Universal Basic Income Explained – Free Money for Everybody? UBI

Universal Basic Income Explained – Free Money for Everybody? UBI

What if the state covered your cost of living, would you still go to work? Go back to school? Not work at all? What would you do? This concept is called a universal basic income or UBI And it’s nothing less than the most ambitious social policy of our times in 2017, basic income is gaining momentum around the world First trials are ongoing or on their way and a growing number of countries are considering UBI as an alternative to welfare How would it work and what are the key arguments for and against? Right now people can’t really agree. What universal basic income is or should be Some want to use it to eliminate welfare and Cupp bureaucracy Others want it as a free extra for existing programs, or even want it to be so high that work itself becomes optional For this video we’ll talk mostly about the minimum basic income enough money to be above the poverty line in the US this means about $1,000 a month or $12,000 a year The money would not be taxed and you could do whatever you wanted with it in In this scenario UBI is a way of transferring the wealth of a society while still keeping the free market intact But if we hand out free money will people just spend it on booze and stop working? A 2013 study by the World Bank specifically examined if poor people waste their handouts on tobacco and alcohol if they receive it in the form of cash The clear answer, no they don’t. The opposite is true Other studies have shown that the richer you are, the more drugs and alcohol you consume The lazy and drunk poor person is a stereotype rather than reality What about laziness? Universal basic income test runs done in Canada in the 1970s showed that around 1% of the recipients stopped working, mostly to take care of their kids On average people reduced their working hours by less than 10% The extra time was used to achieve goals like going back to school or looking for better jobs But if laziness and drugs are not a huge deal, Why doesn’t our current welfare state solve poverty Welfare or unemployment programs often come with a lot of strings attached Like taking part in courses, Applying to a certain number of jobs a month or accepting any kind of job offer no matter if it’s a good fit, or what it pays Besides the loss of personal freedom, these conditions are often a huge waste of time and only served to make the unemployment statistics Seem less bad Often your time would be much better spent looking for the right job continuing education or starting a business Another unwanted side effect of many welfare programs is that they trap people in poverty and promote passive behavior Imagine a benefit of $1,000 each month in a lot of programs if you earn a single dollar extra the whole thing is taken away If you take a job, that’s paying $1200 you might not only lose your benefits, but because of your taxes and another costs like transportation You might end up having less money than before So if you actively try to better your situation, and your total income is not improving or even a shrinking welfare can create a ceiling that traps people in poverty and rewards passive behavior A basic income can never be cut and therefore getting a job and additional income would always make your financial situation better Work is always rewarded instead of a ceiling it creates a floor from which people can lift themselves up But even if UBI is the better model, is it economically feasible? What about inflation? Won’t prices just rise making everything just like it was before? Since the money is not being created by magic or printers it needs to be transferred from somewhere It’s more of a shift of funds than the creation of new ones Hence; no inflation Ok, but how do we pay for it? There’s no right answer here because the world is too diverse How well-off the country is, what the local values are, Are things like high taxes or cutting the defence budget politically acceptable or not? How much welfare state is already in place and is it effective? Each country has its own individual path to a UBI The easiest way to pay for a UBI is to end all welfare and use the free funds to finance it Not only would this make a number of government agencies disappear, which in itself saves money, it would also eliminate a lot of bureaucracy on the other hand cutting them could leave many people worse off than before If the goal is to have a foundation for everybody there still need to be programs of some sort because just like countries, People are not the same The second way – higher taxes especially for the very wealthy In the US for example there’s been a lot of economic growth but most of the benefits from it have gone to the richest few percent the wealth gap is rapidly widening and many argue that it might be time to distribute the spoils more evenly to preserve the social peace There could be taxes on financial transactions, capital, land value, carbon, or even robots But UBI is not necessarily expensive According to a recent study a UBI of $1,000 per month in the US Could actually grow the GDP by 12% over eight years because it would enable poor people to spend more and increase overall demand What about the people who do the dirty work? Who will work in the fields, crawl through sewers, or lift pianos? If you don’t need to for survival, will people still do hard boring and unfulfilling labor? UBI might give them enough leverage to demand better pay and working conditions a study calculated that every extra dollar going to wage earners would add about $1.21 to the national economy While every extra dollar going to high-income Americans would add only 39 cents There would still be very rich and poor people but we could eliminate fear, suffering, and existential panic for a significant part of the population Making poor citizens better off could be a smart economic tactic For some this isn’t enough. They want a UBI large enough to live a middle-class existence If we set the financial obstacle aside, this idea fundamentally challenges, how our society is constructed By earning money, you earn the possibility to take part in society this determines your status and options But it also forces many people into spending huge chunks of their time on things they don’t care about in 2016 only 33% of US employees were engaged at work 16% were actively miserable and the remaining 51% were only physically present Would 67% of people stop working if they could? It would be unfair to portray work as just a chore work gives us something to do. It challenges us it motivates us to improve, it forces us to engage Many find friends or partners at work, we work for social status wealth and our place in the world We’re looking for something to do with our lives and for many people work gives them meaning There are other concerns with UBI If all welfare programs were exchanged for one single payment, this gives the government a lot of leverage individual programs are easier to attack or cut than a multitude or populist smite promise drastic changes to the UBI to get into power and a universal basic income doesn’t tackle all problems when it comes to equality Rents for example while $1,000 might be great in the countryside, it’s not a lot for expensive metropolitan areas which could lead to poor people moving outwards and the difference between rich and poor becoming even more extreme and of course, for some people, the concept of work itself not being essential for survival is appalling Conclusion So is the universal basic income a good idea? The honest answer is that we don’t know yet There needs to be a lot more research more and bigger test runs We need to think about what kind of UBI we want and what we’re prepared to give up to pay for it The potential is huge. It might be the most promising model to sustainably eliminate poverty It might seriously reduce the amount of desperation in the world and make us all much less stressed out This video was made possible by a Universal basic income provided by you, our viewers Ten thousand people around the world gift us a monthly income on patreon.com/Kurzgesagt You enable us to pay salaries and buy new hardware you enable us to make more videos And you enable us to spend more time on them Kurzgesagt would truly not be what it is today without your help You help us stay independent, and you give us the freedom to put quality before quantity Thank you so much


