Americans Show "Enormous Increase In Support" Of Universal Basic Income

As automation and AI destroy millions of middle-income jobs, permanently forcing (primarily male) workers from the workforce, Americans are beginning to reconsider their attitudes toward a radical policy tool that's popular among some segments of the left: Universal Basic Income.

According to CNBC, a recent poll conducted by Northeastern University and Gallup found that 48% of Americans support the measure. In an association that's hardly a coincidence, the poll also showed that three-quarters of Americans believe machines will take away more jobs than they'll generate...

Unsurprisingly 65% of Democrats want to see a universal basic income and 54% of people between the ages of 18 and 35 do. In comparison, just 28% of Republicans support UBI.

While proposals for universal basic income programs vary, the most common one is a system in which the federal government sends out regular checks to everyone, regardless of their earnings or employment. That system is being tested in Canada and Finland, as well as Stockton, California, which recently emerged from bankruptcy but remains mired in poverty.

Support for UBI and wariness about automation/AI have become closely linked in the public consciousness. The movement has even inspired America's first "anti-automation" presidential candidate: New York businessman Andrew Yang is launching a "longer-than-long-shot bid" for the 2020 Democratic nomination, on a platform of adopting a "freedom dividend" (a fancy term for UBI), to help offset the impact of automation.

Advocates say all of the UBI-focused experiments being conducted are an opportunity to show that the policy could boost both productivity, as well as individual happiness and overall wellbeing.

"The claim is often made that if you give people a basic income, they'll become lazy and stop doing work," said Guy Standing, co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network. "It's an insult to the human condition. Basic incomes tend to increase people's work rather than reduce it."

Political philosopher and economist Karl Widerquist remembers a poll from 10 years ago that showed just 12 percent of Americans approved of a universal basic income.

"It's an enormous increase in support," Widerquist said.

"We don't need to threaten people with homelessness and poverty to get them to work," he added.

"It's capitalism where income doesn't start at zero."

Of course, the odds of UBI actually being enacted in the US are highly unlikely.

Free Money

Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, estimates that a program providing everyone with $10,000 annually could cost more than $3 trillion a year, a bill that is more likely to increase poverty than reduce it.

"This single-year figure equals more than three-fourths of the entire yearly federal budget - and double the entire budget outside Social Security, Medicare, defense, and interest payments," Greenstein wrote in a CBPP commentary last year.

Still, a recent McKinsey study found that automation could eliminate up to 800 million jobs by 2030...

...If such a dire outlook comes to pass, the US - and practically every government - will need to devise a plan for mitigating the devastating impact this will have on employment.


So - in ten years, eight of which were ruled over by President Obama - the proportion of Americans who want more free shit for doing nothing has quadrupled (from 12% to 48%)... now that is 'conditioning'!!


IH8OBAMA stizazz Sat, 03/03/2018 - 16:11 Permalink

It's not so much Americans agreeing with free income as it is the Mad Stream Media agreeing with free income and then rigging their polls and rigging the questions to get the results they want.  Who the hell would want to pay for someone else's free income?

Liberal billionaires certainly don't.  They want YOU to pay for it.


In reply to by stizazz

balanced SoilMyselfRotten Sat, 03/03/2018 - 17:06 Permalink

The problem with liberals is that they make decisions based on how they want the world to be instead of how it actually is. Unfortunately, conservatives do the same thing when it comes to universal basic income.

They yell about free money for those who won't work, blah, blah. They fail to realize that THE GOVERNMENT IS ALREADY GIVING BASIC INCOME to everyone on welfare, which is a huge portion of the US population. Wealth is being redistributed to those who apply for it.

If all welfare was replaced by a universal basic income, the government would spend the same money, only it would be evenly distributed to everyone, not only to those with their hands out.

In reply to by SoilMyselfRotten

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 balanced Sat, 03/03/2018 - 17:44 Permalink

Have any of you read about, or understood, the mouse / rat utopia experiments? Calhoun did these experiments and none of his rodent Utopias turned out well.

If you don't like reading, this video explains the experiment very well:

What happened? Basically the rodent population crashed and died, each and every time. The rats had all of their food, nest materials, water, cubicles. Every need was met. That did not result in a healthy rodent population. The opposite occurred. The utopia turned into hell.

With open borders and lots of gimmigrants, this UBI experiment is doomed to fail. Plus it will cause many people to completely opt out of the system because we don't want to work hard to see our wealth exploited for people that have never worked!

Liberals are just like the crazy cat lady. You know. The one that feels sorry for the one stray cat. She feeds that one cat. What happens? Well other cats show up. Before you know it the entire neighborhood is infested with feral cats that spray and fight and breed and one cat becomes 200 cats. What happens then? By that point all the neighbor's hate the crazy cat lady and tell her, "you can't feed the cats." She cries and people say the neighbor's are mean. The cats are diseased and feral and have to be euthanized by a professional exterminator.

Liberals fail to see the unintended consequences of their actions. Just like the crazy cat lady.

In reply to by balanced

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Chuck Walla Sat, 03/03/2018 - 20:13 Permalink

Indeed. Including the pretty mice that do nothing but laze about all day in the center of the area while the females eat their young, or neglect them so they die. Tommy Sotomayor continues to document this horror, on his website and various Utube channels. TNNRaw2 was shut down a few days ago.

