Should Governments Pay A Basic Income?

Should Governments Pay A Basic Income?

In June 2016, Switzerland will vote in a referendum
on the topic of introducing a basic income. If passed, all Swiss citizens, working or
unemployed, would receive about $2,500 a month as a guaranteed stipend from the government.
Switzerland would become the first country in the world to implement such an idea. So,
should governments pay their citizens a basic income? Well, there are a large number of variations
on the idea of a basic income. Some forms already exist as Social Security for the elderly
or impoverished. Others see this in the form of government benefits and assistance, also
called “welfare”. But “basic income” is an unconditional amount of money guaranteed
by the government, to every individual whether rich or poor. Proponents of basic income, like the Basic
Income Earth Network, say that such security would give people freedom to pursue higher
interests, without having to worry as much about pure survival. This is tied to a concept
proposed by psychologist Abraham Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs”. That’s where a
person will value their physical needs over their safety needs, safety over relationships,
relationships over self-esteem, and so on. Eliminating the barrier of working for strictly
physical and safety reasons is believed to lead to a more utopian society. This also
addresses the idea of “wage slavery”, where a person only works for their most basic
and immediate survival, making it impossible to stop working, or escape a bad job. However, those who oppose basic income say
that such a plan would encourage people not to work, similar to many other arguments against
government assistance. An experimental form of basic income was introduced in one Canadian
city in 1974, and ran for five years. An analysis revealed that only two groups of laborers
saw significant drop offs: teenagers and new mothers. And since teenagers were no longer
pressured to work, a larger number graduated. The basic income also led to fewer hospital
visits, due to a lack of work-related injuries, and fewer mental health, domestic abuse, and
car accident victims. However, some economists argue that it would
lead to a loss of low-paid workers. If everyone was able to survive, undesirable jobs like
in manufacturing and service would go away. This could lead to a rise in the cost of most
goods without a source of cheap labor to produce them. Perhaps ironically, this would prevent
those only receiving a basic income from affording those same goods. Moreover, one economic journalist estimated
that basic income in the UK could cost as much as $450 billion dollars a year, compared
to the $250 billion dollars which their welfare system currently costs. However, advocates
say that if implemented correctly, basic income could be a cheaper solution than allocating
welfare according to how poor or able a citizen is. But Switzerland is not like other countries.
It is one of the richest in the world, with an extremely low tax rate. Even a slight increase
in taxes could be tolerable to many citizens, and provide for a much less “immediate needs”
focused society. But it will take until June to see whether most Swiss residents agree
with that analysis. In the US Presidential election, candidate
Bernie Sanders has been asked about implementing basic income. But instead, Senator Sanders
has advocated for raising the minimum wage. Should we raise the minimum wage? Check out
this video to find out Thanks for watching Test Tube News, don’t forget to like and
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  1. GameGamerGaming says:

    I have 3 concerns about this. By adding more money into the economy you will get inflation by value of the Krona dropping from being artificially added to the economy. With little incentive to work and a guarantee of money I could see teens and children becoming spoiled like the children of the wealthy and celebrities living off their parent's wealth and inheritance. My final concern is that in order to ensure everyone gets an income it would require incredible amounts of oversight beyond the 290 billion mentioned in the video. At the very least Sweden will be the testing grounds for such a program, and I could only imagine this working if the country is extremely wealthy.

  2. Rodney Jones says:

    Basic Income = welfare benefits for the lazy

  3. Chess Peace says:

    That's the least governments can do with all that stolen revenue.

  4. Paul Peterson says:

    The guaranteed basic income is going to be a necessity, as human labor becomes increasingly obsolete. Up until recently, machines have improved human productivity, but have not out and out replaced humans. Machines and other tools have always needed human operators. Essentially the human being is the operating system. That goes for everything from a hammer to a wheelbarrow to a fighter jet. That was why new technology has ultimately created new jobs. Two men can be replaced by one man and one wheelbarrow. The wheelbarrow doubled the productivity of one man, and was cheaper than hiring a second man to carry stuff; it can be said to have replaced one man. Two wheelbarrows and no men do no work though, so the second guy can go find another job because he can also be twice as productive with the wheelbarrow.

