Universal Basic Income (Con)

Reforming the welfare system in the United States may sound appealing, but the entire War on Poverty should be evaluated. Since 1964 the poverty rate has been relatively flat, but before LBJ’s Great Society, poverty was falling drastically. The federal government has spent about 19 trillion dollars and the United States will spend about one trillion dollars this year alone. In fact, since 1970 means tested welfare spending is up ten fold, but the poverty rate is still stagnant. A basic income will give people free cash without having to work and that may cause the labor force participation rate to shrink. Decentralized free market Capitalism has proven to raise the standard of living greater than government aid. Additionally, it is unlikely that all other welfare programs would disappear with the addition of a universal basic income. As Jefferson said, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and for government to gain ground”. Social Security and Medicare started off as somewhat controversial programs, but now the electorate universally loves these programs. A basic income, if adopted, would probably gain support from society over time. Adding another entitlement program would prove politically impossible to repeal.