Debate: The Universal Basic Income Is The Safety Net Of The Future

A number of countries including Finland, Italy, Uganda, Kenya, and soon Canada, where citizens receive an unconditional monthly income, is being tested. It is called Universal Basic Income (UBI).

As society’s future of automated jobs appears to be in order, supporters of UBI argue it would ensure stability for workers, and reduce inequality by alleviating poverty and making resources more widely available.

However, those opposed to UBI suggest that citizens will be disincentivized from working if they have a guaranteed income, and that the best solution is to retrain and provide educational opportunities that will combat automation more constructively. Also, they state that the economic impact on tax payers by paying out large sums to each citizen would be unsustainable.

The following debate puts UBI to the test. 

The motion for debate: The universal basic income is the safety net of the future

Arguing in favor of the motion: 

  • Charles Murray, W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. 
  • Andrew Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union and senior fellow at the Economic Security Project.

Arguing against the motion:

  • Jared Bernstein, senior fellow for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden.
  • Jason Furman, senior fellow for the Peterson Institute and former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.