As neoliberal politics continues to transcend traditional Democratic Party values, progressive lawmakers are advocating for increasing far-left policies that more reflect socialism than the values that have glued America together for more than two centuries.
One of those far-left policies is a universal basic income, for which some 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, like Andrew Yang, advocate.
However, a new study released this week testing the merits of UBI reveals such a policy is only a charitable idea that would utterly fail in practice.
What are the details?
The New Economics Foundation study, which co-author Anna Coote detailed in The Guardian, explained that current methods to implement universal basic income are not sustainable, nor does UBI deliver on its promises to help the impoverished rise out of their circumstances.
The study concluded:
- UBI is not a "viable route to solving" economic problems "caused or exacerbated by neoliberal market economics";
- There is no evidence that "any version of UBI can be affordable, inclusive, sufficient and sustainable"; and
- UBI will not aid working class people to "increase the bargaining power of workers and trade unions or solve problems of low pay and precarious work.
In sum, the study concluded that UBI is not the "silver bullet" that its proponents often claim it is.
Instead of dolling out cash payments to each citizen regardless of class or income, the study suggest resources "would be better spent on reforming social protection systems, and building more and better-quality public services."
In one of the most notable experiments to date, Finland announced last year that it would abandon its UBI experiment after providing a wide demographic of 2,000 Finnish citizens about $690 per month for two years. Italy has implemented a similar program.
In addition to Yang, Democrats such as freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) support universal basic income.
Among 2020 Democratic contenders, however, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is the next closest to supporting UBI via a tax-credit proposal that would give up to $500 per month to working families.
Meanwhile, the California Democratic Party officially endorsed supporting UBI last year.