly backwards: property-based economies without UBI are something for nothing. […]

UBI and incentives (Mandatory Participation on Trial, Part 4)

Editor’s note: This post is Part 4 of the series on Mandatory Participation by Karl Widerquist. Earlier parts have been also posted in this blog. — People who are introduced to UBI often ask, “What about incentives?” UBI helps fix one of the biggest incentive problems in the market today: the lack of incentive for […]