42 thoughts on “Can free-cash handouts help society? | The Economist

  1. It’d help the economy and its socioeconomics, but society? I don’t know. Big measure of quality of society is also how entitled people feel, more sense of entitlement = shit. Less sense of entitlement = less shit.

    Now, that said, I’m not much one to buy on a whim that “free money” would make people entitled by default. Maybe it’d make people appreciative, feel cared for/regarded by their government, or fuck that, less stressed on a level large enough that they can take on those outlooks for themselves. I don’t know, it hasn’t happened.

    What has happened though is what we’ve got now, and have since we both invented money and (for some reason) gave it power that still continues today. Socioeconomic classes. Rich assholes – and as the “living standards” of many increase – more “rich” assholes. And yes, there’s much more to being rich than owning a car valued at $80,000 or more. Modern day, industrialized country “poverty” excluding homelessness but being of a direly tight or negative income while having housing is of a higher luxury than anyone else in history lived. What? Your house is cooled by a fan and not AC? Billions of people both went and still go without them both – I promise you you’ll live, spoken from one who’s been without AC for a decent bit of time and is still alive. I mean my god, go to a river, you don’t even have to jump in just sit on the bank and you’ll cool down. Low quality fridge from decades ago? That is rough, try salt had to mine, or digging a hole wide enough you can fit your body and a ladder into 20 feet underground, that’s how it was done before. I don’t know you, person reading this – I don’t need to, because this isn’t a personal statement. Your great-great-great grandparents who weren’t able to predict how negatively it’s molded society would look at your smartphone addiction and well-plumbed 30th story apartment, no matter how small, and fully HVAC’ed car with 140 on the dash, and kneel deeming you a god(dess) of the rich. And yes, it is in/to our heads. You’ve gotta be a person who deals with the common consumer customer for a single day to know the vastness of “I can pay you, so do what I want” as a mentality, while you sit there thinking “do you really need that soda?” “What’s the point in buying that jewelry?” “My god, a supercar, you must be fucking miserable or dissociated as all hell aren’t ya?”

    Who knows? Maybe no longer putting in vigorous, backbreaking (boring to the point you did nothing but sit there and be paid for it) work to get money will make for a lower amount of miserable 35 year olds who think because they’ve earned that money, that they “deserve” (hah) whatever it’s used on, and are seemingly validated in their behaviors to get said soda. (Or anything else, really. I’m looking at you, Black Friday/ Cyber Monday shoppers.)

    Might be the first step in abandoning money overall and going to a more purposeful means of exchange, like going back to barter but making it more peaceful and sustainable in that way this time around.

    Yeah, that does it. This UBI stuff has my support.

  2. Why would you wanna give tax money to working poor? That's basically subsidizing employers payroll. Make them pay a decent wage instead

  3. Oh! what generosity! what nobility! But you fail to see the full picture. What they see and hear 10, 20 or 50 years from now is the inevitable revolt of the jobless and the poor. They see an end when all is lost. They know that the system is broke yet they make no effort to fix it. Instead they propose handouts. Shameful!

  4. "the costs of goods and services drop" BS. a 2 liter of coke costs more by a afactor than it did when i was born in 1985 and yet the process has been automated beyond when i was born. all good doers seem to forget that many who found bussiness or even in regular life operate on greed. we all do. a extra piece of cake, a second cig, another round with your significant other, etc. without taking greed into account all you do is give king pins in poorer areas more cash.

  5. "In the world where AI arrives there will be plenty of money". AKA plenty of someone else's money who you can bet won't be happy about giving it to someone else who did nothing to earn it.

  6. There are basically three outcomes to a universal basic income. 1) It would free-up talented, ambitious individuals from the gruel and drudgery of making ends meet, enabling them to focus their time, energy and efforts on creative projects, enterprises and endeavors. In doing so, they become the next Shakespeare, Van Gogh, Edison, Madonna, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Got Talent or YouTube sensation. 2) On the opposite end, you'll have people who will simply sit back and watch TV all day, buy and eat more junk food, and have lots of children. 3) Somewhere in between, doing odd jobs or volunteering here and there.

  7. This is why Andrew Yang is so refreshing as a candidate. Would love to have a data driven, economically minded, business-experienced pragmatic visionary that doesn’t spew divisive rhetoric in the White House. The first Democrat I’ve ever been excited for and the first candidate I’ve ever financially supported.

    UBI properly implemented is one of the most effective, efficient, simple, fair, and cheapest ways to accomplish many of the progressive economic/inequality goals that truly benefits everyone.

    Don’t listen to the idiots on here that doing even know what socialism is. UBI isn’t socialism, it’s capitalism that doesn’t start at zero. People should definitively listen to Yang’s full interviews with Freakinomics, Joe Rogan, Sam Harris, Ben Shapiro, and Vox’s Ezra Klein.

    Some great articles/info on Yang and UBI in general.





  8. I have an idea that when all jobs get taken over by AI, we would get a UBI which covers daily necessities and emergency with top ups based on selfless acts like community service, research and development and environmental preservation. That way, the people of the world would be innovation-driven, more empathetic and selfless instead of being selfishly driven by the pursuit of money, fame and success.

  9. Wtff I thought of this idea when I was 9 because I knew jobs would eventually be taken over by automation and AI

  10. Why not cut costs instead? Forbid cheap morgages and loans, deflate stock and real estate bubbles, pay off US total debt by selling everything, cut radically welfare and public expenses?

  11. 1000 dollors a month for every adult would end homlesses and health coat in a america it would cost 489 billion but the cost would save lives.

  12. Look in these pilots UBI probably works… However if it's scaled and I as a real estate owner know, everybody gets 1k more than they did before i would just increase rent by $700… the greed will take full advantage of this and will funnel more money toward those with leverage (and those with leverage are usually already better off)

  13. Well with people receiving more money they will also spend more of it, which is good for an inflation driven economy.

  14. Work is overrated! people should pursue what their passion instead of droning on in life without a purpose.. UBI will be good for the population!

  15. This will have to be done ! Otherwise we'll have a matrix like future where means of production (machines) will be in the hand of few trillionairs , living in a gated communities , with private armies (like they are not private already) and total control !

  16. I would be all for it if the money given were sound and you don't have to worry about losing it if you somehow you increase your income.

  17. The best part of playing the board game Monopoly, its when you pass go and get your UBI check #YANG2020

  18. 2:12 'I'm the first to say that for three years of worth of work, I ended up with nearly half a billion dollars. That is not how the economy is supposed to work.'

  19. This might be one of the most depressing videos I've ever seen. It's not because I don't believe a universal basic income can't work: It's because I'm left wondering WTF I could be doing with my life to create the value that is talked about near the end of this video.

    I earned a Master of City and Regional Planning degree in December 2013 and became a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners in June 2016 and yet I can't land work in this field. A line of work I fight against the powers that be to become a part of and which I'm competent in I'm denied the privilege of earning an income in. To have followed the rules and for this to happen to me has sent me reeling.

  20. Why hasn't an interview with 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang who has sound arguments for UBI ("The Freedom Dividend") in America based on data and logical reasoning been included?

  21. Ask drug addicts in mental health hospitals.
    They need mental health service because they are addicted.
    Their addiction is fed by free government money.

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