The Case Against a Universal Basic Income That Isn’t
Daniel Hemel

UBI in the form of cash payments is the worst possible distribution method. My research in Camden, NJ clearly shows that the vast majority of recipients would purchase liquor, illicit drugs, tobacco products not to mention junk food. Merely distributing cash does not guarantee it will be used appropriately. An alternative would be to totally eliminate state and federal taxes on the first $37,650 of income and reduce all social security premiums to zero up to that amount. The recipient, however will still receive SS benefits in the future as if they were paying the required rate. This would require the Fed to print money some 30, 40 or 50 years in the future.

A further example of misappropriation during our analysis found that the poor failed to maintain proper car insurance as required by the state. The driver would rather use the money for other purposes. So rather than give money as UBI and then expecting the recipient to voluntarily purchase an annual auto policy it is much easier for the State of New Jersey to raise a gallon of gasoline by $0.10 and use that money to provide mandatory liability insurance (through private insurers). The more miles a driver travels the more insurance premium paid. Anyone driving in NJ is covered because everyone has “paid their fare share.”