My Basic Income Proposal
Owen Poindexter

Thanks for this! I love it. A few thoughts:

  • I lean toward weekly over monthly payments. Even bi-weekly paychecks cause problems for low income people living paycheck to paycheck. A monthly can leave people in bad situations for weeks. Weekly would leave them never struggling for more than a few days, and so people should never end up in the street. With direct deposit, we could maybe even do it daily, or continuous. People could choose their preference, whatever suits their needs, and maybe allocate some straight to the landlords. I imagine want to enable all the options, because it will be easy to do so with a well designed app, like a UBI Venmo.
  • Monitoring and allocating the service commitment and differing levels of UBI certainly adds some bureaucracy and complication and potential for system gaming, but it seems worth it to me if it can be pulled off effectively. Where welfare disincentivizes work, a service commitment fosters community ownership and connection. It’ll just be hard is all. I really like how it guarantees some level of UBI unconditionally and leaves a further BI optional depending on individuals’ circumstances. That’s smart.
  • With immigrants, maybe they can work into the first $500 a month, too, in a similar way. That might sit better with much of the public, and not morally against the idea at first glance. It gives everyone cause to continue and take ownership, and it helps protect against just a massive influx of immigration for the sake of guaranteed UBI just for being here.
  • For citizens and immigrants alike, I suspect there would have to be free or heavily subsidized room and board (and health) situations during the public service commitment.
  • Question: what would the deal be for people who feel like staying on the public service program beyond 2 years? Just a regular small salary offer if jobs are available? Also, what if there aren’t enough public service jobs for all the people?
  • Lastly, I think you’ve gotta start by giving it to everyone in some form. If it becomes a thing only the young generation and after gets, people will be furious (I wouldn’t be thrilled myself, because I need me some UBI in my line of work), and it seems like be much harder to get popular support of entire generations feel left out of it, even if the price tag starts smaller. My inclination is to embrace the larger price tag and put marketing efforts into reminding everyone exactly how much be getting versus putting in, and since most of the country will be getting, it should be an easy sell.