Unemployment sits at about 8.5% right now. What if we guaranteed all of these people, and only them, a basic income of $1000 – $1200 per month for four years?
- We would be able to reliably know how a large and effectively random sample of the population would behave if given basic income, and therefore be able to soundly infer what would happen if the whole country got it. This is important. Making large scale changes to society is dangerous, as we can not know for sure if the change will be successful until its too late (think Soviet Russia). It is therefore wise to start with small experiments and scale up if it works. And we have very firm evidence that even in a worse case scenario in which everyone who recieves basic income chooses not to work, we know that our economy can run and produce enough food and a long list of non-necessities with 8.5% unemployment, after all, that is precisely what it is doing now.
- As economist Stephanie Kelton has advised, to keep the US from plunging into another great depression we must maintain consumer spending. Handing money to those who have the least will ensure consumer spending.
- Companies have not been implementing new technology to eliminate labor. They probably will due to the coronavirus, however, this plan creates steady pressure years into the future for them to implement, create and invest in labor saving technologies so that we can more rapidly enter a leisure society. For more on how this works, see my previous post “The United States V2.0” with associated links.
- Employers will not know who does and does not receive basic income, so they do not know for sure who has the power to walk away from a new job offer, therefore, they have to offer EVERY new hire decent wages and benefits.