  1. Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell says:

    There's brand new stuff in the Kurzgesagt Merch Shop. Check it out here: shop.kurzgesagt.org

  2. William Webster says:

    UBI would create a larger number of tax payers therefore giving the government more revenue to control which typically they do a very poor job at managing.

  3. TROYY says:

    Work for your money people

  4. J.B 91 says:

    This is a fact in Scandinavia. Just saing.

  5. Kitten says:

    7:38 Pretty sure that if it's about the last donut you won't make a lot of friends

  6. Andrew M. says:

    Yes! Let's do this! Let's take money from people who have earned it and give it to people who haven't. Making money easy to attain won't alter it's value. Besides, freedom is overated, and I want free stuff!

  7. I3 O R D O says:

    Imagine people making a dozen of babies and multiplying the number by the potential UBI. Wait they are already doing it

  8. DJ Chesley says:

    Political correctness bias has tainted this video. Much of it is accurate, but come on Kurzgesagt… Broke addicts are something every one of us has seen personally. It's not just a stereotype.

  9. Julie Hyunhee Lim says:

    Yang Gang

  10. erickh555 says:

    how in hell is will not cause inflation if people will literally get a 1000 dollars richer? i mean, if they have the money to spend, the market will rise the values to adjust to the more fitting standard new income of society, making an income of 1000 dollars totally useless… i dont get that ''shift'' instead of generating the money and why is it important if the end result is the same, more money in the pockets therefore higher price in products… maybe someone can explain this?

  11. Travis Collier says:

    I'm way late to these comments, but the interplay between UBI and minimum wage is an interesting topic.
    Generally speaking, UBI would replace the function of minimum wage, and thus allow some really low paying jobs to become viable from the POV of both employers (jobs where the revenue gains are < the minimum wage) and workers who might want a low/no skill gig with low pressure. It could also go rather badly if the UBI is not actually sufficient to make such work *voluntary*.

    That's a key thing actually… a sufficiently high UBI makes work a truly voluntary transaction for everyone. That terrifies a lot of employers for obvious reasons.
    The other key thing is that UBI effectively pays (decreases the opportunity cost to be precise) people to do unpaid labor like taking care of family. volunteering, ect. On that front, there is also a serious feminist angle since those jobs are traditionally dominated by females, but that is hardly the only benefit.


