Universal Basic Income Explained – Free Money for Everybody? UBI

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What if the state covered your cost of living, would you still go to work? Go back to school? Not work at all? What would you do? This concept is called a universal basic income or UBI And it’s nothing less than the most ambitious social policy of our times in 2017, basic income is gaining momentum around the world First trials are ongoing or on their way and a growing number of countries are considering UBI as an alternative to welfare How would it work and what are the key arguments for and against? Right now people can’t really agree. What universal basic income is or should be Some want to use it to eliminate welfare and Cupp bureaucracy Others want it as a free extra for existing programs, or even want it to be so high that work itself becomes optional For this video we’ll talk mostly about the minimum basic income enough money to be above the poverty line in the US this means about $1,000 a month or $12,000 a year The money would not be taxed and you could do whatever you wanted with it in In this scenario UBI is a way of transferring the wealth of a society while still keeping the free market intact But if we hand out free money will people just spend it on booze and stop working? A 2013 study by the World Bank specifically examined if poor people waste their handouts on tobacco and alcohol if they receive it in the form of cash The clear answer, no they don’t. The opposite is true Other studies have shown that the richer you are, the more drugs and alcohol you consume The lazy and drunk poor person is a stereotype rather than reality What about laziness? Universal basic income test runs done in Canada in the 1970s showed that around 1% of the recipients stopped working, mostly to take care of their kids On average people reduced their working hours by less than 10% The extra time was used to achieve goals like going back to school or looking for better jobs But if laziness and drugs are not a huge deal, Why doesn’t our current welfare state solve poverty Welfare or unemployment programs often come with a lot of strings attached Like taking part in courses, Applying to a certain number of jobs a month or accepting any kind of job offer no matter if it’s a good fit, or what it pays Besides the loss of personal freedom, these conditions are often a huge waste of time and only served to make the unemployment statistics Seem less bad Often your time would be much better spent looking for the right job continuing education or starting a business Another unwanted side effect of many welfare programs is that they trap people in poverty and promote passive behavior Imagine a benefit of $1,000 each month in a lot of programs if you earn a single dollar extra the whole thing is taken away If you take a job, that’s paying $1200 you might not only lose your benefits, but because of your taxes and another costs like transportation You might end up having less money than before So if you actively try to better your situation, and your total income is not improving or even a shrinking welfare can create a ceiling that traps people in poverty and rewards passive behavior A basic income can never be cut and therefore getting a job and additional income would always make your financial situation better Work is always rewarded instead of a ceiling it creates a floor from which people can lift themselves up But even if UBI is the better model, is it economically feasible? What about inflation? Won’t prices just rise making everything just like it was before? Since the money is not being created by magic or printers it needs to be transferred from somewhere It’s more of a shift of funds than the creation of new ones Hence; no inflation Ok, but how do we pay for it? There’s no right answer here because the world is too diverse How well-off the country is, what the local values are, Are things like high taxes or cutting the defence budget politically acceptable or not? How much welfare state is already in place and is it effective? Each country has its own individual path to a UBI The easiest way to pay for a UBI is to end all welfare and use the free funds to finance it Not only would this make a number of government agencies disappear, which in itself saves money, it would also eliminate a lot of bureaucracy on the other hand cutting them could leave many people worse off than before If the goal is to have a foundation for everybody there still need to be programs of some sort because just like countries, People are not the same The second way – higher taxes especially for the very wealthy In the US for example there’s been a lot of economic growth but most of the benefits from it have gone to the richest few percent the wealth gap is rapidly widening and many argue that it might be time to distribute the spoils more evenly to preserve the social peace There could be taxes on financial transactions, capital, land value, carbon, or even robots But UBI is not necessarily expensive According to a recent study a UBI of $1,000 per month in the US Could actually grow the GDP by 12% over eight years because it would enable poor people to spend more and increase overall demand What about the people who do the dirty work? Who will work in the fields, crawl through sewers, or lift pianos? If you don’t need to for survival, will people still do hard boring and unfulfilling labor? UBI might give them enough leverage to demand better pay and working conditions a study calculated that every extra dollar going to wage earners would add about $1.21 to the national economy While every extra dollar going to high-income Americans would add only 39 cents There would still be very rich and poor people but we could eliminate fear, suffering, and existential panic for a significant part of the population Making poor citizens better off could be a smart economic tactic For some this isn’t enough. They want a UBI large enough to live a middle-class existence If we set the financial obstacle aside, this idea fundamentally challenges, how our society is constructed By earning money, you earn the possibility to take part in society this determines your status and options But it also forces many people into spending huge chunks of their time on things they don’t care about in 2016 only 33% of US employees were engaged at work 16% were actively miserable and the remaining 51% were only physically present Would 67% of people stop working if they could? It would be unfair to portray work as just a chore work gives us something to do. It challenges us it motivates us to improve, it forces us to engage Many find friends or partners at work, we work for social status wealth and our place in the world We’re looking for something to do with our lives and for many people work gives them meaning There are other concerns with UBI If all welfare programs were exchanged for one single payment, this gives the government a lot of leverage individual programs are easier to attack or cut than a multitude or populist smite promise drastic changes to the UBI to get into power and a universal basic income doesn’t tackle all problems when it comes to equality Rents for example while $1,000 might be great in the countryside, it’s not a lot for expensive metropolitan areas which could lead to poor people moving outwards and the difference between rich and poor becoming even more extreme and of course, for some people, the concept of work itself not being essential for survival is appalling Conclusion So is the universal basic income a good idea? The honest answer is that we don’t know yet There needs to be a lot more research more and bigger test runs We need to think about what kind of UBI we want and what we’re prepared to give up to pay for it The potential is huge. It might be the most promising model to sustainably eliminate poverty It might seriously reduce the amount of desperation in the world and make us all much less stressed out This video was made possible by a Universal basic income provided by you, our viewers Ten thousand people around the world gift us a monthly income on patreon.com/Kurzgesagt You enable us to pay salaries and buy new hardware you enable us to make more videos And you enable us to spend more time on them Kurzgesagt would truly not be what it is today without your help You help us stay independent, and you give us the freedom to put quality before quantity Thank you so much

