Martin Wolf of the Financial Times has a new book, The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism, in which he dismisses UBI very superficially.

Geoff Crocker has posted a review in which he argues that Wolf’s “summary dismissal of proposals such as basic income, which he calls a ‘delusion’ (p278)” lacks depth. Crocker writes: “Stating that a UK basic income of £11,200 per adult would cost £580 billion or about 25% of GDP, and is therefore unaffordable and that ‘that is all there is to say about this idea’ (p283) is superficial and trivial. He equally dismisses his colleague Martin Sandbu’s more refined proposal. In static analysis, writers like Malcolm Torry and Stewart Lansley have shown that basic income schemes can be revenue neutral and achieve progressive redistribution. The further dynamic case that automation reduces labour income per unit of output, requiring increased non-labour income is equally ignored. Recent macroeconomic modelling by Cambridge Econometrics has demonstrated the stability of a basic income proposal funded by debt-free sovereign money.”

Read the full review here.

About Peter Knight

Peter Knight has written 92 articles.