What do people think of this idea? also known as a "minimum income" or "living wage"
If your too lazy to read the article, the idea is that you abolish the entire welfare system, and replace it with an income big enough for everyone to live on, a few grand above the poverty line, there are various ways of calculating the sum.
It would be paid by the state, and everyone would get it regardless of income, and if you make over a certan amount you'd just pay it back in taxes.
It seems like a silver bullet to eliminate poverty, IF it could be made to function properly, and I think it could.
I've a problem with that wiki article as it seems to assume that you have to implement a UBI throught a Negative Income Tax system, it could just as easily be done through the normal progressive tax system we have now?
There seems to be two major problems with it...
Firstly, if it didn't work. if enough people decided simply not to work, then there would be more people withdrawing from the system than paying into it, and it would thus collapse.
Surely there could be some sort of work provisions similar to what we already have for traditional social welfare to prevent this "malabu surfer effect"?
Secondly, if it did work, then employers, knowing an employee had a UBI to fall back on, could reduce their wages to cut costs, thus keeping a huge proportion of the population close to the basic minimum.
This could surely be prevented by keeping the mimimum wage in place?
(can we avoid one liner comments like "communism doesn't work" and "THATS CRAZY WHAT ABOUT THE ECONOMY" )
This seems to be an American and Canadian idea I'm surpirsed I've never heard anyone in Europe sugest it!