Introducing the universal basic income | IN 60 SECONDS
Articles,  Blog

Introducing the universal basic income | IN 60 SECONDS

We have a huge welfare state that’s been built
up over the last 50 years, and we can get rid of it. Take all the money that we currently
spend on transfers from one American to another American, whether they are for people on welfare,
or whether they’re for retirees, whether they’re for medical care, take all that money, convert
into a universal basic income that starts when someone turns 21 and continues until
they die, which gives them every year $10,000 of disposable income, and put their lives
back in their hands. The key to making this work is not getting enough money. We already
spent plenty of money to do this. The key in understanding why it would work and how
it would work is that it’s just not that you as an individual have $10,000, everybody else
does too. And the opportunities this opens up for people to cooperate, to solve their
problems, and the problems of their families and their communities will be unparalleled.


  • Nam Le

    it is an interesting proposal. I'd like to see more data behind it, especially data showing the difference in cost between all of the old systems and the proposed universal system. I'm also interested in seeing predictions/models on the potential influence on inflation.

    How viable is such a proposed system, and what potential risks/cons are foreseeable?

  • kmg501

    The Swiss who is one of the last sane countries on the planet rejected this nonsense. Besides, nothing is going to stop the collapse of the dollar.

  • Jeff Liggett

    10K a year is about federal minimum wage (depending on how many hours you work) so basic income plus minimum wage would kick people up to about 20k a year if they also worked.

  • bohnstube

    And just how would that eliminate the current Bernie Sanders-esque "send me your money so that I can build a socialist utopia for you" nonsense that would enable an "under control again government, (for most likely about 10 minutes)", to again be at the mercy of a huge, unwieldy, incredibly inefficient, overtaxing and over-regulating, behemoth government again? This concept was just OVERWHELMINGLY rejected by a whopping 77% AGAINST, and only 23% IN FAVOR, in Switzerland. If a country of little more than 8 million people (an even smaller population than the U.S. state of Virginia, with a land mass size approximating the combined land mass sizes of the states of New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, and Rhode Island rejects this so soundly, you've got to know that it is going to be a catastrophic failure here as well. The best place that this idea could ever be even tried is in a small, low population country to see if it's even feasible, and even then and in THAT exact situation, the overwhelming majority of the population has thoroughly just rejected it.

  • 42hamneggs

    Great idea to review this proposal. I'm very skeptical but interested to hear the arguments. Hope you will consider the social as well as economic implications.

  • thepersonwhocomentz

    I'm more of a fan of a negative income tax for the lower economic strata, personally. I don't really like the UBI, though I'd rather have it than the current sloppiness we have now in our welfare system. Now that's truly atrocious.

    Where the heck did the negative income tax fans go, anyway? I would think it'd be a more popular proposal.

  • Beef Chavez

    Sounds good, but something like this can only work in concert with an accompanying reform of the education system and heavy deregulation of small business.

  • Dan Troop

    One of my great fears of this system is that not only will it dis incentivize some from working but that it will encourage others to game the system and seek to have additional payments made to selected groups as a simple matter of "social justice."

  • APWPerkins

    "some people are on wellfare, and that's expensive. What's the solution? Everybody gets welfare!! Even if they don't need it!!"
    Really though, as a liberal I'm honestly shocked to see a right wing group like the AEI discussing this sort of a concept, but I really really welcome it. I'm not completely in favour of abolishing welfare as it exists now but the idea of a universal standard of living is fantastic.

  • Grant

    6,000 dollars a year is better, that's 12,000$ for a family. That's enough to just barely survive and encourage people to get a job. Should be for people 16 or older, immigrants should have to wait 16 years before getting it as well.

  • Otaku

    April 1st was some time ago.

    I get the idea about giving seemingly outlandish ideas a fair evaluation. Sometimes something that sounds crazy is sound, even good. This one misses a lot, even for a short video. Namely that prices would inflate to absorb the extra money, whether it was real (and thus confiscated from others) or artificial (the state prints more currency). The programs it would replace don't just spend $10k on someone; whether or not you agree with those programs in the first place, someone who needs the extra money now has to compete in a market place full of everyone else having that extra money, and people who need more for their needs won't have it.

