The Patriot Post

The student news site of Birmingham Community Charter High School

The student news site of Birmingham Community Charter High School

The Patriot Post

The student news site of Birmingham Community Charter High School

The Patriot Post

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The Pros and Cons Of Universal Basic Income (UBI)

Universal Basic Income Poster (image: Flickr/Creative Commons)
Universal Basic Income Poster (image: Flickr/Creative Commons)

UBI, otherwise known as Universal Basic Income, is a highly controversial topic. People question if it should even exist, let alone if it is too high or too low. But in my opinion, it is just plain being wasted. The money is constantly being wrongly spent on things that shouldn’t be.

Universal Basic Income is a check given to every adult citizen in a general population. It is given out on a monthly or annual basis. Unlike other welfare programs, any citizen can get a UBI–even if the citizen in question doesn’t work. UBI is meant to combat extreme poverty and help out other social programs. In the United States, UBIs have gained popularity because of layoffs and the state of the economy, especially during the 2020 pandemic in which layoffs were at their worst and the government took time to react. There was an increase in citizens who asked for a more basic income structure to ensure people were secure enough.

There is a problem with UBIs because of how they are being wasted. UBIs are being used on the wealthy. Rich people can accept UBIs that would better help those who are dealing with poverty. This is why people have a sour opinion of the program because the rich take the free money and shift accountability on those in need by just saying ‘find a job.’

We saw something similar during the pandemic when rich companies who frequently laid off many employees got rewarded with a check that could’ve helped people who were laid off.

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Another issue is the fact that the U.S. is in major debt. So in the eyes of our government, it would make no sense to “waste money” on those they deem do not need it. But I feel that it is a country’s moral obligation to help out its citizens—especially those who cannot help themselves or get a job. Of course, there are safety nets like unemployment benefits, but those are not strong enough.

There needs to be a balance between the government assisting those in need and incentivizing work. I feel Universal Basic Income would help with the balance.  It would help out tons of people in extreme poverty and also motivate those who can work so they can buy more luxurious, unimportant products.

Birmingham student Giovany Rodriguez (12) stated his opinion, “I feel as if a Universal Basic Income would help out a ton of people that need it to help out with their bills while also not affecting those who already have a comfortable job.” Birmingham Joel Salinas (12) explained, “I mean I would enjoy having extra money from a UBI but I don’t need it because I have a steady job and family for support. I do think it would help out with people who are poor and struggling.”

In conclusion, Universal Basic Income can help out with the current poverty issue in America. But the issue lies in who will receive the check. The top 1, 10, or even 25 percent of incomes do not need the money. It instead needs to be ensured that it will go towards the bottom 20 percent relative to income. UBI also needs to be enough to help out tons while still not being too much so people will quit jobs and worsen the U.S. debt problem. It also must make sure that a UBI check will not lower wages and inflation. If done correctly, Universal Basic Income can help transform the country into a more equal society.

 

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