UBI (Universal Basic Income)
Is UBI a form of Socialism or will Capitalism thrive off of it?
Universal Basic Income was a concept not known to many up until the last two years.
Thanks to a certain unknown candidate in the democratic primary, UBI has been put in the forefront of his campaign. That candidate is not so unknown today and his name is Andrew Yang.
Andrew Yang has been campaigning since late 2017. That seems pretty early to prep for the democratic primaries, but being totally unknown in the world of politics may prompt you to get as much of a head start as you can.
While widely known now, you may be surprised to know the idea of UBI has been around for decades- But I am not writing this to give you a history lesson on UBI or talk about Andrew Yang.
Instead, I am here to give you my perspective on UBI. What it could mean for the economy, society and how it could change our lives, for better or for worse.
Is it Socialism or Capitalism?
Yes and no to both of those.
I can see the eyes rolling already, but hear me out.
UBI is just a concept. What people generally hear is that UBI is a payment from the government of whatever specified amount to every person, (usually just citizens) no questions asked.
The thing is, UBI comes in many forms, shapes and sizes. You want to see how they plan to implement it before calling it one thing or another.
I consider Andrew Yang's UBI Proposal, known as the Freedom Dividend a very centered version of UBI. A version that could very well bring both Liberals and Conservatives to an agreement. This version thrives on Capitalism and Capitalism will thrive on it by design. There's no over-taxing. A 10 percent Value added tax on *Luxury* goods only. A Carbon fee so small you will hardly notice. Another BIG chunk of the cost is settled by making this policy Opt-in and give up most welfare programs in which case, the majority of Americans will make out much better receiving 1000 dollars a month. There are very few people who would benefit more on welfare.
The best part: this money recirculates throughout the economy over and over. No need to print money, very low inflation risk. After year one, most of the original cost is revenue. This could go towards the deficit or over time, eventually be the very tool to eliminate most taxes, which is why the conservatives who have paid attention Yang, really like this idea.
For more info on the cost or a general FAQ go to: https://www.yang2020.com/what-is-freedom-dividend-faq/
Believe it or not, there is also a Conservative version of UBI. I do not know if this is the first guy to run with it, but he is the first I came across, Zoltan Istvan. Cool name.
This idea he ran with is called a Federal Land Dividend. The government would lease out land to companies and those companies would use the resources the land has to offer or for whatever reason a company might want to occupy that space for. This would offer up a tax-free version of Universal Basic Income. It is said that this country owns up to well over 100 trillion dollars in unused land and resources.
That is insane!
The reason this has not been too hyped is because some on the left as well as environmentalists would be concerned and it is not hard to see why.
He has also thought about tailoring it to appeal to both sides by limiting how much land to lease and adding a 5 percent VAT tax.
So is Universal Basic Income pure socialism?
It can be. But, it can also be yet another transformation of Capitalism waiting to happen- Spawning waves of entrepreneurs, competition, and jobs.