At the end of yesterday’s post, I basically concluded that a Universal Basic Income is probably a better long-term outcome than equal wealth distribution. It has the potential to achieve the effects of wealth re-distribution without the risk of value destruction. But I also just wanted to point out that UBI would not be as hard as we think. Here’s a chart from the Economist that I found on pinterest:

universal basic income

I STRONGLY endorse checking out the original infographic on the Economist website. It’s excellent.

And basically, we need to think of UBI as the full-scale alternative to the current process of government.

Universal Basic Income vs All The Programs (except health)

Right now, most governments will run a host of spending programs:

  1. Food stamps;
  2. Social security;
  3. Unemployment benefits;
  4. Subsidies;
  5. etc

Those programs require constant administration, so there is a bunch of government-jobs (and wastage) that sits atop that.

But all that could be saved if we were to simply remove that nanny-state-style of welfare, and instead say: “Here is what everyone receives, in cash, every month, in their bank account, to cover a basic level of living.” 

It wouldn’t need to be administered. It wouldn’t need to be regulated (other than setting the level of income). And all that cost saving could go into the UBI.


It’s an argument that I’m a massive fan of:

Just something that’s worth thinking about.

Rolling Alpha posts opinions on finance, economics, and the corporate life in general. Follow me on Twitter @RollingAlpha, and on Facebook at