Money doesn’t grow on trees, but for Germans, it might as well as Germany trials the concept of Universal Basic Income. The road not taken, is about to be taken and many expect to have a few bumps along the way.
The German Government has given the go-ahead for a trial which can have perverse results. The study would pick 12 people, who every month for a period of 3 years will receive £1200 or about $1400, a figure which is just above Germany’s poverty line. The decision and its planning were met with enthusiasm as the study, which has been conducted by the German Institute for Economic Research, has been funded by an outrageous 140,000 private donations. The following study carries weight and importance as positive findings from such a study can set a precedent for restructuring German Financial Budgets, to accommodate the payments of Universal Basic Income to its Citizens.
The idea of Universal Basic Income seems a reality in a Utopian society rather than ours, however many have advocated for the inception of UBI (Universal Basic Income) since the inception of capitalism. In the late 18th century, English Radical Thomas Spence as well as American Revolutionary Thomas Paine, exclaimed the need for a welfare state of an Economies contributors. In 1967, Martin Luther King voiced his approval for UBI, exclaiming a monthly income to disadvantaged groups and minorities such as the African Americans, would reduce Income Inequality. The reasoning and the ideology for UBI however has been hotly contested and often drowned out through its inception. The Policies detractors have expressed that UBI could trigger Inflation in the economy, as the circulation and money rises and the real value of money falls. Its detractors have laid countless arguments which hinge on the de-incentivization of its citizens, and exclaiming such a move could make people not want to work and instead receive the free money.
However, the Idea of UBI has sprung into the limelight once again, mainly in part to the strong advocation of its benefits by once Democratic Presidential Nominee, Andrew Yang. Yang bought the conversation into the forefront of American Politics and Economics, as he pledged to give away 1000$ to every American Citizen, believing the UBI not be a giveaway, but rather an investment into the American People. Mr. Yang’s strong conviction coupled with a rising wealth gap between the Richest and the Poorest, has brought UBI back stronger than ever.
As Germany takes the road unknown, many believe it will has its bumps, regurgitating the same arguments many had against it in the past. Yet, this move is carried out with a hopeful intent and if UBI claims to do what its founders Thomas Paine’s and Thomas Pence set out to do, a radical and a revolutionary would truly change the world.