Dispelling the Working Harder Myth when it Comes to Income Inequality and Why We Need a Basic Income Guarantee Instead

Allen Bauer
Apr 2, 2016 · 3 min read

We hear it time and time again in the political arguments that income inequality doesn’t matter. No one is guaranteed anything. If you want to get ahead just work harder.

It’s often shouted the loudest by self pontificating assholes who brag about how they busted their ass by working hard and pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps and everyone else should do the same. What many of them fail to remember is how they had help from mommy and daddy, friends, family, business partners or the government to get where they are.

Does this mean some people don’t get ahead by busting their ass? Not at all. It can happen. In fact it happens all the time, but just not for most people. I know, I know, you’re the exception to the rule and if everyone was just like you the world would be a better place.

But before I go on further, let’s a take a look at this video that really touches on this subject.

As pointed out no matter how hard you work, someone still has to do the crap low wage jobs. So even if we all busted our asses, a lot of us will still get left behind. Which kind of destroys the just work harder theory.

While the right wing advocates the best solution as eliminating minimum wage all together so everyone can work (work for less). Liberals always advocate raising minimum wage to a so called “living wage” so everyone can get ahead.

Conservatives counter that raising the minimum wage reduces the number of jobs and to some extent they are right, if it’s not raised gradually over time in small increments. Meanwhile, the democrats are right that it does help working families. What they fail to mention though is the unintended consequence is it creates an even wider income gap for the unemployed.

So what’s the solution? A Basic Guarantee Income which is designed to replace the current welfare system by eliminating the government middle mean and agencies and instead just give the money directly to everyone.

That’s right every adult in the U.S. from the homeless guy on the street corner to Bill Gates would get a monthly check for $1000. Children would receive $400 per month.

In fact once a Basic Income Guarantee is put in place, it does make the argument for needing to raise the minimum wage pretty weak since poverty would be eliminated. One may also argue that a minimum wage is no longer needed anymore since everyone has enough money for the basics now. So it gives democrats that income floor they have been fighting for and it gives republicans that argument to go forward with free market capitalism now that we’ve solved the welfare problem.

How would we pay for it? You can see in my other article here, “Can we afford a Basic Income?

With the Basic Income Guarantee in place, it would eliminate poverty and allow people the freedom to use their time to gain new skills to get ahead instead of busting their ass at 2 part-time low wage jobs just to try to survive.

Plus their’s no poverty trap now. Everyone gets the Basic Income without any conditions. But you’re still free to make, save and invest money without fear of losing your safety net, unlike the current welfare programs are today.

The rich will still be free to make all the money they want, but they’ll be living in a better society where everyone’s standard of living improves instead of just having 2 classes of society, “the haves” and the “have nots” that exist.

To learn more about a Basic Income Guarantee you can check out my other article, America’s New Political Revolution and Why We Need Basic Income to Unite Us.

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Allen Bauer

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I’m a writer who’s passionate about health, universal basic income, self improvement, relationships, careers, investing, politics, economics and travel.