Unconditional Basic Income Pros And Cons Essay

Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) is the idea that every citizen should be guaranteed a paid income simply for survival. A basic income would help pay for necessities while also promoting liberty and an egalitarian society. With the potential to transform 21st century society, the UBI can have major beneficial outcomes in the fight against poverty, the labour market and on economical and societal benefits. This paper will examine the arguments for the implementation of a UBI, arguing why such a policy would be beneficial to humans and society.
An unconditional basic income is a regular income guaranteed to all individuals, including children who are a part of a political establishment regardless of employment, financial background or means…

An income is essential to have access to the necessities of life. When a person does not have access to a form of income they are inhibited in what they can provide for themselves. Existing welfare programs established by governments dictate what the individual should be able to purchase, therefore constraining these individuals. The very idea of a UBI is liberating as it comes unconditionally. It is inevitable in life that society will be filled with diverse people with differing abilities (Van Parijs, 2005). A UBI gives all individuals, regardless of ability or inherited wealth the financial tool of an income in order to sustain their own lives, forwarding equality throughout society.
The basic income is an effective tool to help alleviate individuals from poverty. When people live in poverty they lack the conditions of material existence that are required to exercise freedom (Ravento?s, 2007 p.21). As inequality continues to rise world-wide, it is coupled with rising poverty. Inequality affects individuals’ access to healthcare, education and economic potential, thus leading to the perpetuation of the poverty cycle. (United Nations, 2013 p.66, 73). The UBI aims to free individuals from the chains of poverty by providing access to a minimum standard of living for all…

Studies have confirmed the reduction in poverty and inequality. A study conducted in India in 2010 over eighteen months focused on how more than six thousand individuals were affected once they received a small UBI paid monthly to all individuals, including children. The study found a significant reduction in indebtedness and a drastic increase in savings: new housing increased by 10%, the UBI increased the amount of people who had sufficient food from 50% (start of pilot) to 82%, and children were better nourished resulting in an improvement in weight-for-age that affected mainly girls. Overall, health improved from an increased ability to afford medicines and a healthier and sufficient diet, the disabled saw considerable improvement in access to food and medicine which even led some to become economically active. In addition, school enrollment increased from k-12 by 12% along with an improvement in attendance and grades (Standing, 2013). The tremendous effects of the implementation of a UBI in India prove that by providing shelter, access to healthcare, food and education, individuals are given tools to combat poverty and inequality. As the UBI strives to promote a society based on the ideals of freedom and equality, poverty is a natural opponent, though it can be seriously…