Universal basic income (UBI) ranks among the current hottest topics in #economics. This idea of providing all citizens of a country or a geographic region with a specific sum of money, irrespective of their #employmentstatus, income, or resources, has got proponents from across the ideological spectrum. Though this idea of all people having a basic income has been around since the #AgeofEnlightenment- it was a #fringeidea until the last few years. People and #governments are starting to worry that #powerfultechnologies, like #artificialintelligence, will make life even harder for the workers in the coming future and open the doors to a #roboteconomy.

UBI is now moving into the practical realm with countries like #Finland and #Canada experimenting with UBI trials. Proponents of UBI argue that the poor will benefit more from the unrestricted funds as compared to the current #welfaresystems, which have stringent requirements that usually leave the recipients trapped in poverty. The keystone of the #Universalbasicincome lies in trusting people and having faith that they know how to use the money in the most-effective way possible.

The current interest in UBI presents an opportunity to perform rigorous trials for determining whether any tangible benefits would be produced. However, translating a grand #economictheory into a workable policy has its difficulties. Almost all trials which have studied UBIs have been limited by either a small number of subjects or a very short duration of study. Furthermore, there are no clear parameters for scoring the success of a trial. Waning funds and a #changingpoliticallandscape have been the other #detrimentstotheUBItrials. Though, a trial is currently underway in #Kenya which would collect data for a duration of 12 years.

Critics claim that UBI won’t fix all problems, but would create new ones instead. The biggest criticism against UBI is that it would encourage laziness amongst the populace. Others hypothesize that a UBI would require an unaffordable increase in the #taxburden. So, in order to remain affordable, the payments would have to be very small- an affordable UBI would be inadequate, and an adequate UBI would be unaffordable

However, we should try everything we can in order to #alleviatepoverty, and is UBI a decent shot at that goal.

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