The idea of a universal basic income (UBI) is gaining traction in the U.S. thanks to its high-profile advocates, including Andrew Yang, Founder of Venture for America, who's running on this platform as a 2020 Presidential Candidate (D). UBI is a simple idea--give people a basic income in order to free them up from taking menial low-wage work and allow them to engage in creative, productive labor, such as entrepreneurship. For Andrew Yang, a UBI of $1,000 a month can make a substantial positive change in the trajectory of the U.S.
What's the point of this, won't people get lazy and stop looking for work? In his article, Scott Santens debunks this myth and expertly discusses the benefits of UBI including the fact that it could save around $1 trillion dollars annually. This is due to the fact that income gained from wages is not sufficient to cover basic health, education, and housing costs. As a result, people rely heavily on government aid, non-profit resources and work available thought the gig economy to patch together their lives and livelihood.
Can UBI save the day and the future? I believe the answer is yes--UBI can provide the spark for the entrepreneurial revolution we desperately need in this country.
Entrepreneurship is an engine of economic growth and prosperity. Unfortunately, entrepreneurship is on a long-term decline in the U.S. and this should cause concern given the importance of start-ups for job creation. How can we support more entrepreneurs in this country? This is an ongoing dilemma for policy makers who want to make smart investments now to ensure economic growth for future generations.
To fulfill this dream, we must recognize that there are people unable to engage fully in entrepreneurship due to constraints and costs around childcare, capital, health and housing among others. UBI eliminates these barriers--it provides the very thing that will help entrepreneurs succeed given persistent inequalities in starting and scaling businesses. UBI levels the playing field for entrepreneurship by taking down economic barriers that have long plagued particular segments of entrepreneurs. It is a first and important step in creating zero barriers to entrepreneurship.