Christine Emba, “Universal basic income: A primer”
The Washington Post kicked off a week of coverage regarding the Universal Basic Income (UBI) with an article by Chrstine Emba offering the history and background of the UBI concept.
Emba describes the UBI as a universal and unconditional cash grant that is given to every citizen without work requirements and without restrictions based on income or how the money is used. Throughout American history, many prominent figures, such as libertarian economist F.A. Hayek and President Richard Nixon both pushed for a basic income.
Possible benefits and shortcomings of the UBI are provided by the article. For instance, the basic income may allow some workers to leave bad jobs. On the other hand, the basic income may create a negative work incentive.
While Switzerland will vote on whether to create a basic income, it is unclear if the political and technical dynamics in the United States would allow for a basic income approach, the article concludes.
Christine Emba, “Universal basic income: A primer” Washington Post, Sept. 28, 2015.