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Universal Basic Income: Has its Time Come?

Universal Basic Income: Has its Time Come?

It's an idea that's been around for hundreds of years: To give everyone in society a regular chunk of money that is enough to guarantee them a minimum survivable standard of living. Often called Universal or Unconditional Basic Income, the idea has supporters on both right and left. It was cast back into the spotlight this year when the Swiss held a referendum on whether to introduce it. Pilot schemes to test the idea are cropping up everywhere from Finland to the Netherlands to the US and Kenya. One reason it's gathering such momentum is concern over new technologies eliminating many low-end jobs. Last week the founder of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk said the impact of automation on the job market meant that some form of Universal Basic Income would become inevitable.

But not everyone agrees a Basic Income is inevitable, or even desirable, and for those who do support the idea, there's disagreement over almost every aspect of how it should be implemented: To what extent could it replac