Basic Income: An Idea Whose Time Has Come | James Mulvale | TEDxUManitoba

Basic Income: An Idea Whose Time Has Come | James Mulvale | TEDxUManitoba


Translator: Michele Gianella
Reviewer: Elisabeth Buffard Good afternoon, Bonjour, Tansi.
[English, French, Cree] I’m with the Faculty of Social Work, and I’m here to talk to you
about an idea I’m very excited about. I think, as the host mentioned, something we’ve talked about
in Canada for a long time, but it’s really been coming
to the forefront very recently. It’s called basic income, and the place to start
is with the definition. It’s an income unconditionally
granted to each individual without a means test or other conditions. And it actually differs
in very substantial ways, very important ways, from existing
income security programs. It’s paid to individuals,
rather than households. It’s paid irrespective
of any income from other sources. So people will,
in the vast majority of cases, continue to work for wages and salaries,
will start small businesses, will farm. But it provides a floor for everyone for a very important form
of economic security. And it’s paid without regard
to performance of any paid work. It differs very greatly from the kind of workfare, and punitive,
income security programs, which have come into place
in recent years. There’s two delivery mechanisms
for basic income, two general ways
in which it can be paid out, and gotten into the hands
of all the people in society. The first one’s called “a demogrant”. This is where a certain amount of money is paid on a regular basis
to everybody in society. It could be a check in the mail, it could be deposited
in your bank account or credit union account, it can be, if it’s designed in this way,
taxed back from high-income earners who perhaps need it less. But it does go to everyone in society. The second general way to deliver it
is called “the negative income tax”, also called “a refundable tax credit”. And in this case,
a threshold of adequacy is set, an income that everybody needs in order to live
a comfortable and dignified life. If you fall below that threshold,
then your benefit kicks in. The further you’re below the threshold, the more benefit you get
to bring you up to the threshold. In that sense it’s targeted to those
most in need, and it’s also perhaps a cheaper way in which to deliver it. We actually have examples of both
of these mechanisms still in place, in relation to current
benefits for children. Those of you who are old enough
to remember the old family benefits, – the baby bonus, in 1995, and previous – it was a demogrant. The current child tax benefit is delivered as a refundable tax credit,
or a negative income tax. What I’m going to do
for the rest of my talk is give an overview of what I think are
the five key reasons we need to implement an effective basic income
program in this country. I’ll go through each one individually. First of all, it’s really important in Canada that we address, reduce, and, one would hope,
eventually eliminate poverty. This is an important reason
on two counts. First of all, in a wealthy country
like Canada, with bountiful resources and one of the highest qualities
of life in the world, it’s a moral obscenity that we have
the high rates of poverty that we have. So there’s a moral imperative. The second reason we need
to reduce poverty in this country is because it’s the smart thing to do. I’ll talk briefly about both. First of all, on the moral side,
why we need to address poverty. These are some quick statistics. One in seven, 4.9 million, Canadians
live in a state of poverty. So it’s a general problem. It hits certain vulnerable groups
particularly hard. Racialized families, single mothers. The two shocking statistics for me here are 50 percent of status
first nations’ children live in poverty. Almost 60 percent
of women with disabilities. So it’s a general problem and it hits particular groups
in very hard ways. The second reason
we need to reduce poverty, and basic income is a means
to do this, I would argue, is that poverty costs us. The combined public and private costs
of alleviating poverty or addressing the problems
that result from poverty, we get into staggering figures
in the 70 and 80 billion dollar range. Remedial cost, this means
there’s a tremendous relationship between living in poverty
and bad health outcomes; disease, hospitalization,
heavy reliance on the healthcare system. So if we can reduce poverty, it make sense that we could also
reduce costs in the healthcare system. There’s other negative effects
of poverty that cost us, including children
that don’t do well in school and need more help, child welfare costs,
cost in the criminal justice system. All of these problems are related
with high rates of poverty. The second point here
relates with poverty, there are costs related
to loss of revenues. When you’re living in poverty you have many barriers to surmount in order to join the labor market
and have a good job. For instance, if you talk to people
who live in poverty and have to navigate
the labyrinth, the maze, of benefits, conditions,
and eligibility criteria, people in poverty often say, “It’s a full-time job,
trying to be a poor person and trying to get enough money to live.” Even if you get some benefits, you’re still below
any degree of adequacy. So if we had a basic income
to eliminate that bureaucracy, that maze, people that are currently
living in poverty might actually have the opportunity to get job training,
to reorganize their lives, to get a job, and become taxpaying citizens
in the labor force. I’d like to move on to the second reason that we need to implement an effective basic income
program in Canada. And that relates to equality. There’s a relationship
between equality and poverty, but they’re also distinct reasons, and give us different reasons
to think about implementing basic income. This chart here,
just to orient you for a minute, this comes from the work
of Wilkinson and Pickett, and the Equality Trust in Britain, which has done great work over the years on talking about the effects
of inequality in society. Just to explain this chart, the axis on the bottom,
going from left to right, tracks increasing levels
of income inequality in various societies. Those dots are specific countries. The axis going up and down
relates to health and social problems that are related to measures
of different health and social problems such as infant mortality,
low life expectancy, health problems, high rates of imprisonment, etc. You’ll see on the scattergram here that it’s good to live in a country
that’s on the lower left of the diagram. And it’s not so good to live in a country
that’s in the upper right. I don’t know how clearly you can see it, but far in the upper-right
is the United States, which has high levels
of income inequality, and comes out poorly on all
these measures of social problems. Down on the lower left are countries where there’s
a large redistribution of income: Norway, Sweden, Finland,
the Nordic countries, and some others. Canada’s about in the middle. But what this chart demonstrates, I think, is that the more inequality you have the poorer the quality of life
is in a given society. I would argue that basic income
can increase equality and lower those kinds
of poor social outcomes. The third reason to think about
implementing basic income in Canada has to do with enabling human freedom
