DEBATE: Is a Basic Income Better Than Welfare?
Widerquist is associate professor at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service at Qatar and vice-chair of Basic Income Earth Network (co-chair at the time of the debate). He sees UBI as a means to completely eliminate poverty and as a compensation for the government’s actions to turn resources into property, which creates groups of people that don’t have access to resources they need to survive. Widerquist predicts UBI will also have an increasing effect on lower level wages, as the payment for work will need to be high enough for a non-starving person to accept the job. In the current system, employers don’t have the incentive to provide good wages, according to Widerquist.
Caplan is professor of economics at George Mason University. He thinks the idea that everyone should be supported by the government is ridiculous. Whatever charity is given should only be for to the people who need it, and UBI is therefore not a good idea, according to Caplan. Furthermore, it will discourage people from working and is not fair to people that are paying their taxes, he states.
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Special thanks to Dawn Howard for reviewing this article