Universal Guaranteed Income Programs are gaining traction in governments around the world. In the United States, small pilots were conducted in a few cities during the 1960s and 1970s, but those were never translated into larger programs with any success. In fact, studies showed those programs resulted in a moderate reduction in work effort though money was in fact spent on essential goods rather than frivolous products and resulted in an increase in school attendance.
A universal basic income (UBI) is a regular, guaranteed income paid by the government, universally and unconditionally, to all citizens. It is a cash payment that aims to replace the often-confusing array of assistance states offer to citizens and places spending decisions in the hands of the recipients. Support for these programs comes from politicians, activists, and even some in the business community including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla founder Elon Musk.
A tiny state in India is about to embark on the largest experiment of UBI yet: providing income to each of its 610,577 citizens. It has yet to be announced what that income will be, but the program is expected to be rolled out in 2022.
Should this replace our current welfare programs in the United States?