Imagine being a teacher and hearing that someone on welfare is getting paid more than you. Now imagine being on welfare and applying to a full-time job that pays less than what you’re already getting for doing absolutely nothing. Both perspectives are anxiety-inducing, it’s not fair for either side. We need to start considering Universal Basic Income for everyone, or at least a segment of the population. The main problem is proving whether it is an economically viable solution or not. Ethically, it is a superior choice because it will allow our citizens to live without fear of how they’re going to survive if they lose their job. They also won’t be forced to take a job that makes them miserable. Here’s an interesting analogy, what if someone created a video game where you were forced to play the role of a cashier for 8 hours straight? Some people would find this to be along the lines of torture. Then, we praise politicians for creating these completely unnecessary jobs when we should be encouraging them to increase the quality of life.
In order to maximize the quality of life for the people on this planet, some form of UBI will be necessary. The questions are then, where do we scrape the money from and how should it be implemented? I will address the first one here because it is the elephant in the room and I have not heard many people address it. Our military budget is the highest in the world, we spent $610 billion in 2017 and the Senate voted to spend $716 billion in 2019. We are extending the life of hundreds of nuclear bombs which will cost about $10 billion dollars. A recently built aircraft carrier cost $13 billion dollars and an F-35 cost about $150 million a piece. If we want universal healthcare and a basic income it will be necessary to have a few less of these bad-ass, death-bringing machines on this planet. They absolutely have their use, but we have people homeless and dying on US soil because they can’t afford their rent or the medication they need to survive. A robot-tax and higher corporate tax will also play a role in making UBI a reality. UBI will not solve all of the problems that exist within the welfare system, but it is a step in the right direction.