The Swiss, the Finns, and the Ontarians may get their 'Universal Basic Income' but the Japanese are about to turn the Spinal Tap amplifier of extreme monetary experimentation to 11. Sankei reports, with no sourcing, that the Japanese government plans to unleash "vouchers" or "gift certificates" to low-income young people to stimulate the "conspicuous decline" in consumption among young people. The handouts may not be deposited, thus combining helicopter money (inflationary) and fully electronic currency (implicit capital controls and tracking of spending).
When Silicon Valley billionaires start dabbling in public policy it’s time to go on red alert. Marc Andreessen, investor in Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, says the universal basic income is “a very interesting idea”. Y Combinator, a start-up fund, is running the numbers on it. Its President, Sam Altman, has already pronounced: the basic income is “inevitable”.
In the following paper I would like to introduce the concept of Universal Basic Income and present some grounds for its implementation by showing its moral justification and particularly its positive and radical egalitarian consequences. For reasons of space I will not address the issues of the feasibility and viability of basic income even though I am fully aware of their importance. And I will only briefly mention another very important issue – the normative justification for implementing basic income. Basic Income is an income paid by the state to each full member or accredited resident of a society, regardless of whether he or she wishes to engage in paid employment, or whether they are rich or poor. In other words, UBI functions independently of any other sources of income that a person might have, and irrespective of cohabitation arrangements in the domestic sphere1. -
In the late 1990s, I was making $12.50 an hour and living in a two-bedroom apartment. Life was pretty good. I could travel occasionally, buy dinner and drinks, and go shopping. I was far from wealthy, but I could afford to live on my salary in part because my rent was just shy o
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