Before I begin giving details on basic income let me begin with information that gives this economic social security proposal a better footing. A 2013 study out of the University of Oxford states “45 percent of America’s occupations will be automated within the next 20 years.”42 Something as beneficial as automation, is our direct competitor in today’s society and we don’t stand nearly half the chance against its future implementation. According to a report by the Guardian on universal basic income, productivity has increased over the past several decades but wages have flat lined. From 1973 to 2014, net productivity grew nearly 80%. Over the same time period, the hourly wage of the median worker raised nowhere near its counterpart, it flat lined at 8.7%. During this all, corporate profits soared.43 A small example of the displacement of human labor would be observing the current race for driverless technology in taxi service from companies like Uber and Lyft Eventually eliminating millions of jobs in the car service industry. Another example is the downsizing of tellers, cashiers, and clerks due to automated machines and kiosks.
This is a trend that will continue until income disparity takes an even more negative affect on our economy. BI is a path of consideration of economic alleviation. BI isn’t technically an economic system but it is an economic stimulant. “A basic income is an income unconditionally granted to all on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement.”44 The benefits of BI includes, the eliminating of the unemployment trap, greatly reduces fraud/waste/abuse, guarantees a minimum living standard, increases bargaining power for workers, increases mental health and security, deals better with widespread unemployment, Increases number of people in jobs they enjoy, Prevents generational theft and the list goes on.
As far as affordability with BI it practically eliminates over 100 programs that will no longer be in the picture when BI replaces it. BI would be budgeted with old funds and possibly new funds depending on the income allowance, in short BI is something we can afford. Examples of BI replacements are SNAP, WIC, TANF and many other governmental aids. In addition to the many public aid replacements are the many subsidies and deductions that would be eliminated from the tax code. With research conducted in over a dozen countries and hundreds of articles done, it’s only a matter of time before this idea is pushed onto bigger platforms. So far the studies show decrease in crime, unemployment and hospitalization, improvement in school attendance, and the positive results keep piling in.