There’s an idea floating around in western Europe that some might call a little “cray cray”, but it seems to be picking up some steam across the globe.
Universal basic income (or UBI for those that froth on acronyms) is the idea that every citizen of the respective country receives a set monthly income from the gubberment, regardless of what they do.
That means they’ll pay you about $800, tax and obligation free every month for doing absolutely nothing.
“But oi, I work hard for my money, why would I want my tax dollars to go to everyone else?”
Well young Australian, let me explain why this concept, while controversial, could be a benefit for everyone.
The monthly wage would be handed to the entire country regardless of employment status to ensure that every single person can meet a basic standard of living. This would replace the current welfare system in it’s entirety without it being any more expensive than it already is (the ABS clocked spending in 2013 – 14 at $156 billion).
These payments would be in addition to the wage you earn from working and would encourage people to gain employment in areas that they actually want to be in.
Which in theory, is a rad idea! U.S. Mad-dog UBI enthusiast Scott Santens thinks so too.
“We need to create the conditions for a society that is more self-driven, where people are free to do the work they choose to pursue, which also tends to be the work people are best at.”
Furthermore, it would eliminate the need for the Department of Social Services to continuously stalk welfare recipients’ social media and eBay accounts to make sure they’re not claiming false benefits. Effectively, it would render the taskforce redundant.
The big question of course, is would it work? The answer might come sooner than you think, with Finland set to trial the idea next year, something the rest of the world will be watching very closely.
But the idea may hinge largely on the integrity of a country and its people. In other words, can we be trusted to work when we may not need to, or will we become a nation of bludgers.
Well, considering $800 doesn’t even cover my monthly rent, I, for one, have no choice, but a monthly allowance sure would be nice!