and individual choices. Sometimes basic income is called
“a left libertarian idea”. It borrows from left political thinking, because it’s about
looking after one another, and collective responsibility,
and helping each other out. But it’s libertarian,
or relates to freedom, because it also looks at what individuals
want to do with their lives, and how they want to chart their course. And one thing that basic income can do is first of all, in a negative sense, give us an exit option. If we have a bad job with a bad boss, or we live with an abusive spouse,
or we live in an oppressive community, having an economic floor, a regular income upon which we can depend, it gives us a chance
to leave those bad situations and start a new life for ourself. On the more positive side, basic income can enable us
to pursue an education, spend more time with our families,
take a career sabbatical. Those kinds of choices. The fourth reason that we need
basic income in Canada relates to recognizing and supporting
all the work that we do, both paid work and unpaid work. First of all, in our society today we have a tremendous problem
with precarious employment, increasing numbers of people
who work part-time, work on short-term contracts, don’t have security
of tenure in their jobs. And this is particularly
affecting young people. Basic income provides those folks
with, once again, a floor upon which to pursue opportunities
in the labor market without worry that they’re going to… First of all, gives them chances to think about the long term,
think about retirement, buying a home, but also gets them out
of the day-to-day grind of just trying to make ends meet. There’s also increasing attention
to changes in the labor market, with information technology and what I would call
the relatively jobless future. I don’t think paid work
is going to disappear. But on the other hand, we can think about
automobile assembly line workers. Their work is now done by robots. We can think about bank employees
who are increasingly displaced by online banking
and automatic teller machines. I was reading recently
that even highly skilled occupations like anesthesiology, doctors that work in operating rooms
to keep people sedated, they now have machines
that can handle all that. So I think the reality is, looking into the years ahead
there’s going to be fewer good jobs, so we have to think about
how everybody’s going to have enough money to live on. And lastly, what basic income does is recognize unpaid work,
caring work in the home, and work that people do in the community, and expands their definition of work. The last and fifth reason on the list is that I think basic income will move us towards a more sustainable
economy and society. I would argue that basic
income is necessary: it’s not sufficient by itself,
it’s not going to do the job. We need to think about other
things like carbon taxes, lowering consumption,
and clean technologies, and so on. But basic income
is one necessary ingredient in leaving a habitable planet,
an environmentally sustainable planet, for our children and our grandchildren. It talks about redistribution;
it’s not premised on economic growth. Our welfare state programs
as they’ve developed have really been premised
on a growing economy, where everybody gets a slightly
bigger piece of the pie. Those days are over. We have to think about
steady state economics, and we have to think about redistribution
of wealth and society. I think basic income gets us
partway towards that goal. And I think basic income can be one of these ingredients
in an environmentally sustainable future, that helps us focus more on human relationships
and local community life, and really connects us
with those around us. It’s not about more stuff, it’s not about greater levels
of consumption; it’s about quality of life, and working
and living in a communal setting. There’s different examples
of basic income-like programs that exist in other parts of the world. In the country of Brazil
there is a program called “Bolsa Familia”. It resembles closely a basic income. It’s been in place for years. It’s reached millions of Brazilians,
and has had a tremendous impact on lowering the depth and breadth
of poverty in that country. There’s a partial basic income
paid out in all places, of all places, the state
of Alaska, in the US. The state of Alaska uses part
of its oil and gas revenues, puts it away in a separate fund, and pays out a dividend on a yearly basis to every single resident of Alaska. In Europe right now,
there’s great interest in basic income. Finland recently decided it’s going to experiment
with this model nationally, and think about
setting in place a program. There’s local community cities
in the Netherlands that are experimenting
with basic income at the local level. Similarly, in the country of India, there’s actually
a very sophisticated study using randomized control trials. Villages, where basic income is given compared to villages
were basic income is not given, to measure the effects,
and see how it might work. And the initial results
are very very encouraging. Right here in Canada, you’ve probably seen this
in the media lately, there’s been all kinds
of interesti in basic income, just in the last three or four months. Partly due to the change
in the federal government. At the provincial level, very recently, both the government of Ontario
and the government of Québec have talked about their interest in moving ahead with a guaranteed
or basic income model to refashion their income
security programs. The Green Party of Canada has been a proponent
of basic income for many years. The Green Party of Manitoba is talking about implementing
basic income here in Manitoba at the provincial level. And the Liberal Party of Manitoba is talking about experimenting with it
and seeing how it might work. It’s an interesting idea
because it really attracts support from across the political spectrum. It attracts what you
might call “Red Tories” like former senator Hugh Segal;
he’s been a proponent for many years. It attracts thoughtful people
in organized labor, on the democratic left, in the Social Democratic
wing of our politics who are thinking about it, too. Just one example: the new Minister
of Social Development, Jean-Yves Duclos,
has signaled his interest in this. We’ll see what happens
at the federal level. There’s a global and grassroots movement
supporting basic income approaches. The Basic Income Earth Network
[BIEN] is a global body that brings together people
interested in basic income from around the world. They’re having a conference
in Korea at the end of June. The Basic Income Canada Network’s
[BICN] been around for a while. It’s a national body affiliated with BIEN. We’ve been very busy lately at BICN
because of all the interest. Very recently a network has emerged
here in Manitoba, Basic Income Manitoba. Just in May, a couple months from now,
less than two months from now, we’re going to have
a congress on basic income. So if anybody is interested
in what’s happening on the basic income front,
might like to come to this congress. Just go on the Faculty
of Social Work website and you can find out more about it. So I hope you’ll think about it,
I hope you’ll be interested in this idea, and I really want to thank you
for your attention today. Merci, Meegwetch. (Applause)

