What would happen if we just gave people money?
This is a sharp and brilliant piece by Andrew Flowers. He looks at the current research behind universal basic income, where the government would effectively cut social benefits and replace them with a single wage for both rich and poor alike.
From Switzerland to the Netherlands to Kenya to Silicon Valley, a mixture of insecurity and curiosity are driving interest in basic income, but its dominant ideology — and appeal — is utopian. The core existential struggle lurking in the debates over basic income centers on what meaning work holds in our lives. Straub, the Swiss referendum organizer, remembers his great-grandfather working 10 hours per day, six days per week. That kind of toil is no longer necessary, nor desirable. The dream of a world where we produce more than we need has come true.
Certainly not all social programs should be cut, but this discussion is absolutely fascinating nonetheless.