Universal Basic Income: A Dream Come True for Despots

by Antony Sammeroff
Mises.org

I’m sitting in the pub after a Skeptics Society meet up. I don’t go very often, but there was a famous author speaking, and living (as most of us do these days) in something of a social media bubble, this is a rare opportunity for me to actually get a window into what thinking people outside of my circle have to say on some of the issues of the day. A warm chat ensues over a pint with a couple of the other attendees, when miraculously the conversation at my table turns to the universal basic income (UBI). My neighbour gushes with vigour over its merits. He eagerly vows that it will solve innumerable problems facing our civilisation and I get the feeling he has been spreading the gospel at every available turn because this idea is the crucial one. If only he can get enough people to believe it …

I abstain from mentioning my book as I don’t want to prejudice his answers to any of my questions. I politely wait my turn, and then ask a simple question: “What do you think the potential disadvantages of the basic income would be, then?”

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