    The modern and approaching economy is one where the wheelbarrow replaces both guys as it does the work all by itself. It doesn't need a human operating system. And neither guy can go find a job as neither one has any economically viable skill. There is no demand for the ability to operate a wheelbarrow any more. You can say that these guys should go to college and get an advanced degree in something that AI won't make obsolete in the next few decades, but not everyone will be able to do that; indeed, the VAST majority will not. We are approaching a point where many if not most human beings will have no economically useful talents, educated or otherwise, and the vast oversupply of labor will make nearly all jobs minimum wage.

    We will soon be to the point where we will have either something like a guaranteed minimum income or something like the French Revolution.

  5. Rich X says:

    The day will come when robots can do all our jobs. When that happens, companies will not hire anyone. So government will need to tax fully automated companies and give a basic income to people so that they can buy stuff.

  6. Eric D says:

    Cool video, I really hadn't even thought about a basic income at all before, just minimum wage and welfare type things.

  7. 33Crazydude says:

    More and more low skilled jobs are being swallowed up by technology anyway

  8. Sam Fitt says:

    Most people fear a basic income greedy business and bully managers they will lose power over people.

  9. biscoito1r says:

    It might be the right solution after we start making robots to take over low wage jobs in agriculture and manufacturing.

  10. apburner1 says:

    Governments can't pay anyone anything. The only thing a government can do is take from some people and give it to others. It is called theft in the real world.

  11. Águila701 says:

    Low skilled workers are going to be phased out anyways.

  12. Águila701 says:

    Basic income seems like a better idea than raising the minimum wage.

  13. dale osborne says:

    Try saudi arabia

  14. Khaled Amir says:

    I think it should be for poor people only

  15. KootFloris says:

    When Basic Income happens, all businesses need to make work more fun and meaningful: exactly what is lacking now. Also when the robot revolution happens all those without jobs will not be slackers, they'll have space to be creative innovators of the quality of life. (and all arguments against this idea mostly come from big corporations that don't like free people, run away from their bullshit jobs enriching only the 1%)

  16. Othman Najim says:

    it's not fair that some countries can be so rich that they can give basic income while others can barely scrape by.

  17. Midironica says:

    No, not unless some rigors and requirements are imposed. We shouldn't incentivize joblessness. I know everyone on the internet thinks capitalism and competition suck but they are both crucial (in certain doses) to humanities progress. If we make competition and self-improvement less valuable we will only weaken our country, and the human race at large.

    (Basic Income destroys competition and self-improvement because if you are guaranteed a survivable income, it is logical to not work. All animals are lazy by nature.) The answer isn't to make being poor better, it is to make not being poor easier, i.e. accessible education, temporary monetary stimulus, sex education and contraceptives.)

  18. Josh N says:

    Meritocracy cannot coexist in a system of perpetual basic income & no meritocracy means no rich people to tax.

  19. rtswift says:

    not a basic income but the gov should provide it's citizens food and water, like how mother nature does it for the rest of her creatures.

  20. Glotaku ! says:

    This would not work in the us lol

  21. domitry jobby says:

    very interesting topic of discussion, so i go to the comment section to hear same opinions, and the only thing is see i comments with HOW POWERFUL IS… THIS AND THA… wtf

  22. domitry jobby says:

    i am not a big supporter of the welfare, especially of the ones that are too gnenerous, i think for the society to gro and became a better place it need to be competiotion, theese state programs, i think the basic income in the long run would be detremenntal for the economy because eliminates the fear of failing and the need for competition, in my idealistic world the state would be small and it wouldn't have any control on the economy

  23. VLPR says:

    sounds like COMMUNISM to me

  24. sharon anderson says:

    we already have a basic income called bail outs and bail ins. just the wrg ppl are getting it.

