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The Instigator
MrMaestro
Pro (for)
The Contender
Nomad91
Con (against)

Universal Basic Income

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/21/2019 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 754 times Debate No: 120947
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

MrMaestro

Pro

Let's debate the merit, feasibility, And necessity of a Universal Basic Income.

I believe that the advancement of technology will decrease the workforce demand, Which will increase unemployment, Necessitating the need for a UBI in the near future.
Nomad91

Con

Thanks for providing the opportunity for this debate. This isn't a subject i am particularly opinionated on but I am currently educating myself to form an argument. I look forward to hearing your first argument.
Debate Round No. 1
MrMaestro

Pro

A Universal Basic Income: is a periodic, Unconditional, Automatic, Guaranteed payment given to all citizens; regardless of their income. Universal basic income is one of the most ambitious social policies of our time. Over 15 countries are currently running UBI feasibility trials [1]. Why is it that so many scientists, Politicians, And economists are spending their time researching this wacky sounding idea?

The key benefits of a Universal Basic Income are as follows:

  • A UBI would completely eliminate poverty
  • A UBI might pay for itself by creating a massive economic boost
  • A UBI encourages people to work
  • A UBI reduces bureaucracy
  • A UBI makes the population smarter and healthier
  • A UBI reduces crime rates

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It's not all altruism though. A UBI also addresses a dangerous threat to our world: The job insecurity created by automation.

Job creation can't keep up with automation. While it's true that innovation creates new jobs, These don't compare with the number of jobs being eliminated by the same technological advancements. Automation has been blamed as the key reason why factory workers and miners are losing jobs.

Job growth is tied down by corporate structures and politics. Technology doesn't care.

As technology advances it makes things more efficient. This efficiency means employers can produce more stuff with less workforce. In a world where artificial intelligence can diagnose better than doctors, Compose classical music, Beat professional players at starcraft, Poker and go, People are worried that the pace of job growth will not be able to keep up with the advancement of technology.


Take the self-driving car for example; Transportation is one of the largest industries in the world. Imagine the jobs lost and economic catastrophe if this industry became fully automated. This might not be long off - self driving cars have already shown to be at least as good, If not better drivers than humans.

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A UBI would completely eliminate poverty
By providing all citizens with a basic living income we could end homelessness, Hunger and poverty overnight.

A UBI could pay for itself by creating a massive economic boost
In a recent study, A UBI of $1000/month in the USA was estimated to grow the GDP by over 12. 5% in 8 years [2]. Allowing poor people to spend more will increase overall economic demand. More people buying things means more tax revenue is generated and a stronger economy. This would offset the long-term cost of the program.

A UBI encourages people to work
The modern welfare disincentives people from getting jobs, Unemployment insurance and welfare cheques disappear when you get a job. UBI doesn't discourage jobs, Because people get to keep the money either way. Studies show that while some people initially quit their jobs, They often use the freedom UBI provides to find jobs that they are better suited for (increasing productivity), Going back to school, Or taking care of their family.

A UBI reduces bureaucracy and paperwork
Modern welfare systems are immensely complex. The UBI is simple. It doesn't require income verification, Tax departments, Eligibility checks, Identity checks, Or any other bureaucratic labor.

A UBI makes the population healthier
By providing everyone with the means for basic shelter and nutrition, We can reduce (the currently overwhelming) strain on most health care systems. With increased economic security, People are less prone to stresses, Disease, And self-destructive behavior. A UBI experiment in Canada saw hospitalization rates go down 8. 5%[3]

A UBI makes the population smarter
Studies has shown that the stress of poverty makes people much worse decision makers. The effect is not subtle, This study showed it was equal in a 13 point drop in IQ[4]. By eliminating the distress of millions we can create a smarter more rational society.

A UBI reduces crime rates
What is the root cause of crime? It is not ethnicity, Or culture, Or status. Crime is born out of desperation. Desperate people take desperate measures, And are much more likely to commit a crime. By lifting society out of poverty we would greatly reduce desperation, Removing one of the worlds biggest incentives for committing crime. This has the potential to greatly reduce crime rates everywhere.


A universal basic income is not only good for society and the economy, It may be the only realistic solution to the near-term threat of automation.

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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by MrMaestro 3 years ago
MrMaestro
[3]sevenpillarsinstitute. Org/universal-basic-income-more-empirical-studies/
Posted by MrMaestro 3 years ago
MrMaestro
[2]rooseveltinstitute. Org/modeling-macroeconomic-effects-ubi/
Posted by MrMaestro 3 years ago
MrMaestro
[1]interestingengineering. Com/the-15-most-promising-universal-basic-income-trials
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