    It's funny because in the us it is created by magic and printers and they just keep printing it

  13. Dhruv Narayan SIngh says:

    Great, Keep posting great videos

  14. jaspal bachada says:

    Make a video that involves Sikhism

  15. mountebank says:

    Yang 2020

  16. Silmar Forbes says:

    Im amazed when I remember myself watching this video on 2017 and hearing Andrew Yang now. I thought anything like this wouldnt be seriously proposed for decades

  17. Jaccobtw says:

    Lmao you cant live on no 1,000 a month unless you live in the projects

  18. ArticBlueFox96 says:

    I used to be a big supporter of a UBI, and I am not against it, but I do not think that a UBI will really fix the problems in our economy and society. We still have the means of living, producing, distributing, and communicating owned by a few.

    Before we give a UBI we first need to give:

    * Free housing as a right
    * Free healthcare as a right
    * Free higher education as a right
    * Expanded food stamps with less means testing

    Then we can work on a UBI or a universal job program or both

  19. James Rogers says:

    A total fantasy. (Or a potential nightmare.) A UBI, in a world where growing numbers of people are unemployed and essentially unemployable due to technology, would become just a poverty stipend. It won't produce a utopia or even mitigate "income inequality" (a concept that begs the question: "why should income be equal in the first place? The answer being that it shouldn't. People are worth what economic values they generate. If all you can do is flip a burger, how is your labor equal to that of say, a neurosurgeon? It isn't.)
    Paying for a UBI would be unsustainable, even for a relatively small slice of the population. Spending hypothetical money you are unlikely to ever have or fantasizing about "soaking the rich and corporations in order to "spread the wealth," is how the road to national ruin is paved.

  20. rbrtgnzls says:


  21. rbrtgnzls says:

    Andrew Yang for President 2020

  22. R B says:

    I can see lots of money went into creating this video from donations. Makes sense that they take the position that free money is a good thing.

  23. Mountain Metal says:

    Monumentally moronic idea.

  24. john davis says:

    What a crock of fucking shit.

  25. Chris Wild says:

    Possibly the best route to take is write off all personal debt as in credit cards and small loans. Yes this will piss many of the lenders off, there could be a bail out for them; after all, they get them anyway! Of course, there is more to find a details to all this. I dont know that much about it all clearly, its just an observation..

  26. Bi11y says:

    14K People can't do the math.

  27. Bi11y says:

    UBI Would help me out so much, $1000/month specifically would give me a base cushion,
    of which that I could sit on in an emergency if I lost a job, and I could work a part time position,
    and still live comfortably as a young single male. It would ease my stress levels significantly,
    and make me much happier, and still be a working member of society.

  28. Bi11y says:

    I can't believe the amount of overly negative and uneducated comments,
    if UBI was enacted tomorrow and everyone and their mother got $1000 to sit on for the month,
    we would be happy working members of society, and those that are less fortunate wouldn't be forced
    to work their whole week away to survive, we would all have more much loved free time.

  29. Trevor Hecht says:

    I still cant wrap my mind around who UBI wont inflate the economy. But my bigger issue is how people can feel that the rich need to pay even more taxes. Putting more taxes on business doesn't do anything, hearing "Amazon is evading taxes" is just a puppet to increase their tax. Believe it or not the majority of business taxes come from small businesses. You're killing the middle class and don't realize it.

  30. Stefan CANDEA says:

    so people are saying that like.. people care about your mental position at work? man, some countries REALLY ARE far off the charts.

  31. likira111 says:

    I'm currently taking a gap year and I can say from personal experience that given the opportunity you don't want to avoid school work, I'm currently going insane from having been sick and not doing anything for nearly a month.

  32. The Yangem says:

    7:30 you see, I play videogames to keep me occupied.

  33. Vlad The Inhaler says:

    How the fuck did he cast off demand pull inflation with a teetering glass trinket?