  • Soccerguy1832

    "we spend so much money giving welfare to people who want it, let's give it to people who don't want it"

    this is also much worse than things like food stamps because if you just give everyone 10k in cash many people will spend it on drugs or gamble it all away

  • Craig Bragg

    So everyone who works gets a $10,000 tax cut and those who don't work get $10,000 free money. This is still a redistribution of wealth from those who have it to give to those who don't. It's still theft.

  • Pierre Pero

    Anyone is granted US citizenship for being born in the US. And there is such a thing as birth tourism. Is a person that only spent the first week of their life in the US and will never be back to be given $10K a year ?    Not a killer problem – but a problem that should be addressed.

  • Jarful of Love

    The US government collects 4.2 trillion in income and payroll tax; to give 300 million Americans $10,000 each would cost 3 trillion, leaving 1.2 trillion to provide every other service, including defense which already costs half of that at 600 billion.
    I don't think this has been thought out properly.

  • GrimFate

    I would like this, because it would allow creative people (like myself) to spend their time perfecting their art (which would potentially lead to income and thus give back through taxes eventually), but my main concern is how this would affect the ability of businesses to fill positions that are generally low paying but necessary, e.g. people stocking the shelves at your local supermarket.

  • Joseph Gubbels

    Really interested in the conservative take on this. This is an issue that appeals to the left and the right for very different reasons, but the bipartisan interest in it is very exciting. Hoping AEI does some longer videos on this to really lay out their argument for it, perhaps one of those multi-video sit-down interviews with this guy like they have done with a few others in the past?

  • J Amundsen

    It's a bit difficult to wrap my head around how this would work. I don't think introducing it on a large scale immediately would be a good solution, but trying to do it in a state or a city at first just to see how it changes the culture would at the very least be interesting.

    I think my biggest concern boils down to what money represents, hours worked. When businesses, landlords, and everyone under the sun can safely assume that everyone will have an additional $10,000 a year, then the prices of things will elevate to that point, effectively rendering that money worthless.

  • therealquade

    A Universal basic income needs to be able to pay for minimum subsistance, IE cheap housing, food, clothes, heating, electric. the bare necessities, but not be a "quality" life, just barely scrape by, which means if they absolutely needed to, they could live that way, but absolutely noone will want to, which means that people would still work. this UBI would have to be adjusted for inflation and changing economic climates constantly, in some cases adjusting over the course of the month, which means this UBI needs to be divided up into a weekly income, rather than monthly, quarterly, or annual. Also, everyone needs equal access to it regardless of current income. For example lets say someone is disabled, and they get SSI or something, and they get UBI, this would need to collectively cover their basic needs and disability. Now lets say this person gets a job. part time, that covered a little spare spending money. a basic job they can do even with their disability. The way things like SSI and the like work currently, this added income causes a LOSS OF SSI, to such an extreme that with added employment they get less net income than if they didn't have the job, which actively discourages employment. THIS NEEDS TO STOP. We cannot allow UBI to make people dependent on an unemployment status or they will not work.

  • Jimmie Gray

    i know you wanted 60 seconds but i need some form of statistical data. how much is spent in entitlements, and how much is this compared to 3000000000000 (300000000 Americans *10000)

  • American Enterprise Institute

    For a more complete look at Dr. Murray's proposal for universal basic income, check out his recent article:

  • Cyber Goth

    If you're using UBI as a tool to dismantle welfare, it could work. However i dont see how this won't create massive infaltion.

  • porcupineracer2

    So even the wealthy will receive the UBI? I'm having some problem understanding how we will receive something out of taxes that is larger than what we pay out of taxes. If anyone is willing to forgive my ignorance on the subject, some explanation would be appreciated. Cheers!

  • merathy

    There is a test group in Finnland I believe. The fear is, that people will be unproductive pieces of shit once they recieve unconditional money. I for one believe this is true. Lets see how the test group manages.

  • Skagit Samurai

    Where will the massive influx of new employees going go once you dissolve all of these government institutions? Somehow, you must expand the private sector in order to handle what would be a huge unemployment epidemic.

  • Spring Forward

    This kind of libertarianism has a future, but libertarians in general don't agree with a UBI. It's more likely to be borrowed by an independent movement after a major economic crash. The dems may pick up on it but republicans will never go for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *