What Basic Income Isn’t

If you are advocating for an income cap on who gets $$, you’re not talking about basic income. 

If you advocate for a $$ payment, but only if people go out and get a paid job, you’re not talking about basic income. 

If you’re saying that only people over or under a certain age should get any $$, you’re not talking about basic income.

If getting $$ is based on any sort of screening, testing, assessment or other ‘proof of’ procedure, you’re not talking about basic income. 

If you are tying getting $$ into Social Security paid, then you’re not talking about basic income.

A true UBI goes to everyone, no questions asked, ever.  If that money represents a net increase in their yearly income or not,  that can be tied into the tax code- people with higher incomes would pay more taxes, and their monthly BI wouldn’t really give them more money. Of course someone in the top 1% doesn’t need a UBI, and their increased taxes can & should help pay for the distribution.

But if we start capping who we initially send the money out to in the first place, then we start creating artificial barriers, we start gatekeeping about who ‘deserves’ the money or not. We make it very easy to say “Well, maybe we should drop that cap down to…$40K a year…” And suddenly people have less resources.  It’s more of the HAVES telling the HAVE NOTS what they do and don’t deserve.

This is very different than saying “Everyone gets X% of the GDP, and then pay taxes on their income over that allotment.” Yes, the math is complicated, and yes there’s a lot of specific details to work out; but adding in income limits and means screening and proof of need testing just adds layers of bureaucracy we’re trying to eliminate.