Basic Income and the Welfare State

The argument goes that because we currently target money to those in need, by spreading out existing revenue to everyone instead, those currently targeted would necessarily receive less money, and thus would be worse off. Consequently, the end result of basic income could be theoretically regressive in nature by reducing the benefits of the poor and transferring that revenue instead to the middle classes and the rich. Obviously a bad idea, right? …

Basically, this particular argument would only make sense if we in no way altered our tax system to achieve UBI, and if our programs worked as we assume they work because that’s how they should work. The problem is they don’t work that way.
In the United States today, on average, just about one in four families living underneath the federal poverty line receives what most call welfare, which is actually known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF. It gets worse. Because states are actually just written checks to give out as they please in the form of “block grants,” there are states where far fewer than one in four impoverished families receive cash assistance. Continue reading

How to dismantle the welfare state

Can we really have sunk so far that we are prepared to abandon all this without a fight? I don’t think so. So here are the five tactics the government are using. Now you can spot them, and challenge them where you find it.

1. Never let a serious crisis go to waste
2. Launch a scapegoating campaign
3. Don’t talk about government subsidies and corporate welfare
4. Tell the people that we can’t afford welfare
5. Avoid common sense

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