100 Comments

  1. Ondřej Rataj says:

    Am i reading the slide at 4:12 wrong?Is it even possible that 14 % of Canadians live i poverty!?In a country that has pretty decent index of health and social problems as shown on slide at 8:11. What definition of poverty is he using?I have seen this one…The World Bank defined the new international poverty line as $1.25 a day in 2008 for 2005 (equivalent to $1.00 a day in 1996 US prices).[21][22] In October 2015, they reset it to $1.90 a day(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty). Would someone please give me an explanation?

  2. CUMBICA1970 says:

    I'm all for it not because I think it's noble but because the current system is totally inefficient. I mean, instead of wasting money and personnel evaluating who's entitled just give us all, unemployed or not, the bare minimum amount possible. Here in Japan they're talking about 80.000 yens (about 800 US bucks) per month. Quite diluted figure for sure, but better than paying tons of scammers (and trust me there are a LOT even here in Japan) some 300.000 yens.

  3. x XOvOX x says:

    whats with ted and basic income?????

  4. Robert Dabob says:

    a reform that brings together a collectivist leftist notion with a libertarian notion of freedom? Now that's interesting. I think we're on to something.

  5. The chef Randy says:

    Please State the problem properly we need to stop the redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle-class to the rich
    People always say redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor that's not what's happening!!!!!
    All of the statistics prove that it is the other way around for the last 40 years please media wake up and State the facts

  6. David says:

    Shooting all the progressives: An idea whose time is way past due. Meanwhile keep your fucking fingers out of MY wallet.