  34. Growthwizz says:

    I have something better than UBI am in creation of not depending on the government and does not damage the economy its like a UBI+WORK model that depends on work

  35. Peter Krumeich says:

    I'll vote for yang if he makes it $10k a month. I want $10k a month. Dont cheap out on my vote yang.

  36. Milos says:

    2:21, Because at the moment money is given in the form of welfare mostly to people who suffer from mental illness, have very low IQ or are messed up in some other way. If you just gave money to everyone, then those who are now on welfare would probably waste that money, just like now, but the others would not, and they might even be more productive in the long run.

  37. the Miner says:

    if lazy drunk poor people who don't work is just a stereotype, someone come over here and tell my neighbors.

  38. the Miner says:

    How do we keep the rich people from leaving when we try to take their money.

  39. Panduh says:

    Andrew Yang got the idea from this video 100%

  40. Mr Melon says:

    Me a communist: hmmmm sounds familiar

  41. Anik Samiur Rahman says:

    Seems like properly planned UBI will be a great idea. It will increase social mobility, decrease the wealth gap and contribute a lot to the national economy. So, its never going to be instituted in the US.

  42. 133col says:

    Piloted in some EU countries (small regions, not country-wide) already, even in Canada. Failed everywhere insofar. Maybe there is something else you can remember that failed every time it was tried.

  43. Ki k says:

    Because chasing off the uber wealthy and paying everyone in monopoly money for participating everyone knows being a doctor is no harder then being a dishwasher why should they get payed more to be responsible for peoples lives i think ubi is awsome being poor is for dummys..

  44. Oodle Richhy says:

    Video in 2017. Yang is talking about UBI now. This channel is ahead of its time.

  45. Pooper McScooper says:

    Lower military spending by 5% and actually tax the top 0.001%

    UBI paid for.

  46. not me says:


  47. Isaac says:

    How to make socialism work I am not saying because it is like socalism it is bad

  48. Esteban Salcedo says:

    UBI is stupid

  49. Bob Treyton says:

    Man whoever thinks this will work is a bunch of fucking morons.

  50. jeremy mclouth says:

    This seems all like a sign the consumer driven society model has failed. Agricultural societies flourished for thousands of years. But this industrialized, consumer society has failed in a few hundred years. Making a system where people work to produce/sell things to make money just to consume those same things they produce/sell (non essential things is they key as producing food to consume is essential) seems like a good idea until businesses use techniques to have less workers. Then the whole system must collapse. Very sad. Guess that sums up the video series.

  51. LeCutter says:

    The simple reality is that an UBI is necessary to stave off bloody revolution and keep the world economy from collapsing. As automation and AI replace everyone in every facet of life who would buy products and/or services if they have no money to spend? Mass unemployment and poverty invariably leads to bloody revolution. Always.

  52. Christian Pike says:

    Typically the videos put out by this channel are very well balanced. Unfortunately this one is extremely biased and unrealistic

  53. FrankTheTank 155 says:

    Hmm sound like a current Democratic Nominee? YANG GANG!!!

  54. Vibeguy1052 says:

    Free $1000 for sitting on your ass !

  55. Logan says:

    UBI is Andrew's presidential campaign platform. Google Andrew Yang and vote for him.

  56. Jan Metzger says:

    Interesting video. It certainly has opened my mind to explore the concept. Although, there is one thing you left out. Corporate greed. Would prices have to go up? Probably not. However, the rich corporations would see it as an opportunity to raise prices and increase profits. Examples of this is often seen in areas of major disasters with companies that attempt price gouging. In order for UBI to work, something would have to be put in place to protect people.

  57. Thog says:

    7:34 is that spongeman bobpants?

  58. Crispy Ro says:

    Reading a few comments here I can see some people don't have idea what's coming. Just wait until machines start replacing you from your jobs and see if UBI is a bad idea then.

  59. Xyphenox Castaneda says:

    “16% of people actively miserable”

    that’s… kinda sad

  60. THE VØYD says:

    I love how unbiased this is

  61. Randy Poor says:

    I would stop working in a heartbeat

  62. Evelene Maye says:

    No birds were harmed during the making of this video…. how sad.