100 COMMENTS

  1. You sign a contract of agreement to look for work Etc for unemployment benefits. Are we really stupid enough to believe UBI is going to be free money no strings attached ? Universal basic INCOME. You are now legally an employee of the state 24 /7. And employees have less rights than citizens. Can you see where a legalistic corporate run government could take this ? " you will agree to these terms or no more Ubi for you ! ".

  2. If you are a business owner also getting 12,000 a year, and if you knew everyone else got 12,000 a year there is no way to sustain profit you would not charge more for products/rent

  3. Please, for the love of god, read Frederic Bastiat. He tackled these issues in the 1800s and showed them to be bullshit and countless economists since have also demonstrated the same thing. The main principle is the seen vs unseen. Look it up!

  4. Instead of UBI, just use that money to create government jobs for middle class people, to supervise the robots and supervise the rich.

  5. I don't think they should brush off inflation that easy. Just because it's not inorganic money doesn't mean it will not generate inflation. It's not all about the supply of money, if consumers get more to spend, the market will likely still rise the prices of goods. It's an interesting idea but even assuming the best interest in people to better themselves, I feel like it's an economic challenge on top of a philosophical and moral question; and Kurzgesagt presents mostly the pros of this policy. That being said, the more people know the different options out there, the better the discussion and hopefully better solutions will get to the people. As always, nice job.

  6. $1000 is too much to be honest. Per person in poverty or those in financial need, I say about $300-$900 a month. $300 for those who can earn a small sum that can support them. $800 and above for those who are in extreme need and are having education.

  7. Most people who are working as "Staff" usually are working to get money.. not for status or love.. so yea.. they will probably stop working IF they got a choice

  8. Taxation is theft, stealing money from people for the crime of being successful will never be acceptable no matter how pretty you make it seem.

  9. It would be interesting to see how the BMI model may be more or less attractive to the world at large, a sort of re-cap as you have done with some of your other videos.

    With new information or a better understanding of BMI would fit into today's society, for instance: the many changes in goverment and even some of the amended laws from around the world, updated demographics studies and the surpisingly slowing down of the exponential growth of the world population, increased access to education (the list goes on and on}, a new take on the subject could lead to more changes for the better of our global village.

    I look forward to seeing what you guys will come up with next!

  10. I am not quite convinced of the feasibility of this concept, but it does address the issues related to the welfare system and its effect to keep people in permanent state of depression, cause anxiety and create a grudge against the system and its servants. Most welfare systems seem geared to frustrate rather than empower people and that has probably led us to support for Trump as well as other large populist movements.

    I've been following US politics for quite a while and have been pleasantly surprised with the first US presidency candidate with a rational discourse in a very long time. So it is still possible after all the superlatives coming out of US news and opinion on both sides of the political divide. I admit not being convinced by Andrew, until I heard him talk about the approach to drug related issues in Portugal. He obviously is better informed than all the other candidates that just blame "them others" to play their base. In general US citizens are sadly ill informed when it comes to abroad and tend to make things up as easily as Trump.

    I wish all the Yangsters here success and good luck in getting these idea's across. If not for the win, pointing at another way of looking at societal issues is a great thing.

  11. I would definitely go back to school ….. but I live in a third world country and the chances of us ever getting this are nonexistent. Wake up Americans , how is this not the best thing you can do for your population?

  12. I think we, the US, should keep our system now, but make the first $1000 you make untaxed. That would get rid of the problem of making less money with a job.

