Why It’s Time to Adopt the Idea of Guaranteed Income … Really?

Do you believe the first statement in the quote below? I don’t

40% of Americans can’t come up with $400, really? It’s widely quoted and is based on a survey.

Rather, the question should be what do you spend $400 a month that is not a necessity like rent, food, transportation?

No doubt there are some Americans who spend every penny they have on necessities and also rely on social programs, but it’s not forty percent. If that were true, half the non-essential businesses in the US would not exist.

The thing is we rarely if ever, ask the right question. Remember, what people can afford has two components, income and spending and we need to look at the spending part more often and more closely.

Nearly 40% of Americans cannot afford a $400 emergency…

A guaranteed income is a monthly cash payment given directly to individuals. It is unconditional, with no strings attached and no work requirements. A guaranteed income is meant to supplement, rather than replace, the existing social safety net and can be a tool for racial and gender equity. Direct, unconditional cash gives people the freedom to spend money on their most immediate needs — be it food for their household, repairing a car to get to work, medicine to treat a loved one or simply rent.

Source: Why It’s Time to Adopt MLK JR.’s Idea of Guaranteed Income | Time

Unconditional cash also gives people the freedom to spend money on additional things beyond true needs. Aren’t social safety nets designed to help pay for immediate needs like food, health care and housing subsidies and aren’t welfare payments cash to spend as needed?

In an ideal world unconditional cash might be used prudently on necessities and to help lift the individual out of a low income status, but we have yet to see that world.

One comment

  1. It’s nice that our government has been so prudent with our spending that there’s more than enough to share with everyone!


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