  7. fanOmry says:

    Actually.. You Need everyone to get it.. Not just *Those in need*.. Why?

    Because People are Greedy. If they get a job that makes tgem lose it.. They'll stop working.

    Make the Cash permanent, and they''ll Work*, to make *more!!

  8. Carnutzjoe says:

    Everyone wants more money. And there's no question it would do a lot of good. But the real question is how do you implement such a program without triggering inflation that would nullify any gains. Sure, there is a big cost of existing social welfare programs, means testing, administration, etc… and replacing many other programs. Streamlining, so to speak. But at $12k/yr for everyone over 18 in the US, that's about $3 TRILLION !!! That's a big hill to climb!

  9. bruce baker says:

    UBI is a total scam. Once everyone has UBI it will devalue money starting an endless cycle of raising UBI to keep up with inflation. Money only has value if it is hard to get, if everyone had a million dollars a cup of coffee would cost half a million dollars

  10. watchulla says:

    This is a pipe dream in the US!! The rich will not have it.

  11. Rab H says:

    Those whom control the Military Industrial Complex and the capitalist Ideology, Have no intention to see Basic income brought into being.They have another idea for the Technology that will replace the human within the workplace. Kill them remove useless resource wasters as they are a commodity that has become obsolete The new world in the making has divided humanity into them with access to the elite world and those denied .

  12. Dharmendra Rai says:

    Wow he is so boring he 's put me to basic sleep !

  13. Jacob says:

    Thousands of years ago, people worked from sun up to sun down farming the land. Work was life back then. Over time, because of technology, people now work 9 hour shifts and then go home and enjoy their extra time. Now we're reaching a point where machines basically run themselves. What do we do? Live in a society where a small group of people labor away while the majority feeds off their scraps? No, just divide the work up. Have people work 4 hour shifts, but keep the pay the same. And to ensure this happens, create a system where companies that employ more people and pay higher wages get huge tax cuts. And then the ones that refuse to hire people, make them pay more in taxes so that it ends up being beneficial to employ people. This will also increase productivity because when people work shorter hours, their mood and willingness to work increases.

  14. Naturally Healthy Living says:

    Make UBI Guaranteed Basic Income $2500/month for every person on the earth Help Ending Poverty, Starvation, Disability, Old Age, Children, Homelessness, Health, Clean Water, Food

  15. Andrés E. says:

    Nope, that's stealing.
    Anything you get for nothing was taken from someone else.

  16. Roland Parks says:

    I agree with the concept but basic income for all is a Zero Sum problem, meaning either we as a species go for it, or it might not work out.
    Here is why.
    If only Canada and a few other countries adopt basic income, that would create a massive migration from poor countries that do not have basic income on to those countries that have it. That problem is solvable, but needs to be addressed from the get go and one of the solutions IS NOT building a wall or better borders.

  17. George Hill Jr says:

    if you eliminate poverty …you will infact eliminate wealth too …we will all be equally poor …then soon… we will all be equally dead

    here is what twill happen ..as the UBI gets bigger as it must …less and less will work and produce..more and more of ubi ..until ?? ?? what how many on the wagon till you can not pull the wagon … so society stops ? then what no more ubi ???

  18. Petitio Principii says:

    Canada itself had a localized basic income program, that ended because of lack of funds, if I recall (some Freakonomics podcast). Brazil's program isn't exactly "basic income", it's more like traditional welfare programs mentioned, in that it requires that the family has income below or near poverty-line, differing only that theoretically it has no expiration date, as long as the family is poor, the mother will receive some cash for each dependant. It's not without its problems, like fraud and even incentivizing poor people to have more children for extra cash, aggravating the problem it purports to ameliorate.

  19. Big Bigg says:

    what's the catch here. nothing is for free.

  20. The Mars Man says:

    Wish America would consider this too.

  21. I BraveHeart says:

    I guarantee you the 151 dislikes are mostly made up of people who never lived a night on the streets

  22. maarten plug says:

    I have seen quite a lot of comments like "this is like communism" , "people will get lazy" and "UBI is for losers" . In return, I hope the people who say this kind of things will lose their (I guess) well-paid job soon and start to experience how it is to live in poverty and to experience how the traditional welfare system is not working anymore. I guess for this kind of people that is the only way to learn.

