Is Universal Basic Income Biblical?

"Legislating generosity is a way of shifting responsibility for compassion from me personally to everyone else around me. God intended for compassion to be relational not institutional." - P&D

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dgszweda's picture

A couple of comments on this:

First, none of the tests (and there have been lots of them) have been at a level that could sustain someone from not working.  Most have been in the $500-$600 amount.  The tests typically do not show that people abandon work in favor of sitting at home to collect a check.  Some have paid in the neighborhood of a $1,000 a month, but most people would content that you most likely could not live off of that.  The results have shown that it doesn't de-incentivize work.  Most of your argument centers around the fact that not working and getting rewards is sinful.  While I agree with the principle, not sure if it reflects this situation.

I don't think any of the results of these "tests" have shown an increase in laziness or shift toward not working.  I may be wrong, I haven't read all of them.  Most of the ones that I have read, the results have been 1)increase in pregnancies, 2)happiness, 3) mental health well being, 4) the tests did not impact employment rate, 5)in extreme areas, like Sub-Saharan Africa it decrease child malnourishment, 6) decrease in divorce rates, 7) increase in school attendance

I am not sure that a stipend to decrease extreme poverty can be tied to being antibiblical.   


Bert Perry's picture

David, the point of reference that comes to mind for me is what happened to poor communities, especially those in the inner city, when AFDC became law.  More or less, legions of young women were told that they'd get their own apartment, free medical care, and a monthly check if only they'd have a child but not marry the father.

We were shocked, SHOCKED when millions of teens did exactly that, and we were shocked, SHOCKED, when the children born to those situations became far more likely to not only become parents out of wedlock, but also to join street gangs and turn their own neighborhoods into war zones.

Along the same lines, studies have found that the most eager stage of job search is....right before unemployment benefits run out.  

So it may be true that many or most people would not decide to greatly change their behavior for a small monthly payment, but for those "on the margins", that can make all the difference.  Another point of reference is how welfare rolls plunged when the work requirement was implemented after 1994--thousands realized that the jobs they'd previously spurned at McDonald's and such weren't that bad in comparison to the opportunities government would give them like clearing garbage.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.