  25. Ronnel Garcia says:

    Please do a video on how powerful is ASEAN

  26. 0011peace says:

    320 million people(US population) getting $1000 per month is 320 billion each month that is nearly $4 trillion annually. That would double the US budget , Its not feasible for such a large country as the US. Switzerland is only 8 million that is 2.5% population. The US per capita GDP is 1/7 of Switzerland. So for the US to do the same the amount would be $325. monthly

  27. Kyle Davis says:

    A base income supports many of the positive elements of capitalism: particularly if it replaces the minimum wage and welfare assistance. Not the minimum wage is only meant to be a living wage so if basic income already takes care of base survival a minimum wage is not needed.

    For one minimum wage disproportionately hits small/start up businesses harder than it does big companies: giving existing big business a competitive edge.

    With basic income friends and family willing to work for less and help a start up get going could be a great boost to local economy and competition. Smaller business can have more competitive prices as well when not needing to focus on survival as their need for their business. In many places local businesses don't need to be cheaper than big businesses for people to prefer the local support, the difference just needs to be closer.

    Mean while the security of suitability will give individuals more power to barter for their wages/hours at existing jobs. McDonalds employees will not have to keep that specific job to survive. I see this leading more toward better work environments the to a decrease in employment, and without needing unions to do it, just by empowering the individuals.

    Furthermore, in terms of capitalistic competition between businesses forcing the money into the bottom of the system and letting it trickle up keeps companies competing for this cycling money. This is anti-monopoly with minimal regulation.

    Yes it would mean some sort of higher marginal tax rate, the value of the riches would decrease, but the cycle from bottom to top should be strengthened. There isn't the gap to bridge that wellfare has to go from getting support to being self sufficient (which is a sadly real gap)

    No new money should be printed specifically for this system, helping prevent inflation, and the added strengthening of competitiveness will help mitigate any inflation as a result of price hikes (which are generally predicted to be minimal.

  28. BlackWing Cyper says:

    no low skill jobs would not go away not if they increased the pay

  29. BlackWing Cyper says:

    basic income could work if they taxed people who have $500.000/million/s of income yearly a number like $10.000 or something to their existing tax cycle

  30. RAMON Andre says:


  31. thirteenguage says:

    How Right wing is the test tube comments section?

  32. Richard Blackmore says:

    A basic living stipend might work, however lets get real, it isn't the government that pays it, it is the citizens of the country.

  33. Jay N says:

    Dude…that's like a $35K USD salary…..for free.

  34. metamaggot says:

    hmm but there are jobs that would never get done for shure…i'd never work a day in my life again if i could

  35. vinkuu says:

    If we cannot achieve 100% employment designed so the lowest paying jobs of society pay enough to make a dignified living, then basic income makes sense in a civilized society.

  36. Justin Bennett says:

    A basic income guarantee would result in a wealth transfer from poor to rich. The poor generally consume the vast majority of government entitlements beyond that which would be provided in the form of a BIG. Also, the average low income family would likely need to use their BIG for basic sustenance, while the rich would simply invest the money. Without the entitlement programs in place (given markets remain highly controlled by government) the poor will simply be priced out of the healthcare market.

  37. William McCurdy says:

    I don't think the government should have to pay a basic income, our government isn't responsible for the financial success of its citizens. The people are required to make money for themselves, not rely on the government for basic pay. Like what is this?

  38. William McCurdy says:

    Our government could definitely use this cash for other more important purposes like the military, our infrastructure, and education. Just saying..

  39. EspHack says:

    well if not then whats the point of the relentless efforts for more and more automation, technology guided by capitalism aims to reduce jobs, maximize production so we are free for more important things, I think humanity already solved the basic problems self sustainable  food and medical care, time to move on

  40. Amici Nybråten says:

    Basic income is a very liberating idea that could end up statistically making society much better and more efficient. But if you go for too long with it, you should eventually end up with cultures of procrastination developing, which could be very dangerous for the efficiency of society, so there would have to be ways in which society could mitigate these cultures.