  23. Paul Charles says:

    Nature and the earth give abundantly to all, only humans practice greed to the detriment of their own species!!

  24. charlotte erickson says:

    Who pays for this. Is this financial Jubilee I think you need to know exactly who's going to pay for this somebody has to

  25. Maria Morales says:

    Excellent Dr. Mulvale it is well explained, your analysis and opinion will open the mind of everyone. I hope our politicians and PM Trudeau will support this possibilities of implementing the Universal Basic Income. This will make the life of everyone to have enough and the most basic income will give the opportunities to live and make the quality of life improve. Please, support the advocates for Basic Income and we needed it now!

  26. Cheese Bear says:

    As a citizen of the USA, I don’t subscribe to the globalist views while maintaining my country’s human rights. I am NOT responsible for ensuring the world’s poor are fed and sheltered. Nature should be permitted to cull the herd without human intervention. By encouraging and supporting low IQ cultures to thrive by bleeding dry the advanced societies, we are reversing our evolution.

  27. mark clark says:

    So if you hand out say $30,000 a year to every person in the USA, you don't think that will cause massive inflation? A giant pool of newly printed money floating around will have no bearing on prices? Businesses won't simply raise their prices to meet this new money supply because…reasons? Also, this sounds a lot like, "To each according to need, from each according to ability." Hmm, where have I heard that before?

  28. sfbluestar says:

    None of these UBI discussions want to get into the details of the cost, except promising this will reduce healthcare cost and welfare expenses. I but all those expenses will continue, and we end up with a new govt program and expenditure.

  29. Really Happened says:

    This is a great idea! Governments steal money from their citizens wthout any conscience. We all should get a basic income. An excellent idea for the entire world!

  30. Proteus TG says:

    Get rid of income tax and tax profit from corps and increase consumer tax on most items.
    Robots and AI will be creating most of the wealth anyway.
    Clothing has gotten so cheap that people throw out after only worn a couple of times.
    Its become a land fill problem.

  31. fladave99 Mills says:

    Its all a scam to take over. Once they are in power your CAT is your Friday night dinner.

  32. Edward Price says:

    Edward Price
    1 second ago
    MONOPOLY ? Remember, the game ? Well with a few changes in thinking, that's how UBI could work. How would we pay for it ? Print it, Yes ! Pass GO – Collect $1,000 would be a lifetime process, not just a roll of the dice in a 3 hour game. By constantly adding money to the "bank" and dropping the goal of winner take all, the "game" could go on indefinitely. Not winning would be the mutual goal, although the rich would still be sitting on their piles of ca$h, the poor & middle class could make it round the board, monthly, with the help of UBI. If it will work on a board game, it will work in real life. The current economic system (Boardwalk & Park Place) only concentrates money to the top 1%, and the amount in the "bank" is limited, and inaccessible to most of the "players". Whereby the game ends……and society collapses, NOT GOOD ! The goal of UBI would be a game where no one can lose. And I don't think the rich, in their yachts, would be hurt if all those swimming, were given lifeboats. It's just the right thing to do.
    EGP

  33. Sandra Stark says:

    I agree, every human should have a Guaranteed Income. There won’t be enough jobs. Great idea. Let’s just do it!

  34. RG says:

    Tedx. what a leach.

  35. Internet Troll says:

    who give you the right to take property my and distribute to lazy people ?
    All hail capitalism.

  36. tim mc says:

    In the ussofa their are food stamps which pay for food needs but what about the other needs a human has? Do u not need housing clothes and other necessities? Jobs are no longer available at need. So something must be put in place unless we want to grow the ranks of the homeless beyond their already immense numbers!

  37. scott sanger says:

    rob from peter to pay paul………there is no other way. Who is gonna pay? The system can NEVER WORK……….you are adding boatloads of currency with no underlying increase in services or goods………..this is INFLATION. Poverty can never be eradicated, new generations of imbeciles every day replace the retiring

  38. scott sanger says:

    this guy is an omega male,

  39. sundiii99OWS says:

    Let's all just tell the world that there should EQUAL WEALTH worldwide!!

  40. Brian says:

    Guaranteed universal income will eventually lead to either overpopulation or government control over reproductive rights.

