YA THINK?! A ‘Universal Basic Income’ Would Squash Work Ethic

Hannah Bleau

Some of the “trendy” Democrats like Cory Booker and Kamala Harris have been pushing new, super fun social programs. By “new” and “super fun,” I mean horrible, crusty failed ideas. Harris actually proposed a little something called the “Livable Income for Families Today (LIFT) Act.”

It’s a universal income program that would guarantee cash to people.

“We should put money back into the pockets of American families to address rising costs of childcare, housing, tuition, and other expenses,” Harris explained. “Our tax code should reflect our values and instead of more tax breaks for the top one percent and corporations, we should be lifting up millions of American families.”

As I detailed before:

She boasts that families making under $100,000 a year could receive anywhere from $500 to $6,000 a year, while people making less than $50,000 could receive $250 a month. You know. Just because. Buy yourself something nice!

A few “progressive” places have tried establishing a universal basic income. Finland did. Stockton, California is in the process of trying it (100 residents will receive $500 a month for a year and a half for no apparent reason), and it’s expected to cost $900,000. Again, that’s only for 100 people. For crying out loud, Ontario tried this “experiment” with 4,000 low-income participants, but officials decided to stop the program because it became “expensive and unsustainable.”

Meanwhile, Booker floated his own garbage idea, which would supposedly end “generational poverty” by giving low-income kids “free” cash in the form of “nest egg payments.”

Apparently, we needed a think tank to analyze these proposals in order to tell us that they would essentially squash work ethic.

In his 1984 book “Losing Ground,” Murray himself described the negative income tax experiment as “the most ambitious social-science experiment in history.”

The problem? This has been tried before—and the results weren’t pretty.

The best available evidence about the potential effects of these programs comes from the federal government’s “negative income tax” experiment.

The experiment, which ran from 1968 to 1980, consisted of four random, controlled trials across six states designed to test the negative income tax. Similar to the universal basic income, a negative income tax guarantees a minimum income, which phases out as earnings increase.

“No other even comes close to its combination of size, expense, length, and detail of analysis,” he wrote.

As Murray recounted, the experiment’s planners hoped that providing a minimum income would encourage work. But their worst fears were realized when the results showed the opposite.

Evaluations of the experiment found that the negative income tax reduced “desired hours of work by 9 percent for husbands, by 20 percent for wives, and by 25 percent for single female heads of families.”

For single males who were not heads of households throughout the experiment, the reduction in hours worked per week was a staggering43 percent.

When incentives are taken away, people lose motivation to work. Big shocker there.

A universal basic income is the dumbest idea  ever. Democrats have to realize that sooner or later.

h/t Daily Wire