Universal Basic Income 101

Universal Basic Income 101

  • mdo  Admin
  •   Articles
  •   August 20, 2021

UBI stands for Unconditional/Universal Basic Income.

UBI is a foundational income floor. It lifts everyone up out of poverty where they all deserve to be, thus treated rightfully as a human being. UBI can use poverty-line data to do that, and governments, states, or cities can implement UBI policy to ensure UBI.

Once people are up out of poverty then they can live a normal life. It isn’t idealism to ensure everyone be treated with respect and dignity as a human being, it is normality. Just like the CTC ensures all families with children of a certain age receive monthly payments to help with necessities, a UBI can be ensured to everyone by similar methods with a similar lack of complexity.

The Basic Income Earth Network defines Basic Income as: "A Basic Income is a periodic cash payment unconditionally delivered to all on an individual basis, without means-test or work requirement." - it is ensured to everyone unconditionally.

While policy-makers tend to gravitate toward a smaller and more targeted form of UBI called Guaranteed Income, a fully Universal Basic Income is entirely feasible. There are many ways and means to fund UBI, and many proposals exist as many more are being created. The biggest and most important way to fund UBI is through the will of the public, by advocating for and demanding UBI.

There are many misunderstandings of UBI without fully comprehending it. Those that react negatively to the idea of nobody living in poverty by a foundational income floor are often driven by false, sometimes even abusive prejudices. ("Lazy / Druggie / etc."). Others repeat the same tired and debunked phrases as delay-tactics.

There is now a global movement around the world of advocates, groups, governments, and supporters who are helping to push UBI and similar programs forward, including well known individuals, celebrities, and business owners. There are also many individuals who already have a Basic Income. We should really listen to those already experiencing life with a Basic Income. The movement has reached several millions of people through yearly social activism initiatives and other avenues and in some places in the world UBI is considered a mainstream policy goal. In the U.S. an initiative called Mayors for Guaranteed Income is underway, and in Scotland they are now considering a Minimum Income Guarantee for everyone in poverty.

There have been a lot of experiments done about Basic Income, with a variety of findings.

In earlier experiments, significant improvements were found in Health/wellness, mental-health, stress reduction, improvements in nutrition and overall well-being. (Details)

Some experiments found significant improvements in education, school grades, mutual support and social cohesion…people even shared some of their income with friends, family, neighbors to help invest. (Details)

Other experiments showed significant reductions in crime, theft, & domestic violence... these experiments exposed just how much a lack of UBI can cause so many problems in our current society. (Details)

Evidence was also found that those receiving a basic income pooled it with friends and family, and invested it in growth projects. The motivation to begin new projects is shifted, allowing individuals to consider creating something of value and recognizing the worth of others instead of merely chasing profits and the next quick buck.

The idea of Basic Income has been around for some time, "The idea of a minimum income first appeared at the beginning of the 16th century. The idea of an unconditional one-off grant first appeared at the end of the 18th century. And the two were combined for the first time to form the idea of an unconditional basic income near the middle of the 19th century." - BasicIncome.org

UBI policy enacted is to provide for the basics, to ensure social inclusion, to diminish daily stress & anxiety, to ensure a foundational level of health, cognitive ability, & socioeconomic lifetime trajectory. UBI enables the freedom of time for individuals to express themselves and find fulfillment during the limited time they have here on planet Earth. UBI is a monthly amount ensured as a right, because individuals have inherent value or worth from the day they are born.

DIGICEN advocates for UBI as part of Digital Economic Inclusion and encourages everyone to Join the UBI movement.

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