Harper Lee, an insecure writer, received an interesting opportunity in 1956. Lee was presented with an envelope by her family and friends. The envelope contained money that was equivalent to a year of salary along with a note stating “You have one calendar year to write anything you like.” (“Universal Basic income: The Answer for Automation ?”). Lee accepted the money. Lee used the year to write. Lee was able, during this year to complete To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee has received numerous awards and many copies sold of To Kill a Mockingbird. Although it was not a universal basis income, Harper Lee still received the same income from this arrangement (“Universal Basic income: The Answer To Automation Lee could make a better life and have more time. The universal basic Income would allow all beneficiaries to have opportunities similar to Lee’s. This would enable them to make improvements in their lives. Many regulations regarding eligibility for funding are in place today, which limits who has the chance to improve their lives. Automation is also a trend in our society, which limits the number of jobs and increases the need for financial assistance. In order to make people’s lives better, the United States government must implement universal basic Income to equalize financial support for all adults.
Universal Basic income (UBI), a government-funded program, provides a guaranteed income to all citizens regardless of their socioeconomic status. Andrew Yang is a popular entrepreneur, economist and author who describes Universal Basic income as “a version Social Security” where every citizen receives a set amount of money each month, regardless of their earnings or work status (p.166). This form of welfare provides equal funding to all citizens. The idea of a universal basic income has been around for many decades. Yang, p. 166. While several politicians have suggested different forms of UBI, none have been adopted. Yang says that UBI was almost made law in the United States in 1970, 1971. It passed twice in the House of Representatives before being stalled in the Senate (p.166). Andrew Yang created the Freedom Dividend, a popular UBI. Yang’s Freedom Dividen proposes that everyone aged between 18 and 64 receives $12,000 per year or $1,000 per month. The Freedom Dividen would give all citizens in this age group a fixed income that they can use to their hearts’ content. This welfare program would allow citizens to receive financial assistance in times when they need it and provide financial freedom for recipients. Automation is the problem. As technology advances, automation is taking over many jobs and leaving people without work. Yang says that many common jobs are at risk today and that they will be in decline (p 40). Yang is supported in this argument by the fact that 57% worldwide jobs are at high risk from automation. These diverse jobs all face automation risk, leaving many people who work in these industries without a job and a means of supporting their families. Yang stated in an interview that Trump took away millions of manufacturing jobs and that now 30 percent of malls and stores are closing. Yang also said that retail clerks are the most popular job in America (“Andrew”). This is an issue that is quickly growing, resulting in many people losing their jobs. Haas mentions Andrew Yang. Yang says that although “automation” has already eliminated millions of manufacturing jobs from 2000 to 2015, he believes that the bulk is still to come. Yang also states that “I love Capitalism,” but “capitalism with the help of technology is soon to turn on the common people.” Although automation has already been seen to have an impact on society’s lives, Yang believes it is just beginning and that more must be done. Chris Hughes (co-founder of Facebook) and Elon Muss, a technology entrepreneur both believe that automation is going to overtake the workforce. In an era of technology-driven automation, many people will find it difficult to find work or to maintain their financial security.
UBI is becoming more important as automation increases. However, UBI recipients can still benefit from it in many other ways. Goldsmith says that universal basic income is a well-established concept and can be used to address basic human rights. UBI gives people more freedom over their finances, which is a major benefit. UBI, unlike other welfare programs, does not contain the ‘povertytrap’. The ‘povertytrap’ is a situation where an individual cannot obtain funding if their income falls within a specific range. Once they leave that range, they no longer receive welfare benefits and have to struggle to improve their lives. UBI would eliminate the ‘poverty trap’ as everyone would be eligible for equal funding, regardless of their financial situation. UBI is a “practical solution to poverty and hunger around the globe,” Goldsmith stated. UBI provides all people with enough money to provide basic necessities like shelter and food. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most influential historical figures to support basic incomes. Martin Luther King Jr. said that a guaranteed source of income would eradicate poverty. This means that income inequality must also be reduced” (Amadeo).