It would take approximately five trillion dollars a year to provide every over-18 adult in the US with a basic income of $20,000 a year.
That seems like a lot of money, but it is completely doable. Especially when you consider that it would mean most Social Security payments could over time be rolled into this and eliminated. That’s around a trillion a year currently.
So, then, four trillion a year to provide a population of approximately 245 million adults with a BI of $20,000 a year.
Well, where would this money come from?
Actually, it doesn’t have to come from anywhere. The US is a fiat currency state; it can create money at will.
Yes, inflation, and all of that. That is an issue. But the main reason that inflation has been made such a bugaboo is that it harms the interests of the rich far more than it is likely to harm the plebeian’s.
In times of increasing structural unemployment, depressed aggregate demand, and nearly non-existent inflation, sending money to people – especially if phased in gradually – is far less of an issue than you’ve been led to believe. A BI would have a large net positive effect on the economy, though it would over time make the very rich less so – which is why it has no chance in hell of seeing the light of day.
Most of the fear of the BI is drummed up by employers who don’t want people to have better alternatives to the demeaning and degrading jobs they now are forced to hold. It’s a lot easier to say “hell no” to that job at McDonald’s if you have $20,000 a year coming in no matter what.
But if you are one of those who naively and against all facts believes that in this case the money must come from somewhere – as if there is a money fairy just blessing the “real” money out there – then consider this: the top one percent of earners control 40% of wealth in the US. By golly, I think I’ve found where it could come from!
I started writing about the BI due to this post. I was going to pick on this person more due to them having bought in – like most people on the Left (and Right) – to the story which the plutocrats have put in front of them. But then I wasn’t feeling quite as snide as usual and I also realized that the unsophisticated economic views on display are what most people are programmed with so that they do not resist. Not their fault.