“What if every adult citizen received a universal basic income — a stipend of $10,000 each year, with a smaller allowance for children? Would people stop working? Would those in poverty use their stipend wisely or foolishly? An experiment along these lines was tried in Manitoba in the 1970s. The quality of life went up, hospitalizations went down, more teens stayed in school, and the rate of work changed very little. Richard Nixon tried to get a universal income bill through Congress. Support for universal income has come from the left and the right. It’s a way to eliminate paternalistic government programs and at the same time reduce poverty and give workers more options and leverage in the marketplace.”

Quoted from Christian Century, 20 July 2016 edition, page 8. They cite the New Yorker, June 20 as their source.

I have long thought that a universal basic income would be a great idea, but I thought it was my radical lefty learning that supported it. But of course conservatives like the idea — if it shuts down some government programs. And libertarians (if they’re willing to admit that we have an obligation to help our impoverished neighbors) would love the idea of it coming with no strings attached (small government and all that). Of course, I want to pay for it by adding additional tax brackets at the top of incomes and taxing them heavily, but that’s another story.

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