A good proposal for basic income is found in Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) cofounder, Chris Hughes’ intelligent book Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn. Hughes’ plan is to tax the rich and pay each adult that makes less than $50,000 a year a $500 month basic income.
My suggestion would be to pay every person in the United States with an individual income of under $60,000 a year $500 a month. I chose $60,000 because the median household in the USA in 2017 was $57,230 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That means the vast majority of Americans would receive the basic income.
There would be no age limits; every individual that makes less than $60,000 a year can receive the basic income regardless of age. The basic income for children under 18 would go to their parents or legal guardians. The income should be paid to every family to encourage responsible parenting.
That would give working mothers and single moms, who are more likely to be poor more income. For example a single mother with two kids would receive $1,500 a month. A married couple with two kids would receive $2,000. It is paid on an individual basis so that stay-at-home moms would receive some income for their vital work. No matter how much money their husbands made.
Persons would apply simply by filing an income tax return, if their individual income was under $60,000 a year they would receive the basic income. Parents would get basic income for their children by listing their kids on the tax return. Some kinds of income including Social Security and veteran’s pensions would not count toward the $60,000 for basic income.
Note: I would like to see all honorably discharged veterans receive $1,000 a month in basic income as a reward for their service. That would be in addition to other veterans’ benefits.
If individuals chose not to receive the $500 a month the money would be invested in the U.S. Sovereign Wealth Fund. The Wealth Fund would invest that money, royalties from government-owned patents, royalties on oil and mineral rights, and taxes on corporate income and high-individual incomes in equities, securities, and venture capital to raise more money for the country.
Benefits of Basic Income
This system would have a number of benefits including:
· It would enable all Americans to participate in and benefit from the capitalist economy. Many Americans are no longer benefiting from our wondrous and incredibly productive economy.
· It would help the poor and redistribute the wealth without creating a massive welfare bureaucracy.
· It would empower individuals because they and not social services bureaucrats would decide how to spend the money. The poor would be in charge of their money and their lives.
· A basic income can be delivered by simple electronic funds transfer (EFT) to bank accounts like Social Security is or directly to the poor via an Apple Pay type app or Visa or MasterCard reloadable debit cards. Such systems are well proven and highly effectively.
· Basic income would stimulate the economy by putting cash in the hands of average people that would actually spend it.
· Basic income will reach groups left out of our economy including working-class women, rural whites, the uneducated, the homeless, the poor, the disabled, the mentally ill, African Americas, young people, children, and the elderly.
· Basic income can alleviate some of the causes of mental illness including the stress and anxiety produced by the modern economy.
We must recognize that our economy creates high levels of stress, anxiety, and insecurity that can contribute to mental illness. Understanding that fact can help us deal with the economic causes of mental illness. No, basic income would not cure all mental illness but it would certainly eliminate some of it.
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