Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Time to address universal basic income

Readers may, or may not, have noticed that despite it having an increasing amount of publicity in the last year or two, I've never mentioned the idea of a universal basic income.

That's because I always felt intuitively that it just surely can't be a good idea, at this stage of technological development, anyway.

I agree that this Club Troppo post does deal with it well.   It's not a good idea, and my intuition was right.


not trampis said...

I think it is daft but even free market types like Milton Friedman supported the concept

John said...

It is not just the economics of it. Psychologically and sociologically I think it has serious problems. Having large numbers of people in a culture basically doing nothing is going to be very disruptive. Even if they are doing "community work" won't change that. Or as some idealists dream people becoming more creative with all that spare time. Utter nonsense.

Steve said...

Yes to both of you. I didn't realise until it was discussed on Insiders last week that Friedman and (some) libertarians thought it could work economically - hence why it has had a longer run as an idea than I expected; but on the Insiders panel someone called it "sit down money" for everyone - and in the Australian context, that's an excellent shorthand way of criticising its likely socially debilitating effect.

Steve said...

I can imagine some proponents saying "of course people will still work, otherwise they'll never be able to do things like own their own residence". But can you imagine anyone from a small family whose parents own a house that has soared in value in Sydney or Melbourne? There would surely be the temptation to wait to cash in on the inheritance, and then they'll be able to buy their own place.