antipaucity

fighting the lack of good ideas

following-up to my ubi mindwalk

I omitted something kinda big when I wrote my one-time UBI proposal last year.

I neglected to address welfare reform.

Welfare would have to be changed for UBI to even have a half a prayer of working.

The “easy” way to do this would be to phase-in reduced welfare benefits on a prorated-equivalent basis for the UBI payment you receive.

Surely there are many other ways to address welfare as part of the one-time universal basic income – suggest them below!

Do I have to participate?

And I missed a second point, too – this should be something you can opt-out of. Just like I wrote about Social Security lo those many moons ago.

No one should be forced to participate – though I strongly suspect most people would rather participate than not.

What about when the program starts?

A third missed point in last year’s thought experiment – a prorated one-time UBI for every citizen over 18 when the program starts. Take the average life expectancy of a USian of, say, 75 years. Subtract 18 to get 57 – there is your basis “100%” one-time payment.

There also needs to be a phase-out cap on one-time benefits at age 74 (ie, when you turn 75, you are no longer eligible to receive a payout).

Now take your age, subtract 18, and divide by 57, and subtract from 100% to get your prorated payment. Are you 27? (27-18)/57 = ~15.8%. 100%-15.8% = 84.2%.

84.2% of $100,000 is $84,200.

Same process if you’re 50: (50-18)/57 = ~56.1%. 100%-56.1% = 43.9%.

43.9% of $100,000 is $43,900.

What if you’re 80? Congratulations! You’ve outlived the average American!

one-time universal basic income

A lot of talk has been made in the past couple years (and even currently by one of the fellas running for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination to be their candidate for President) of governments (which really means taxpayers) funding a universal basic income.

Alaska’s been doing something like this for close to 40 years.

So have several other places – including Finland.

In the vein of Scott Adams (sidebar – if you’re not listening to his podcast (or watching it on YouTube (or participating in the Periscopes)), you should), here’s an idea.

At birth, every citizen born in the United States will be granted $100,000 in a safe financial vehicle (T-Bills? Savings bonds? CDs redeemable at a Federal Reserve Bank?) – as a prorated benefit over 18 years (if, God forbid, they die before adulthood – accumulated funds will be designated to their parents or legal guardians in the event they pass before reaching their 18th birthday.).

That’s an accumulating ~$5555 per year for 18 years.

There are about 4 million babies born in the US every year.

Additional cost to taxpayers (ie the Federal budget)? About $22.2 billion per year2 (for ~20-25 years, then it would be flat (at ~$550B/year), presuming no major increase in birth rate).

But when you turn 18, BAM!

$100,000 to do with whatsoever your heart desires.

Down payment on a house? Check.

New car? Check.

Tuition to college or trade school? Check.

Invest in stocks, bonds, starting a business? Check.

Roll-over into an IRA? Check.

It’s yours.

Tax-free.

To keep.

To do with whatever and however you like.

What would you do with it?