  41. tiffsaver says:

    If everyone received one thousand dollars, greedy landlords would immediately up their rent exactly one thousand dollars.

  42. Stuffies & Creative Creations says:

    I am tired of feeling guilty for staying home and taking care of my toddler and pre-teen and not working outside of the home. I am trying to make a small business and struggle to pay bills with the little money i do get. This world is hard and unsure. I would like to see a basic income paid per person to secure a healthy life so people like me can strive to do better. The hopelessness I feel about it is the questions: Will it become the new zero? Will inflation increase to keep things like they are? These things need to be considered. Even now, for every raise to minimum wage there is an increase to costs (food, energy etc). This keeps the poor, poor. I am hoping for a better future but i am disillusioned that it will happen properly in my life time. I hope i am wrong but life has been that way for many years, struggling to make a better life for me and my family.

  43. Nanix1991 says:

    what about effects of immigration once this is installed?

  44. Funkky Monkey says:

    Oh cool, I don’t even need to do anything anymore

  45. Taylor Moffitt of Halydean says:

    I'm all in favor of equality and base income, but this guy's ideas sound like a blend of classic (failed) Marxism, and the 1990's welfare trap. He seems naive of most of the socio-economic literature out there.

  46. sasho54 says:

    Exactly. Maintaining poverty is costly to all. Poverty must be eliminated once and forever.

  47. Internet Troll says:

    99% communist defending Basic Income.
    1% Capitalist rebels

  48. Budah of Birmingham says:

    Our selfservative government in the uk aren't even talking about ubi. The idiots still think our old fashioned economy will work out. Or maybe they just don't care about ordinary citizens. Budah Of Birmingham

  49. Rick Niles says:

    Worst edited TED video ever! He has all sorts of visual aids but apparently the editor hated PowerPoint because we don't get to see most of them. The few we do get to see are only shown too quick to read.

  50. PingDeMorte says:

    I earn quite a lot, and I don't even pay that in tax. Where does this magic money come from? Take your experiment elsewhere. I'd rather stay poor and earn my own money.

  51. statuslow says:

    When you don't have income it is hard to contribute, even when you have a innovative ideas. No Fruits to Sow.

  52. Michael P. Waller says:

    Who's going to pay for it ?

  53. jerkfacebg says:

    Universal basic income is a way of shifting wealth from state to multinational companies. It's how to consolidate wealth and power further into the hands of the private sector.

  54. Robert Ryon says:

    "poverty" is so subjective to a standard of living of a society. Being "poor" in one country is vastly different to being "poor" in another country. Now take all of human history into account: if you were poor for the first 99% of history you were about to starve to death, died by 35 years old. Recent 1% of history: being poor means you don't own a car… Huge difference.

  55. FurryFace says:

    its not gonna happen , the rich don't make money helping the Poor

  56. E IO says:

    Poverty is not a simple side effect of a lack of money. For the individual, this may be true. The reason a portion of society is considered to live in "poverty" (definitions are interchangeable depending on who is speaking) is a result of a far more complex problem. The solution is just as complex. Free money is not without consequences and ripple effects.

  57. Edward Paterson says:

    i would love a basic income so i wouldn't have to work. but it is a bad idea for the U S. It would sap the national drive and create massive drug dependency and abuse. we would lose national production and competitiveness, and it would enable criminals. and btw, $15,000 a year, whether wage or entitlements, is not poverty. The only poverty the US and canada have are the homeless, and many of them are homeless by choice or mentally ill

  58. Three One says:

    Step 1) Tax robots to pay for UBI
    Step 2) Robots move offshore to avoid high taxation
    Step 3) ???
    Step 4) Profit!

  59. Toby Oliver says:

    I’ll vote for it if I can live abroad in a country where a meal with beer costs $1 🤷‍♂️

  60. Michael Samuel says:

    I would like to make my contribution in eradicating world poverty once and for all. My video – poverty eradication worldwide/michael samuel – can be viewed on youtube.

  61. MonkeyShaman says:

    You want to know what will happen with basic income? Rent and basic necessities prices will rise to put lover income people exactly back where they were. This is how the market works – people are not poor in absolute terms, people are poor relatively to other people. A loaf of bread will ultimately coast exactly as much as the average American can afford to spend on a loaf of bread – be it 1 cent, 1 dollar or 100 dollars. And if you don't want to pay for it today, well, lets see how hungry you will be tomorrow.
    You want to combat poverty? Make building codes aimed at people, rather than development companies. Prosecute crony local politicians passing laws prohibiting houses below certain area, pushing NIMBYsm and driving prices of land up. Finally, stop houses from being god-damn investment vehicles for the majority of the population. Everyone who owns a house in the US, especially a mortgaged one, wants housing prices to go up, and up only. And that is majority of the population. What do you think will happen to the house prices in this situation?

