Friday, January 06, 2017

Universal Basic Income

"Universal Basic Income" - Heard about this only recently via an Elon Musk interview in November 2016 since then been reading about it. Understood it being discussed for many decades now and certainly not a new idea.



What does it mean?

A government would guarantee citizens a regular fixed sum of enough money to cover a basic standard of living, they can spend however they want, no questions asked.

Majorly critics where saying something on this lines:

1. If we give money for free people will become more lazier
2. People would use it only for drinking / drugs / unhealthy things!
etc.,

"Maybe 90 % of people will go smoke pot and play video games. But if 10 percent of the people go create new products and services and new wealth, that’s still a huge net win." - Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator, California

Experiments:

1. Finland this week started it on a 2-year trial basis (2000 randomly picked unemployed citizens to get Euro 560 per month)

2. Canada has tried it as early as between 1973 - 1979 @ Dauphin, Manitoba

3. India:

a. It was tested out in West Delhi's Raghubir Nagar Slum from January to December 2011. A household receives Rs. 1000 per month (In the name of the woman of the family). An adult receives Rs. 200 per month and each child receive Rs. 100 per month.

b. Also experimented since 2013 at Panthbadodiya, Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

Being an Indian I was really surprised to know this for the first time (or) rather ashamed I wasn't aware of it all these days. By the way, is this a news to you (or) Are you already aware of this being tested in India?

Universal Basic Income pilot program around the world - http://infozaps.com/images/UBI_Pilots_2017_a.jpg



As the IT is enabling companies to move towards (more) AI / Automation / Robots / Selfdrivingvehicles (ex: cars, trucks etc.,) / removing humans from stores (ex: Amazon Go) / unemployment etc., I believe it makes more sense to explore this option.

For further reading:

1. Finland - Mashable 
2. Canada - Huffingtonpost 
4. Kenya - BIEN (Kenya)
5. Netherlands - BIEN (Netherlands)

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