    One such way is to have legal counsels that can sanction individuals or networks of individuals who do not do justice to the system. The finnish proposal of 1000€ per month for instance, while it sucks to have that little money to spend (that's about the same amount of money you get in Norway if you are unemployed and have not worked enough to receive unemployment pay), you could easily end up having a very bad situation where you do not have enough money to invest in your future, but you do have enough money to waste on products that does not make your life better. For instance alcohol, tobacco, weed, excessive amounts of sweets, whatever.

  41. trew news says:

    it won't cost anymore. you put corporate tax up by 1% and it creates enough money to pay for basic income free education and everything else we need. plus robots take our jobs but the company deosnt pay them. they should give a human the robots salary.

  42. Abdullah says:

    Robots my friend, robots can replace cheap labor and can achieve undesirable tasks.

  43. DepthOfField says:

    Sounds too good to be true.

  44. Sean Dafny says:

    Thats fuck shit.

  45. Jake Mulligan says:

    you forgot that most jobs that are unpleasant would be automated over time , making the products or services cheap

  46. hgod7 says:

    the cheap labor would be replaced by robots

  47. McZidanne says:

    Low paid jobs are on their way out. Having humans do menial jobs is the same as having supercomputers working as cash registers. They're robot work, they're meant to be robot work and they are progressing towards being robot work regardless.

    Economists saying that we need people doing menial jobs so we can keep having cheap stuff sounds incredibly unfair and heartless. So what, we're supposed to have people slaving away their whole lives just so other people can have their shiny new tech gadgets cheaper?

    That idiot Merkel said something of the sorts recently. Said there were too many college graduates in Europe and that there should be a shift to professional courses instead of university courses so we could have more people do low paid jobs. Fucking idiot.

    Basic income has shown that people are motivated to better themselves, take courses and specialize at their job. I'm fairly certain that basic income would motivate more people into following engineering related jobs and that would spur a massive technological growth, effectively eliminating the lower classes in about a decade. There are no dumb and smart people. There's just people with opportunities and people without them.

  48. Sailor Barsoom says:

    Some people want to pair the basic income with elimination of minimum wage. I'm still grinding that one through the wheels of my mind.

    My feeling has tended to be that the MW and the BI should be the same, so that a person not working could double his income by taking a full-time MW job. Thus, little or no work disincentive. Also, much of the general public would support increases in the MW because it would mean increases in their own BI.

    Also, I fear that if we eliminate MW, the BI basically becomes a government subsidy for employers who don't want to pay a decent wage.

    OTOH, if employers don't want to pay a decent wage somebody with a BI could simply refuse the job. You want your toilets scrubbed? Fine, but it'll cost you. It's not like I have to take a rotten job for rotten pay.

    So yeah, it's grinding.

  49. KT Chong says:

    A basic income is also the best way to deter illegal immigration: if someone does not have legal identity and residency in the country, then she won't be eligible for the basic income. And there won't be a job for her when AI, automation, machines and robots take over all the jobs.

  50. GameAddict51 says:

    Why the fuck would the rich get a basic income?

  51. Revan says:

    Go Switzerland!

  52. MegaMementoMori says:

    I think that a 2 – second video would suffice to answer this question. First second – the question appears on the screen. Second second – a huge, fat "NO".

  53. Laughingpug says:

    my argument is pretty simple they shouldn't be able to afford those goods a basic income should be enough to survive on nothing more. If you are comfortable eating sleeping with a roof over your head good on ya. If you want anything that's not necessary get off your lazy ass and get a job. the only things you need for survival is food shelter and water everything past that is a luxury .

    I'm all for making it so there are no longer homeless or hungry people but lets be honest here a basic income shouldn't be enough to get you much past that.

  54. verifymyageful says:

    So you are telling me that the rich get the basic income too… So where in the fuck does this utopian plan derive it's money from?

  55. ndfvbaihgi dfgeagniaj says:

    Basic income might be worth trying… but not under the threat of state violence as with taxes.

    I wish everyone else would also give money to help North Koreans that live in hell on earth, but unlike Statists I would never take that money by force. It's wrong.

