More and more people are talking about Universal Basic Income (UBI) and how this concept will be essential to stabilizing our society in the face of job losses due to automation. While it’s clear that UBI will help end homelessness, reduce poverty, and increase happiness, a lot of the details and nuance aren’t often explained. These are just a few of the many ideas I’ve had kicking around in my head.
- Retail theft due to extreme poverty will be greatly reduced.
Millions of people steal basic necessities such as food, hygiene products, clothes, shoes, and furniture. These people will finally be able to afford to live with dignity instead of in the shadows.
- People trapped in abusive relationships have more options
Those unfamiliar with abusive situations might not know that an abuser can take control more easily when their victim has no financial means. UBI will provide a game-changer many people need to break free from abuse.
- Rural & small town economies will find new life
A family of 4 with 2 kids would get $3,000 per month in Basic Income. This would allow millions of Americans in poor rural areas to participate in the economy. This could jump-start small town economies back to life as more locals can afford meals, home products & improvements, and farm supplies. Small farming, and farming in general will be less stressful with families earning enough UBI to pay the mortgage.
- State & local governments will be better funded
Cities across America collectively lose billions of dollars to foreclosure, failure to pay fines, vandalism, crime, and homelessness. UBI cuts this down on all fronts, also leading to our next point…
- Families will be more stable
Families will no longer be foreclosed on, lose their house or rental unit, and lose all of their furniture, clothes, and possessions. Moms and dads will be able to keep the heat, the lights, and the water on – 12 months per year. Cars will get fixed. Rideshare and bus fare to work is paid for. School trips, sports, and events get funded. Less financial stress on parents means fewer arguments and marriages failing due to finances.
- Cats, dogs, and other pets will thank us
Pet owners will finally be able to afford vet bills, better food, better litter, and grooming services for their pets. People who want pets but can’t afford them will be able to adopt, meaning more stray animals will find homes. More people being able to afford spay/neuter also helps decrease unwanted pets.
- Donations to non-profits & charities will rise
Imagine your club membership base is 1,000 and they all donate an extra $10 per month from their basic income. Your entity just fundraised an extra $10,000 per month. Volunteerism might rise as well, with more folks being able to afford to get to events and meetings.
- Newspaper & magazine subscriptions will rise
With part-time & contract workers bringing in a steady $1,000 per month, suddenly, spending $20-$40 per month for more media options is actually imaginable.
- Micropayments will become much more viable
Online subscriptions for $5 per month are simply out-of-reach for millions of people right now. UBI would fill that gap and give people enough financial breathing room to participate in the marketplace of ideas.
- Crowd funding will be supercharged
Young, idealistic folks who want to help their friends crowd-fund usually don’t have steady incomes and lots of spare cash. UBI will jump start a virtuous cycle of new projects & business getting funded.
- Utility operators will save billions
Most people don’t know this, but, power companies spend tens of millions of dollars or more per year disconnecting power from people who can’t pay their bills or who steal electricity. Same with water systems. UBI would allow millions of people to pay their bills on time, saving money for these providers.
- Hair & nail salons will become profitable
Spending $50 or $100 per month will become an option for millions of people. This is one of the many huge business & job opportunities that will come out of UBI.
- Craft Beer, wine, & liquor will continue to boom
Breweries, wineries, and distilleries will have millions of new customers who finally have enough money to even buy a few beers or one bottle of craft liquor every month. This will keep them on their current growth trajectory for years to come.
- Tourism will skyrocket
People will finally be able to take vacation time from work and have enough money to go somewhere. Some people may just take their UBI, buy an RV, and hit the road. Mobility, both economic and literal, will increase, benefitting every tourist spot and larger city.
These are just a few of MANY positive effects that UBI will have on America. How many other problems will at least have hope once UBI is enacted? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
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