  62. gerry 61 says:

    Welfare states do not work.

  63. Jesse Bolado says:

    I think if Basic Income becomes reality, it's going to raise the price of everything.

  64. R Littlefield says:

    It is actually a good and workable idea. But you would have to build Trump's wall, unless it is world wide.

  65. Siegfried Braun says:

    Why do you HATE people *so much*, James? Especially the poor! Why would you rob folk of the opportunities to feel the consequences of their choices and worse, the opportunities to improve their own lives? Who are you, to judge, to impose your will on others, who are perfectly content to wallow in their own sh*t? God, but you and your kind are so arrogant!!

  66. James Faison says:

    It would actually be 7.8 trillion 0 dollars to give everybody $2000 a month

  67. A M says:

    How come illegal aliens come to the USA can find work/job? Duh.. So your for illegals coming here to take jobs that do not exist? WTF are you thinking?

  68. Alan Blanes says:

    Thank you very much for this TEDx talk. I am very glad that society is responding to the empty inhumanness of neoliberalism – and is beginning to pick up where we were in 1966 – when the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights confirmed the right of communities to local self determination, in a gainful economic model, where a continuing improvement in living conditions was enunciated as part of the Covenant between member UN states and the people of the world.

    Neoliberalism – that pestilence of the right wing reaction against the Great Society programs of LBJ, treats humans only as expenses, and only views improvements in economic factors by the metric of escalating numbers of commercial transactions. This neoliberal view is utterly incompatible with a responsible humanity, that is capable or stewardship of our ecosystem. The Global Greens are attempting to group populations thematically according to what they are interested in working on under the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. We need a serious effort to consolidate good policies by building the critical mass among countries working for the greater good, if we are to defeat the toxins of what has undermined the potential of a liberty-valuing democracy.

  69. Bava Neche says:

    Ambitious wealthy people will always be the same ones! Those who don't become wealthy missed the gold wagon by being unambitious. Creating or growing wealth (whatever) requires discipline, perseverance, great choices, listening skills and a ton of ambition. Poor unambitious peoples will always be "poor unambitious peoples" no matter what. If you spend your life whining and making excuses then your life will always be one of whining and making excuses. There is a wealth and business acumen in life — and if you don't have it then you can learn it. If you're not willing to accept that statement and take charge of your life and make it happen and achieve this acumen — then you can expect to do no better and reap rewards any greater than what you've learned and deeds done.

  70. UndeadSon says:

    Yes, poverty is bad. Now please explain how UBI is going to fix that without causing more problems in the long run.

  71. Joshua Moyer says:

    So I watched the entire video and I'm still waiting for this guy to make an argument. All he's doing is pointing to problems and asserting they justify a universal basic income. In other words:

    Premise: There are problems that should be solved
    Conclusion: We need universal basic income

    This is not an argument. In order to make an argument here, he would need a second premise, for example:

    Premise 1: There are problems that should be solved
    Premise 2: Universal basic income can solve these problems
    Conclusion: We should have a universal basic income

    As far as I'm aware, almost no one is denying premise 1. The entire point of contention is premise 2. He almost entirely fails to even acknowledge the controversy surrounding premise 2. The closest he comes is citing examples of policies that are "basic income-like" and asserting that the policies are working or have promising results. He doesn't cite sources or even give specific figures regarding these examples.

  72. Troy Chiappone says:

    Read George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984. Whoever is paying you the basic income owns you. They will be your master.

  73. Paula Torres Cuarental says:

    awesome talk/message, but omg get this man a crash course on public speaking… it got SO tiresome to watch the whole video just because of how he talks u.u

  74. ski34able says:

    Basic income may have an effect in the short-term. But in the long-run prices will increase and it wont make a difference anymore

  75. Meh Jones says:

    Yeah too bad social workers don't rule the world or have ANY economic influence

  76. Richard Brook says:

    It will work, eventually but probably not in my lifetime! Maybe when the economists are replaced with robots!

