Here’s another post with which I largely agree. At City Journal Peter Cove reacts to the idea of a Universal Basic Income:
The fatal flaw of the universal basic income is the same one that hampers most existing anti-poverty programs: a lack of emphasis on encouraging work. Instead, these programs have sought to provide directly whatever poor people happen to lack. The result has been more than 50 years of massive public outlays, with little benefit other than making recipients dependent on government. The ongoing rise in worker’s disability claims follows a long string of recent expansions of welfare programs, such as food stamps, housing assistance, and even free phones to boost the standard of living among poor citizens.
In the long run, this transfer-focused approach to welfare does more than create a disincentive to work. In his book The Welfare Trait, British neurobiologist Adam Perkins argues that dependence on welfare creates work-resistant personalities, which are often passed on from one generation to the next. As one review of Perkins’s work puts it, the welfare state “becomes a production line for damaged kids” and encourages parents in unemployed households to have more children than families led by breadwinners.
More and more men have become absorbed in an entrenched lifestyle of joblessness, with bleak consequences. Male joblessness exceeds 20 percent in six states—Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and West Virginia—and the number of fatalities from drug overdoses is well above the national average in each. According to economist Allan Kreuger, 44 percent of men who have left the workforce use pain medication—the fastest-growing form of substance abuse in the nation today.
There is no substitute for work, for gainful employment. We aren’t built for idleness. Jobs produce more than pay checks. They add meaning to lives. Even when the robots come for our jobs (something I think will not happen but whatever) we will still need to create jobs for people to do.
We would be much better off with a universal jobs program than with a universal basic income. IMO a UBI will produce crime, violence, and misery.