Thoughts on the Basic Income Guarantee

Although I’m morally opposed to a basic income guarantee because it provides a negative incentive for citizens to live an economically productive life, I do think a basic income guarantee will become politically palatable in many jurisdictions as unskilled labour becomes less valuable. I believe the economic gap between the most skilled and motivated people and the rest will become wider with the further development of technology. At least in the most developed economies, we are getting closer to a time when its politically cheaper for society to tax the most economically productive and wealthy, and redistribute the tax to the rest, in the form of a straight payment. A society where anyone can simply choose to be a full time consumer can exist because we are creating the necessities of life in an increasingly productive way. Many of the extra fun things in life such as art, media, sports, are nearly free. Unskilled labour is becoming more of a political liability than a productive asset. Although the moral implications of the basic income guarantee are ruinous, it looks more likely to become reality.

EconTalk has a good discussion of some of the main issues.


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