- Our current government benefits programs are riddled by inefficiency, insufficiency, and waste.
- Government programs fail to adequately provide for those most in need, such as those who are homeless, unemployed, or working part-time.
- Tens of millions of Americans are working in jobs that they are dissatisfied with.
- Many jobs are rapidly being made obsolete through automation and artificial intelligence.
- We will establish a Universal Earned Income (UEI) for all Americans.
- Universal Earned Income will be provided in equal amounts to every American as a monthly stipend.
- Universal Earned Income will be funded by restructuring government programs and changing the structure of federal taxation to address the current gross misallocation of resources at the national level.
- Universal Earned Income guarantees that all Americans will have their essential needs met as members of America’s political and economic system.
- UEI will allow Americans to pursue work and careers that inspire them while increasing the value of their work and creating further abundance for all.
The American middle class is shrinking. Adjusted for inflation, wages for average Americans today have roughly the same purchasing power they did in 1973. Over the same period, gains in income have benefited those with the highest incomes -- resulting in increasing income inequality and lack of affordability for basic needs, such as housing. It is time to upend this trend for the better and make our economy work for all Americans.
Technology, artificial intelligence, and automation are increasingly and permanently replacing American jobs. A conservative analysis from Oxford University projected that automation will replace 47% of jobs in the U.S. within 20 years. In all likelihood, the actual number will be higher. The unprecedented structural changes that are happening to our economy require new economic policies to ensure a better future for all of us.
Universal Earned Income is an economic policy that is able to address the problem of income inequality, eliminating a major threat to the social cohesion of our nation. Because of its far-reaching potential to improve the lives of all Americans, Universal Income has been supported by academics, business leaders, and politicians from across the political spectrum. Supporters include Milton Freidman (the leading free-market economist), philosopher Thomas Paine, and business innovator Elon Musk.
Universal income has been successfully tried and tested on a small scale in multiple countries, including Brazil, Finland, India, Kenya, and Namibia. Universal distribution of income without restriction has been extremely successful in Alaska, where dividends from the Alaska Permanent Fund provide Alaskans with an annual share of income from its wealth of resources. Universal dividend distribution has also shown itself to be beneficial in Iran.
Universal Earned Income will be funded by changing the structure of federal taxation and spending, addressing lost income and replacing existing program expenditures while removing unnecessary overhead. Universal income has been shown not to disincentivize work or reduce economic productivity. In fact, universal income experiments in Alaska led to an increase in part-time employment. A Roosevelt Institute report on Universal Income estimates that it will grow our economy by trillions of dollars and create millions of well-paying jobs. By combining Universal Earned Income with effective economic and fiscal policies, we can do even better.
Historically, government welfare programs have worked to perpetuate themselves rather than lift people out of poverty. Such programs have created a “welfare class” and acted as a tool of enslavement rather than liberation. At the same time, unemployment benefits act to disincentivize people from working, by ending benefits once work begins. Universal Earned Income (UEI) addresses all of these problems and more by aligning economic incentives with the universal increase of income. With UEI, people get more by doing more.
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