Welfare Is Cheaper and Smarter

The question of whether there is something immoral about not working for a living is complex addressing partially as it does issues of the soul. However, a basic income for all adults has been shown to save money as well as improve lives, so must feature in discussions of sound economic policy.

Even those liberals and progressives who don’t accept trickle-down economics can’t argue with the reduction in poverty creating a smarter populace.

And, in addition to Bregman’s submission that basic-income programs don’t lead to an increase in healthcare spending, welfare spending, or unemployment, a recent study of the Canadian Mincome data suggests that basic income might reduce the number of households with children where mothers work – or work full time. More children growing up with a parent present. Fewer school resources spent on providing out-of-hours child-minding. It’s not a cure for the world, but it does build stronger families and let teachers teach, so basic income would seem to be a solid step toward the future conservatives want. (Derek Hum and Wayne Simpson, 2017, “Income maintenance, work effort, and the Canadian Mincome experiment”, doi:10.5203/FK2/JWVHEJ, University of Manitoba Dataverse, V1.)

So, why haven’t nations studied it further? How immoral is it to follow policies that promote less able citizens?

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5 thoughts on “Welfare Is Cheaper and Smarter

  1. Reblogged this on Mirymom's Blog and commented:
    Interesting . . . as a public educator in the United States, I get frustrated by how little we’re wiling to invest in children to keep them from ending in jail eventually. I guess there’s more profit in jails than in schools, despite their best efforts to profit off schools, too.

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  2. There seems to be an argument that no matter the benefits of such a program it would promote idleness and lack of motivation, thus reducing a country’s productivity. (Not to mention that if people were guaranteed a basic income, the level of control of the haves over the have-nots would diminish, so it’s not popular with haves). Basic income is being tested in some Ontario communities right now, but I suspect it may be a while before it’s a reality everywhere — if ever.

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    1. The data from the MIncome study suggests that there isn’t a decrease in motivation: people who worked prior to the start, still worked.

      I suspect you’re right about it seeming like a loss of control to certain people, though.

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