  56. gary moore says:

    problems we have are unhappy people drinking smoking in 2 grave… would be so much better

  57. marie bbgon says:

    It seems that no one talks about the fact that basic income would only be available for citizens, if it was introduced. Which means that there would be no shortage of low-paid workers, they'd simply be "imported" from poorer countries, almost like slaves.

  58. Hugo Fernandes says:

    they have already voted.. 70% no 30% yes ( aproximatly) . this was because switzerland is a rich country and they are good with what they have ( they dont want to risk it ) … try to do a referendum about basic income in US , Spain or Greece.. and just watch the results.

  59. Ken H says:

    Basic Income idea is completely idiotic.
    There will be more people who take advantage of it and work less.
    Europeans are already lazy and inefficient, if this idea is implemented, people would work even less. No country in the world has honest enough people where this can become successful.

  60. R. T.E. says:

    Wait, so the main reason economists disagree with a basic income is that we need cheap labor for the economy to work, aka modern day slaves? Jeeezzz….

  61. Jamie Gray says:

    2:04 to the economists who argue that it would lead to a "loss of low paid workers"

    one word:

  62. Ziyad Abou Chair says:


  63. John Gotti says:

    5 dollars a min

  64. Lord Knightyme says:

    The low paid jobs would not go away, would you would likely have is a larger workforce with each doing less hours. Sure you will have those that won't work, and those types would have been bad employees in all likelihood anyway. What you would have are motivated people doing a job because they choose to do that job.

    In another video I made a suggestion for a B.I. but the full amount from age 18 and older with a 1/18 share for each birthday to 18. So a 5 1/2 year old gets 5/18, a newborn gets 0/18. This would encourage some to look for those low paying jobs, while having the flexibility to be home for the kids if need be.

  65. Eric, The Fearsome Social Liberal says:

    Basic income, which should offer 1000 to 2000 dollars a month by the government, should only be provided for people, who are unable to find a job anywhere to survive, people hating or getting bored of their jobs and they want to quit their jobs, people retiring from jobs, people living in poverty, and people having a disability, to buy for food, water, shelter, and clothes to help boost the economy. Also, people can afford for a family, and buy entertaining resources, such as video games and IPhones, to enjoy their happiness and hobbies, due to automation and professional workers having more work experience and passion to replace unskilled workers in professional jobs, including engineering, medical, and IT. Almost 2/3 jobs, which most service jobs, most manufacturing jobs, most trade jobs, and a few or some professional jobs in the future, will be replaced by robots. In other words, technology will create more, new high-paying jobs, but most low-paying jobs will be lost to automation.

  66. alex zannettou says:

    What is the point of paying everyone $2000 if you cant buy anything more with that $2000. It makes no sense to me

  67. Gardner Gee says:

    No mention of robots and other labor saving devices that may be considered factors impacting the arguments for this policy?

  68. Gabe Zorbas says:

    eliminate the minimum wage and welfare, institute a negative income tax using an equation based tax.

  69. hihoshi says:

    If I got paid a basic income I would love to work in customer service again. It is actually a fun job for me. I just can't afford to work in those jobs because I can't find one that pay enough to live on. This would just make abuse in the work place easier to escape because you would always know where your next meal is coming from.

  70. Pierre Gleize says:

    Anything "guaranteed" by the government is always a scam.

  71. Pierre Gleize says:

    In this world, nothing is free. The things you receive are either earned or stolen. A basic income is not earned, and is therefore immoral.

  72. Tino Rozzo says:

    Automation is taking over the manufacturing jobs. And others. Bernie did speak about the UI/

  73. Owen Pook says:

    Thank fuck the Swiss voted NO

  74. Gregory Pnemono says:

    This sound like a really bad idea. This is socialism lite.

