Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Biggest Problem With UBI

I've been following the arguments and studies surrounding Universal Basic Income, which, if you aren't aware, is basically an allowance like what you got when you were a kid, except instead of your parents, it's from the government.

I've written about it before.

A lot of people seem to think that giving people an allowance just for living here is going to drive them not to work, so the economy will stagnate and crash... but some studies have shown that people who do receive an allowance are more likely to work harder, perform better, and even take risks at work, because at the end of the day, they have a guarantee to fall back on.

This post isn't about the side effects. It's about one of the leading concerns regarding UBI: Where does the money come from?

I have an idea. (Or course I do, or I wouldn't have this post.)

In this age of technology, there are a handful of companies out in the world making a profit by using private citizen's personal data. I don't mean to say they're necessarily selling it to the highest bidder, but they're definitely monetizing it in some way, like posting advertisements in our search results keyed in to certain words.

I think they should pay. I think they should contribute a percentage of their profits to a fund, which is then used for UBI payments. They're taking something from us, shouldn't we get something in return?

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