To fund a Universal Basic Income of $10,000 per year for 300 million Americans would cost $3 trillion per year or require the investment of about $53 trillion. This would be reversing the current US debt and then tripling it in an investment fund.
An unconditional basic income [UBI] (also called basic income, basic income guarantee, universal basic income, or citizen’s income) is a proposed system of social security in which all citizens or residents of a country regularly receive an unconditional sum of money, either from a government or some other public institution, in addition to any income received from elsewhere.
Typically proponents talk about rolling up the existing support programs (food stamps, unemployment, medicare etc…) and topping up with tax increases.
Most of the World’s large sovereign funds have been developed from taxes or earnings from oil or in China’s case from production of products. However, China built a large part of its economy by leveraging cheap coal power.
A 2012 Congressional Research Service report found that the federal government spends approximately $750 billion each year on benefits for low-income Americans and 1 trillion with state programs. The CBO found that a carbon tax would bring in nearly $100 billion a year. Revenue would also increase automatically since everyone would have a basic income on which to pay taxes. If the basic income was only $6,000 a year and only paid up to the poverty line ($12000) that would make it more affordable but then you could not take all of the programs from others who now qualify.
Since they don’t want to work at least Politically enable the birth of a cash cow to fund UBI
Other than Norway IF they used their fund for basic income, there are no places that have the funds now for significant unconditional basic income. Alaska paid about $828 per person per year in 2012.
One option would be for proponents of unconditional basic income to fully support programs that could generate a massive energy fund surplus. This would need to be done in some form of explicit social contract.
This would mean things like fully supporting the development of government lands for oil and gas.
Move toward the Norway level of taxation of oil and gas.
The US has nearly triple Norway’s oil production. A surge in production could replicate a boost of size and scale similar and possibly two or three times what Norway had. This would mean $1-2 trillion in a UBI fund
Ramping up the construction and production of nuclear power to say 80% of electrical demand (the level France reached). France’s nuclear power program cost some FF 400 billion in 1993 currency. France generates about ten times less electrical power than the United States.
* Uprate existing nuclear reactors by 10-30% over the next 15 years
* Adjust the regulations to be pro-nuclear energy development to lower the costs and speed the development
* Perform research for better nuclear reactors.
* Replace coal burning plants with nuclear energy but reuse the turbines and land and grid for accelerated deployment.
Energy is about 8% of GDP. Boosting it by 50% to 12% and diverting 2% of GDP towards a UBI fund, would be about $350 billion per year now. If 4% of GDP were diverted it would be about $700 billion.
In 20-30 years at $700 billion and growing each year, the US would be well on the way to creating a big UBI fund. This would of course cause massive economic impacts on interest rates and other aspects.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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