  63. Grant Miller says:

    I have an issue with the "won't cause inflation" assertion. Firstly the assumption that inflation is simply due to money supply and not a lot of other factors including currency value, international and domestic interest rates, etc is just flat out false and this would impact those. Some ways could be reasoned and some in ways we wouldn't see coming. Also, inflation across the board may not go up much as an extra thousand a month has very little impact on the customers of Ferrari but no way do the small apartments in rural areas renting for 300 a month stay the same. Those probably go up significantly. Inflation would hit the lower income people hard but have much less on high income people. The benefit would be the opposite tho but overall it has WAY less positive impact than is being suggested by how many things are being left ceteris paribus that shouldn't be. That being said the elimination of a ton of bureaucracy and the welfare cliff is a huge benefit and enough to probably make this better than current welfare so no need to overhype with impossibly overly optimistic outcomes to sell this.

  64. MY Mind says:

    In Islam There is a better solution to poverty, it worked fine through 1300 years before modern Muslim countries decided to use the western economics, it is the Islamic law of "Zakah زكاه" which takes only 2.5% of the rich people extra saved money, a rich man is defined by a person who have an extra certain amount of money for 1 year, this means he should bay only for this extra amount a 2.5%, for the nation treasury, now the best thing about this system and welfare system or UBI is:

    1- it encourages people to keep investing there extra money and not saving it cause they will loose 2.5% of this saved money each year (in Islam taking bank interest is forbidden) this creates more work opportunities and lowers unemployment rates.

    2- those who take this money from "Zakah" are not limited to only a monthly minimum Salary, they might be given lets say 10,000 $ in one payment and this will help them start there own business and they will soon start paying Zakah for there extra cash they earn.

    but nowadays no body wants to use this system since it will make banks out of business since no one will use there interests or take there loans.

    banks are the real enemy of people

  65. Daddy Long Legs says:

    What a great way to destroy the economy, I think imma try it some time.

  66. Tubular Topher says:

    One glaring question I can't help but ask is how will people with drug addiction respond to having an extra $1000 every month?

  67. Agung Widi says:

    This is what Andrew Yang talking about

  68. Keegan says:

    In Minnesota if you make more than $240k (to my knowledge) a year your tax rate is 40%. The rich are handing out almost half of their money every paycheck. Higher tax rates will only take more…

  69. PACE ARROW says:

    Holy shit, the ignorance here is HUGE

  70. Eli Bright says:

    Socialism socialism socialism. Baaaad idea

  71. MICROSOFT HQ says:

    If you work you make even more money so if someone quite there job it's less then having a job still but at least you can survive with food and free health care.. so you ain't going to die and if you want to travel America you can get a car and go find your dream America

  72. darkdawnbringer says:

    If we ever want this to work we have to stop imigration…
    Or ensure "equality" around the wrold before starting it…
    The idea that everyone gets what they need is more then reasonable…
    But it wil only work if what people get is equal…
    Nobody wil be poor in india when they can be avarage in the us of A…

  73. martiansoldier says:

    The stereotypes of poorer people may be wrong, but an addict is an addict, you would probably have to attach some strings to prevent UBI becoming a curse for some unfortunately.

  74. Addust Channel says:

    KSP would basically be free.

  75. Dom Andriacchi says:

    To keep the social peace? That sounds like terrorism!

  76. EdP IV says:

    There is inflation when instituting this program. We operate in a deficit. That deficit is paid for with an increase in money supply.

    On a side note, this idiot channel cannot fund programs off the wealthy. So dumb. Do the math.

    Oh. Where did you get this 1$ plus given to the poor makes 1.2$ plus and the wealthy .30. If that study existed and was credible I would know about it.

    It is all academic anyways. Never happen. Like a gun buy back.

  77. systemid12 says:

    The fault of this entire argument is the assumption that wealth gap is an issue. If person A works harder than person B, is it unfair that person A is wealthier?

  78. Bean Dar says:

    Um.. you removed medicare with your bulldozer?

  79. HungLee says:

    I'm proud to pay tax to help government raise welfare for the ppl in poverty. The shorter the gap of income and economic strength between the highest and the lowest, the better stability and overall welfare of the society and economy.

    It doesn't always have to be about the actual money given to the poor people. Helping the poor people benefit from the welfare that only middle and upper class people could afford with more accessibilty and government's help in cost is crucial. Main area being medical, educational welfare and transportation. This is the thing that even middle and upper classes could be benefited from, with their own taxes. They benefit straight back to you.

