Minimum Income: What You Should Know About The Idea That Could Revolutionize The 21st Century

The idea is that in a civilized and prosperous society, nobody should be left in the streets to freeze or starve to death. We have enough resources that everyone could be guaranteed a roof over their head, three square meals a day, public education, and basic medical treatment, with barely a blip in the national budget. Suppose the government spent $10,000/year on food and housing for every person. That's $3 billion, which is about 0.00018% of our GDP, or 0.001% of our annual federal budget.

Imagine living in a society with no homelessness, no hunger, no unnecessary disease or death. Can you imagine the effects that would have on our crime rate? On our children's education, when currently 2% of children are homeless and far more than that are chronically malnourished? Imagine all the resources that would be freed up IRT welfare offices, tax breaks, and the like - if everyone were guaranteed basic food and housing at the very least.

And do you truly believe that most people would be content to sit on their asses in their small and spartan house, eating rice and beans? Or do you expect that people with these basic necessities taken care of might be MORE likely to go out and earn extra money, because they know they can spend it on things they actually want and not just things they need to survive?

Even if you're coming from a position of self-interest and -preservation, the idea that the government shouldn't take from you to provide to people who don't "deserve" to live because they don't "work as hard" as you do...

And I'm sorry for the scare quotes, but I do take issue with your basic premise. However I recognize that everyone has different experiences, viewpoints, and realms of knowledge, so I will defer to you on that.

Point being: even if you forget about imagining how those people might feel, imagine how much benefit it would create for society as a whole and for you and your family specifically. So much less crime, so much safer. Not being harassed by panhandlers walking down the street. Fewer fat people around to look at (malnutrition and poverty are leading predictors of obesity in first world countries). Less time spent in political debates talking about the poor, about minimum wage. Business owners being able to give whatever wages they want because they know their employees will be supported by the government (this is what already happens, btw, it would just be a lot more efficient if everyone were given a basic standard of living).

I'm not suggesting that people be allowed to loaf around all day, sit on their couch, and rake in $100,000 a year, which certainly would remove motivation for a lot of people. Just that we, as civilized people, can do better than sending children to school hungry and letting people die on the streets from exposure.

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