Monday, January 30, 2023
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California Legislature Passes Universal Basic Income

California legislature has passed Universal Basic Income (UBI) for “pregnant people” (mothers?) and recent foster kids aging out of care. The program will initially be funded with $35 million, presumably from taxpayers. This comes on the heels of a smaller, privately-funded UBI program in Stockton. The success or failure of that particular program may be subjective depending on who is asked. However, an obvious case study for handing out free money to people without an exchange of productivity already exists.

When the pandemic hit in March of 2020, it sent the entire world into a tailspin. Since this was a thing that hasn’t happened since the Spanish Flu of the early 1900s, there was no true plan to deal with it. Once the idea of lockdowns was introduced and consequently implemented, a chain of events was set in motion that leads us to our case study. The virus lockdowns. People were essentially not allowed to work for weeks and months at a time. It got so bad to where people did not physically leave their homes for months. The United States Government printed trillions of dollars to help people survive during said lockdowns. This was unfortunately a necessary evil… however, the results of paying people to basically do nothing are now evident.

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Stimulus checks in combination with extra unemployment insurance created lazier people. The incentive to work and be productive was eliminated when people realized staying home and living off of the Government would pay them close to, as much, or more than what they made from actually working. In the 25+ states that have rescinded the extra Federal unemployment insurance benefits, unemployment claims have dropped by 33%. The incentive to stay home and do nothing has been eliminated.

Placing UBI on the books would achieve the very same thing the stimulus did. Proponents of the plan believe that the money will help struggling people get that little bit of extra money to become stable. This flies in the face of basic human nature. When people are given a reason to work less hard, they often take it. Especially those who are on the lower levels of society. Sometimes, there is a clear reason why a poor person is poor. Poor work ethic and lack of skill being the top two. Rewarding low-skilled and unmotivated people with free money will not make the skills necessary to become successful magically appear. If anything, the expansion of the welfare state (which is that this is) will stifle one’s ability to gain skills for success.

SOURCES:

California passes guaranteed income plan with no restrictions – YouTube

California’s Universal Basic Income Program: Need to know | abc10.com

Universal basic income? California moves to be first state to fund pilot efforts | News | Palo Alto Online |

Stockton’s Universal Basic Income Experiment Increased Employment And Well-Being : NPR

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