Colin Flaherty also explores this matter. Another refugee from Utube that can be found here:

In reply to by Chuck Walla

Matt HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Sun, 03/04/2018 - 13:22 Permalink

Did he ever try selective sterilization or euthanization of rats to maintain stable population in Rat Utopia?

If everyone gets $800 per month on top of their current income, people don't end up rolling in free shit. Prices just go up. I bet the increase in rental and mortgages would eat up all the "free" money, possibly leaving the unemployed poorer in absolute terms, and actually benefiting the middle class the most. 

As for the $3 trillion cost, that is assuming you only collect taxes once per year. I really don't understand why we don't have real-time tax collection yet; most of that $800 would get spent a few times within a month, so that even at 10% sales tax and 10% income tax, they would probably get at least 50% back within the month to roll forward into next month's payments. Especially if they handed it out as, say, a once a month $500 payment and then $100 three other weeks of the month. 

In reply to by HRH of Aquitaine 2.0

dasein211 Ignatius Sat, 03/03/2018 - 16:06 Permalink

So all the snarky comments aside what the fuck will happen when robots and AI take over the vast majority of jobs. Everyone here loves to talk shit but at that rate we won’t need firemen or soldiers. Truck drivers. Burger flippers. Miners. Any assembly job. Chemists. You guys provide jack shit for solutions. Loggers. Welders. If you think your job can’t be automated you are seriously not thinking at all. Get your heads out your assess. This shit is coming for real. Technology grows exponentially. We are about to hit another wave and all we get from you fucks are dumb ass comments. Your guns won’t do shit to robots. 

In reply to by Ignatius

Hoffman Lenz dasein211 Sat, 03/03/2018 - 16:26 Permalink

You point out something that I've been thinking of for a while. And at the moment, I can't see this not happening. It's been obvious for at least 40 years that robotics and computers were going to make many (most?) jobs obsolete.
Clearly the current financial system of central banks issuing money based on debt will have to change. And therein lies the main problem. They aren't going to go away without a fight.
Other than that, assuming we haven't nuked each other or gone back 1,400 years, what will life look like?
Plenty of time for the gym, fishing, reading, whatever you like. It's gonna be a hell of a change.
Interesting times!

In reply to by dasein211

Hoffman Lenz ElTerco Sat, 03/03/2018 - 16:47 Permalink

Many things are already automated, like car assembly lines 'n' stuff. You may have seen some pictures of it.
Now we have AI. I'm not talking about 'Terminator' level AI, but AI vision systems and so on. As an example, how much longer before there'll be no need for people to work in warehouses, if you have an AI that know's where everything is (normal database), coupled with an AI based vision and manipulation system. Robot eyes and robot hands. No more skin-jobs.
That's the bit that wasn't around 50 years ago.

In reply to by ElTerco

Dumpster Elite dasein211 Sat, 03/03/2018 - 16:51 Permalink

When the robots are doing something other than being pack mules for the military, or jacking off Japanese cucks, I'll start to get concerned. Instead of relying on someone else for your "income", maybe think about what WILL be needed if this all comes to pass. They'll need lots and lots of programmers, and people who can FIX these robots when they inevitably break down. Or, you could go to college and get a psychology degree, or a degree in African Lesbian Studies, and hope that the same college will hire you after you graduate, as an associate professor. Because that's the only place these college degrees are gonna be worth anything. 

In reply to by dasein211

Kafir Goyim Dumpster Elite Sat, 03/03/2018 - 16:59 Permalink

Your solution will not work.  You do not need 8 billion robot repair technicians and programmers.  Not only don't you need them, but if it was so easy that any person could be trained to do it, then I could automate it so we would not need that person doing it in the first place.

So what do we do with those that can't program or repair things?  What do we do with those who cannot be trained to do tasks that are so complex that we were unable to automate them?

In reply to by Dumpster Elite

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Dumpster Elite Sat, 03/03/2018 - 17:32 Permalink

I agree. Fucking robots can't fix your broken toilet. No fucking robot can go into my yard and pull out the thistles and dandelions and leave the low-growing stuff alone. No robot can fix my broken hot water line. No robots can show up and clean, remove old caulking, re-caulk, cover the bushes, and cover the windows prior to painting my house. All of that work is done by guys with skills, by hand. Period.

Got the bill for fixing that leaking pipe from my hot water heater last month. $177. Took the guy 30 minutes.

In reply to by Dumpster Elite

Herd Redirecti… Ignatius Sat, 03/03/2018 - 16:13 Permalink

Accounting 101.   If you increase the asset side of your balance sheet, there must be a corresponding increase to the other side of the balance sheet.  The other side being Liabilites AND... Equity. 

If the UBI is financed AS EQUITY then it will work out just fine.  It will be inflationary, but will stimulate the economy.  If it is financed as debt... More debt slavery for all, and the system will probably collapse after a few years.

To be clear, the Wall St banks and the Fed are currently giving UBI to THEMSELVES and their cronies.  It is called fiat currency.

In reply to by Ignatius