  75. mrjo2thec says:

    Why don't we just get rid of all the lazy greedy bastards in society? As in the people who are physically and intellectually able to work or contribute but don't. I mean fuck them if they don't want to contribute then they shouldn't expect to survive.
    Whoever remains won't need a basic income or minimum wage, because all the businesses they work for or operate will be more productive, because everybody will add value. Which in turn means they can demand a higher wage.
    The extra goods & services now available can be consumed by the now wealthier population.
    Combine this with effective foreign trade relationships and exportable goods & services to offset inflation in the event that production gets so high that it outweighs the domestic population's consumption, then Bob's your uncle!
    So….yeh just basic economics really but without the lazy greedy bastards.

  76. SkyEarthOcean says:

    This should be phased in as things become increasingly automated.

  77. m. usm. says:

    Simple answer is YES

  78. Chris - Sol Mon says:

    And where does the government (aka "god") get its money from? The people, no?

    But aren't WE the government? Why is the government always alluded to as a separate entity?

  79. Tanner Heaps says:

    fuck now this

  80. john savage says:

    A guaranteed US income of $25,000 dollars per year for life would cost nothing! It would pay for itself seven times over and solve so many problems. Jsav, Why the debate?

  81. Histify says:

    In case anyone is curious, a quick google search shows it was rejected by about 77% or something

  82. schakalakadingdong says:


  83. 林俊傑 Miller Lin says:


  84. Sharpeye Films says:

    This is an absolutely terrible idea that will not only cost Mash traffic more children will be born crime rate will go up there was a lot of negatives to this but I want to see what happens

  85. Spotlight New Media says:

    Yes and the Central Banks keep creating money out of thin air through qa and a monetary debt based system!

  86. Caeruleus Aurum says:

    It will come sooner or later as the wages don't keep up with inflation and there aren't enough jobs.

  87. NOBEL DJ says:

    hmm if the US did this we would go into debt like crazy and die, many people on this don't spend the money smartly

  88. dividing and conquering says:

    A nation should in a sense be thought of like a company or business. The citizens can be thought as employee/shareholders that should act in the best interest of both themselves and the business the they own a share off. If the employee/shareholders of a business are stupid, lazy, corrupt and over populates – the business will not be very successful and living standards will drop. These (stupid, lazy, corrupt) employee/shareholders should not, then expect to become employee/shareholders of the more successful business next door or across the road. (sustainability requires responsibility)

  89. Purrscratchheadbutt says:

    Some serious yet very relevant reminders here regarding this Basic Income discussion:
    Communism did not work , doesn't work and will not work.
    There is a biological, physiological inherent part to all of us: Human nature.
    There is no such thing as a free lunch.
    Free money doesn't exist; it has to be earned.

  90. Purrscratchheadbutt says:

    It definitely showed that the Swiss are one of the most down to Earth, realistic and sober people with actual common sense by not voting for the "UBI". The Swiss don't want communism clearly and run their economy in the ground and reward laziness and freeloaders.

  91. Ayoub Jouini says:

    It's almost 2019 and there I'm nothing bullshits

  92. Petar Parchev says:

    This is great.can't wait for this to happen.

  93. Terence Kearns says:

    Sure, let everyone become more dependent on the system – and I don't just mean the government – I mean the global system of control under the bank of international settlements.

  94. lisa starves says:

    Yes why not… its a good .. idea man…

  95. lisa starves says:

    It should be for the poor really though.. why BECAUSE it well help them.. get up and go in too the work world.. and do something even if its volunteer.. i think.. people who work.. should know that one.. or and so on..

  96. Michael Samuel says:

    See my version of a basic income payment – poverty eradication worldwide/michael samuel – on youtube.

  97. Sanjit Agnihotri says:

    It's a good idea,whose success depends upon the recipient.

  98. super man says:

    Basic human right

  99. Ruben Ramirez says:

    Andrew Yang 2020

  100. Joseph Richardson says:

    Yes, and NJ is about to try and they are doing the experiment incorrectly. Per FOX news NJ plans on giving a UBI to only a lower income portion of Newark. They should be giving it to a mixture of the demographic to get the true results. Why give the funds only to a certain portion of the population. I'm sure that NJ will want to put stipulations on the money, etc. This is nothing like Andrew Yang wants to do. Also… NJ should look into what Canada did the 70's.

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