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What Would a Basic Income Actually Cost?

« As always, when you are thinking about a big macro program, the best way to think about it is to ignore money and dollars altogether. The main thing a basic income does is change the distribution of real resources. Implementing a basic income moves real resources (on net) down in the income distribution. That is all that is going on. The distribution of stuff is being altered so as to be more even. »

« When a government runs a basic income program, it is not actually commanding real resources. It is not like when a government makes a road. The making of that road pulls resources out of private use and directs them towards making the road. Here, the government just moves real resources around. It just changes the distribution of them. It does not direct their use. »

« Other than administration and labor supply effects though, the basic income doesn't cost anything, not really. With a basic income, we are talking about changing the distribution of income, not undertaking a government project like a road that actually commands and directs real resources. »

This story gives an intersting input on how to consider the cost of the universal basic income.

Original story from Matt Bruenig : « What Would a Basic Income Actually Cost? »

 

Note

: The author propose an interesting basic income amount/cost calculator for the united States.
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