  77. bert havermout says:

    Many countries apply a kind of state pension. I'm from the Netherlands and there they have, but even a new country as Timor Leste has a universal old age and disability pension (since 2008). So with other words, in these countries all old people get a basic income and nobody objects. To introduce a basic income for all, we just have to put the pension age at like 18 years 🙂

  78. Lea Ahoi says:

    This shy guy is kinda sweet!:D

  79. Siddhesh Patwardhan says:

    Vote for Andrew Yang 2020

  80. Lewelyn Fidler says:

    Basic income only feeds the failures. It steaks from one who has much but government makes the decision at what is or is not wealth thus justify theft!

  81. Alexander Odder says:

    I guess the major problem is my taxes would probably go up almost as much as the basic income.

  82. Jiabin Wang says:

    Yang2020

  83. Mary Myers says:

    Basic income like Muslim country’s sit around drinking coffee smoking cigarettes plan to blow people up. Sounds like a great ideal

  84. Christopher Schenk says:

    YANG 2020! UBI FTW!

  85. sundiii99OWS says:

    America never should have built any houses or cars to “create jobs.” We should have built only Tower cities connected to maglev Trains.

  86. Smo Cloud says:

    Moderation is one of the core values that was held by people like Alexander Hamilton at the founding of our country. He wrote about it in the federalist papers. It’s important to remember that we have to have a moderation of both things, otherwise we have an overindulgence of one or the other.

  87. Smo Cloud says:

    Nobody is surprised the USA has the highest income inequality. It’s normal here to be worthless according to your wealth.

  88. ucheucheuche says:

    Change the pension schemes to fund basic income instead, get your pension now

  89. Andrew Gonzalez says:

    I still believe redistribution of all currency based on citizenship is the best way, a reset of funds so to speak to create a balance as a nation. Currency does not belong to those with the most/largest amount, currency belongs to the nation to be regulated by the government so those who have millions or billions, yes the money does NOT belong to you, it is and always has been property of the United States Government, that is why it is illegal to burn yours or any currency because it is NOT yours… It is a tool…

  90. elmer higueros says:

    what about seniors. do they count?

  91. Sarkeal says:

    The fact this has to be even explained is the true sin of this country.

  92. Deborah Shults says:

    UBI is a great idea…however, isn't it time to question the economic system as a whole, which is Capitalism? The constant battle between the Employer class and Working Class?

  93. Tom Tillman says:

    Providing it from Who? "Taxed from high income earners who perhaps need it less". In other words, steal from those who have earned money, and give it to those who would like to be given stolen money from someone else's production. How about giving them a JOB instead?

  94. Fred Wilkerson says:

    There's a rumor going around . . . That a lot of companies are hiring . . . So all the people that endorses free income . . . Need to go hide . . . . And wait on list new form of welfare . . . . Because God knows they don't want to work . . . They have no morals and no honor as human beings . . . . they all want to stay home play video games and smoke marijuana . . . . Here's a clue if you want money get a job . !!!!!

  95. Matthew Tao says:

    Yang2020

  96. Galimah says:

    only works if it goes global at the same time

  97. Syklone says:

    I'd happily be taxed if it meant that everybody is secure enough to have something to eat and a place to stay. It's called being a decent person. However, that's not how basic income works. It's not taking from the working person to give to the unemployed – it's dividing the publicly generated collective wealth amongst EVERYBODY. I wish the naysayers in the comments would do a bit of research and realise this.

    We must stop dividing people who we have never met into deserving and undeserving. Everyone deserves food and shelter as a basic right. A society that has its citizens working out of fear of starvation can in no way be called "civilised".

    Also, we must watch out for the sham attempts at a UBI. The Finland experiment was not a true UBI, and it has been deliberately misrepresented as such in order to discredit a real Basic Income. Scotland looks to be headed that way as well according to an RSA article that sets the time frame for a UBI at 20 years and only for an an amount of £5000 which is well below covering basic needs right now never mind in two decades.

  98. Mind & Qi are One says:

    ANDREW YANG 2020

  99. DRSmetal says:

    Yang 2020

  100. Maxwell3 T says:

    This time has come with Andrew Yang! Yang for president in 2020. Freedom Dividend! Americans, let's not screw up! Dr. Mulvane, please, make some noise for Andrew Yang! Amen!

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