Should we have a Universal Basic Income?

In 2017 the idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) began to go mainstream in the U.S. That is "Basic income is a periodic cash payment unconditionally delivered to all on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement."

Here is a great intro to the idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl39KHS07Xc 

While other countries (like Finland) have debated and discussed the concept for years the idea never caught on in the U.S. The advent (more accurately the mass adaption) of Artifical Intelligence had many people afraid that even skilled labor would be replaced by computer algorithms. Technologists, politicians, and business leaders have made strong stances on the issue. Here is what a few of them had to say about UBI.

-Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator: "I think about the amount of human potential that is being wasted by people that are not doing what they want to do. I think about how great it would be to undo that. And that's really powerful to me," 

-Fmr. President Barack Obama: "If [ UBI is] properly harnessed, it can generate enormous prosperity and opportunity. But it also has some downsides that we’re gonna have to figure out in terms of not eliminating jobs. It could increase inequality. It could suppress wages."

-Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder, and CEO of Facebook: "We should explore ideas like universal basic income to give everyone a cushion to try new things." 

Very recently Gallup polled Americans and found that "48 percent of those surveyed said they would support a universal basic income (UBI) compared to 52 percent who said they would oppose it."

There are many factors to consider when discussing UBI. Such as:

Is it feasible? Is it fair? Would it lead to a growth in GDP or a decrease? Would people stop working? What happens as technology advances and even more jobs become obsolete? How would such a radical economic change be implemented?

What does MSC think of UBI?

 

http://politics.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.001.0001/acrefore-9780190228637-e-116

https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2018/jan/12/money-for-nothing-is-finlands-universal-basic-income-trial-too-good-to-be-true 

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/7/17/15364546/universal-basic-income-review-stern-murray-automation

https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/05/mark-zuckerbergs-speech-as-written-for-harvards-class-of-2017/

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/375587-gallup-poll-americans-split-on-giving-a-universal-basic-income-to-workers

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