UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME → A new income stream.
There has been increased talks over the years about the implementation of Universal Basic Income (UBI) across many countries. This is considered by some to be free money, but is it really free though? Let’s briefly examine what UBI is. UBI is defined as an unconditional government guaranteed payment program that aims at improving the basic standard of living for every member of a community. The idea of having guaranteed income dates all the way back to 1797 by a political theorist called Thomas Paine. Two factors that aid in the conceptualization of UBI are Wealth inequality and unemployment, which are gradually becoming an issue in our society today. The rich keep getting richer and the poor is continuing to struggle to make ends meet. Several welfare programs such as food stamp and cash assistance has been utilized across countries to aid the impoverished of our societies but it seems it is only enough to keep their heads above the water. Some may end up drowning if the issue of unemployment continues to rear its ugly head, especially during a time stricken by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more and more countries are deeply considering UBI as an alternative to these welfare programs.
However, this leads me to ask the questions: Is UBI too good to be true? Can the governments really afford this? Is it economically feasible? Will it cause inflation? There are many different opinions in relation to answering these questions, from which you could even write a book! See books such as Exploring Universal Basic Income: A Guide to Navigating Concepts, Evidence, and Practices and The Economics of Universal Basic Income: With Empirical Morality Analysis. Some people consider UBI to be the most ambitious social policy of all times with several models being considered about who will foot the bill. Some of these models are: reallocating money from areas such as welfare and higher taxes on the rich, financial transactions or land. Bottom-line is that, there would be no creation of new money but rather the shifting of old money within the economy.
In recent years, several countries such as Finland, Brazil, Belgium, France and Canada have already experimented with UBI. A small sample of the population was selected and a fixed monthly income was given to them. In the United States, several mayors in states such as New Jersey, California, Minnesota and Georgia have been vocal about individuals having guaranteed income. According to surveys that were done, two of the key benefits that undoubtedly would be established from the implementation of UBI are:
- Raising the poverty floor
- Stimulate economic growth
Let’s say these benefits of UBI implementation outweighs any disadvantages and UBI was to be widely adopted, how will it be executed? Well, have no fear! With the click of a button, Intercoin could save the day! Local community money powered by Intercoin is smart enough to implement basic income. Intercoin has a community kit which would enable each local community to control how much basic income is issued and to whom. It is designed to tolerate inflation of local community currencies, without lowering the value of the main Intercoin blockchain. Within this kit, it also allows for Local fiscal policy to be implemented by the community currency as a community, which would include how much UBI to be issued.
Universal Basic Income has been the focal point for a lot of politicians over the years, as a means by which they can help communities at the lower rank of society be able to have a better standard of living. There are several factors influencing the need for the implementation of UBI in different countries. These needs could one day cause UBI to become a permanent part of our reality. Whilst there may be disadvantages to UBI, the benefits could raise the poverty floor and promote growth in the economy and Intercoin is well positioned to help with the issuance of universal Basic Income.