  13. I mean UBI is a nice idea (if it's paid for by taxing the rich) but you're right money enables one to take part in society. Instead of trying to give people money we could also just get rid of it.

    The free market would still work as poorly as it does now, all other problems of capitalism (f.e. climate change) wouldn't be solved through an UBI.

    If you, like me, don't want an authoritarian state maybe get interested in how anarchy actually works/has worked, because anarchy isn't mindlessly smashing stuff but rather the perfect utopia we could all try to work towards.

  14. Who would get 1000 a month those that work only or everyone? for example if I work would I get 1000 a month extra and if my wife is a stay home mom would she also get 1000 a month even though she doesn't work?

  15. But why only $1000 ? if this really worked, why not $ 1000000000 per minute to everyone? So every single person can be a millionaire without giving anything to society.

  16. The "welfare" section of this video does not indicate Andrew Yang's policy. With his one receiving welfare benefits have a choice to keep them or cancel them and collect the UBI dividend. In America we know the welfare system is a fraudulent system so the more that would convert to the UBI dividend the better it would be for everybody. "Free Money" is also confusing some people. They start complaining it's more taxes….thinking just higher personal tax on them…rather than what it really means; "Free Money" means it's income that is not taxed. One would not be claiming it or paying taxes on it. Hence "Free". Not taxable income. I know this is an old video but it needed some clarification.

  17. I tend to think the best model for a UBI would be to have a central bank control it. Politicians would use it to get more votes. A central bank would be immune to that and control the amount based on economic data, much like they do with interest rates. I’m very much in favor of a UBI, but only if it’s set up properly.

  18. So steal the money and then give it to other people, can’t you the same thing by just lowering taxes expect now it’s not stealing and the government isn’t handling the money.

  19. The richest 1% who reap the most benefits in our society object to this redistribution of wealth as punishing the richest or most productive members of our society. Since they own our government with unlimited political contributions now being ruled as freedom of speech, it will never happen. The same way term limits and campaign finance reform will never happen since politicians won't allow it.

  20. PSA: that ain't how inflation works, a UBI will increase the velocity of money, and as poorer people's propensity to consume is far greater than wealthy people, the overall consumption in the economy will grow, pushing out AD and almost definitely resulting in an increased inflation rate

  21. This was way before Yang Gang became a thing. The sweet bliss ignorance we all had except the ppl who saw this video when it was first released.

  22. Everybody saying "yAngGanG", you guys are retarded. His other policies beyond UBI are anti-constitutional, along with every other candidate from the US democrat party.

  23. We need Andrew Yang so bad! I can’t believe this video is from 2017 and finally a candidate exists who has opened their eyes to reality

  24. If I got $1,000 every month for free I’d only work for 3-6 months in a year just to have a little extra to play around with. I fucking hate working and see it on par with rape. There is absolutely nothing satisfying or fulfilling about being forced to wake up early in the morning and fight traffic so some dickhead orders you around for 8-12 hours. If you like work you have a mental illness.

  25. Typical left wing socialist garbage. Free market has done more to cure poverty than any government program, including this dumbass one.

  26. What would I do?
    Depends if it is just the cost of living as I do now that is covered, or if money becomes a worry of the past and I finally become free, finally able to live life.

    Yeah, I can say I've gone through SEVERAL unemployment periods where I was living off my savings for a few months, NOT collecting any unemployment. It's… it's had a toll on my sanity and ruined my view of the world.
    And then the only reason my grandma doesn't work, and seems to be struggling, is because if she works she'll end up with less money than if she doesn't.

    As automation grows, we'll see UBI become a necessity.
    As automation produces excess, we'll see money become obsolete.

  27. Why not just cut taxes? Why does the government have to steal from the middle class (lmao, you honestly think corporations and the uber rich would take this laying down? They’ll just move to some island and move their business to some east asian shithole, at the end of the day, it’s the middle class that has to shoulder the burden, just like with any form of social program)?

  28. UBI is something I support, it would if balanced correctly ensure many people could live there lives without the hanging dread of having to worry about basic needs like rent and food.

    This ironically would increase the drive for a job (after all ya wanna earn even more money so you can buy that fancy gaming Pc or new car)

    It would also indirectly contribute to things like reduced crime (key word reduced) and maybe even lessen problems with things like alcohol and drug abuse.

  29. UBI is a centrist solution to the disease of capitalism and its internal contradictions. It's like putting a tiny band-aid on a festering tumour. No thanks. The number 1 priority is abolishing capitalism. It failed us as a system.

  30. The problem with the inflation part is, that if every one has a bit more money, the market could just decide to increase the prices a little bit.

  31. Bull. Shit. The cost of living would skyrocket and our undocumented immigrants and felons unable to collect an additional $1,000 a month would become our homeless population.

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