    Which is why I like the West European and East Asian style of welfare politics rather than free for all North American economy style.

    I would like to hear from American perspective tho, as I'll be moving to NA soon.

  80. DL_Knight says:

    Andrew Yang is doing it.
    Vote 2020

  81. ShockMonkey says:

    Regarding 1000$ that forces people in countryside, I do not believe it would make divide. Basically it would incline those poorer to work at jobs that support, like food production that are mostly done in countrysides, and they could earn more with that job if they want to move to city and start jobs that pay more and would support city living expenses. For lazy ones, it would only keep em there, but they would still have enough for decent life. And since those that are not burdened with existential crisis and they do not need to work are inclined to be more creative out of pure fun, it would produce more artists, musicians and such.

  82. Kurt H says:

    I’d rather earn my own money and keep what I earn. There’s a certain pride about that.

  83. Max Sawers says:


  84. Sebastian Bartuc says:

    So you are talking about Plan Social for everyone , here in Argentina its not working very well. Actually kills your economy with higher taxes to cover the cost and or generate inflation. Stay away from this model.

  85. Ian Erickson says:

    If I got some additional money, I would still work

  86. doublec squared says:

    I spit out my coffee laughing at "Since the money is not being created by magic or printers"….tell that to our fiscal overlords. Not to mention the transgenerational debt to be paid by our children.

  87. Vladimira S. says:

    "Since the money is not created by magic or printers" …. Ammm let me stop you right there 😀

  88. PixelMotionHD says:

    One thing you got wrong… Money is made by printers these days, or if you prefer by numbers on banking account… Government "print" money all the time, as well as private banks…

  89. The Universe says:

    Existing doesnt imply you deserve to continue to do so, it goes against what has always been natural since the dawn of life
    Two living things exist, they have needs, and theres only enough for one and its offspring, natures got a way of biting people in the tail for going against it.

  90. Chr0nic1er says:

    I'm all for the idea of reducing bureaucracy by eliminating welfare programs and converting that into a UBI. Although I will admit that, in general, I am against the idea of taking money away from individuals to give to others. Still, as was the original purpose, I do support the idea of preventing old people from starving in the streets.

  91. CheesyBacon says:

    What if it was amended in our constitution that UBI amount should be fixed?

  92. Justice Crab says:

    Or you could lower taxes…. literally the same thing

  93. Warsin says:

    Yang Gang we out here non stop

  94. The potato Party pooper says:

    is this communism?

  95. Nacho says:

    It will produce inflation

  96. Dolly Dupee says:

    You make it up

    Per interstellar law on maximum amount of moneys and individuals

    If adult only planets ok

    Family planet limits on kids wives husbands and lovers

  97. Sam Fitt says:

    If we enter another recession like 2008 or worst in 2020 then more people will to protesting in the street demanding something in the forum UBI . When people lose everything they just lose it and anger replaces logic . Look at how many people around the world are already voicing unfairness and the gap between rich and poor . A hungry person is an angry person and a person who see's no hope is hopeless . Employers are demanding way to much out of there workers in order to protect profits over people. Greed and empathy find it very hard to be on the same page.

  98. aaron bacchus says:

    Down with your communist land grabing agenda

  99. Unlicensed Pharmacist says:

    so does this mean a single mother will no longer get benefits of having 10 kids but instead only get 1k a month?

  100. Austin me says:

    Universal minimum income (a system where a certain income is guaranteed including your wages so if the UMI is one-thousand dollars a month and you made fifty dollars you would get nine- hundred fifty dollars a month but if you made more than one-thousand dollars a month then you get nothing from UMI) would be better because you said it yourself, sixty-seven percent of people don’t like their job so if you gave them enough money to live in decent comfort without working they would do it this would still require work but still assist poor people. Also think about the future, if teenagers were told they didn’t need to work to survive anymore they wouldn’t work, why would they having fun is better than dealing with other people, schedules, and responsibilities. This would cause a drop in the working population to a point where only complete socialism could produce the needed money.

    Note: the UMI would have to be below the amount needed to survive to make work still necessary.

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