Adriana E. Ramírez: The UBI can change lives and the economy

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

I used to think that Universal Basic Income made no sense at all. If the government gave every citizen a basic sum of money to live, people would lack incentive to work. I thought a guaranteed paycheck would promote laziness and a lack of productivity.

Isn’t it hunger that motivates us all? Hunger to succeed in life, hunger for better housing and transportation and clothes, hunger for food? A Universal Basic Income seems to undercut that hunger. Wasn’t it bad for the people who get it as well as expensive for society?

As it turns out, being hungry doesn’t push people to work harder. Most of the time, hunger actively prevents people from working harder, or even working at all.

In fact, as evidenced by several studies, recipients of a Universal Basic Income work harder, longer, and use fewer public resources than people who did not receive funds. And the costs saved by giving people a basic income rather than welfare benefits was greater than the cost of the UBI itself.

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