Riley Dennis, a far-left YouTuber, created a video endorsing the concept of universal basic income (UBI). Riley begins by stating that the government should guarantee all Americans a base standard of living, such as food, water, and shelter. However, besides private charity, the government already offers food stamps, homeless shelters, and other forms of welfare to low-income earners.
Following, Riley claims that UBI would be an effective method of helping the poor. However, the vast majority of economists disagree, with most believing that the welfare state should be reformed along the lines of a negative income tax (79%). A negative income tax would give money to low-income earners in their paycheck. On the contrary, UBI would be given to all Americans regardless of their income, providing incentive not to work.
Riley continues by claiming that Americans should not worry about the incentive not to work, arguing that money is not the primary reason why many people work. In addition, Riley states that she does not believe it is necessary for every able-bodied adult to work. However, given the increasing skilled labor shortage, that statement is factually inaccurate.
As a method of combating the high unemployment rate, Finland experimented with UBI. According to polling, 70% of Finnish residents supported the idea. However, support dropped to 35% upon discovering that middle-class income earners would have to pay substantially higher taxes to fund the program. The Finnish government concluded that the UBI experiment was a failure and plans on phasing out the program in 2019.
Nonetheless, Riley argues that taxing the rich would pay for UBI. Let’s do some basic math. There are approximately 330 million Americans. According to the U.S. Census, 22.6% of the population is younger than 18 and 15.6% is older than 65. Assuming that UBI would only apply to working-age adults, approximately 200 million Americans would qualify. In addition, an annual living wage is generally accepted to be $30,000. Doing the math, a UBI program would cost the United States about $6 trillion every year. This would be more than the current federal budget of about $4 trillion. Comparatively, if the IRS confiscated 100% of the income generated over $1 million, they would collect approximately $616 billion annually, only about 1/10th of the revenue needed to fund a UBI program. Therefore, Riley’s assertion that “taxing the rich” would pay for UBI is factually inaccurate.
If you enjoyed reading this article, check out some of Riley’s other ridiculous videos, including why she believes…
- genital preferences are discriminatory
- biological sex does not exist
- violence against conservatives is justified
- saying “it’s okay to be white” is racist
- being fat is healthy
- using the wrong pronoun is violent
- poor people are entitled to luxuries with other people’s money
- the world map is racist
- black women should be given special privileges
- Islam is great for LGBT people
- vandalism should be legal
- due process should be abolished
- conservatives and moderates don’t have valid opinions
- people of color and the elderly are less capable of obtaining a valid voter ID
- conservatives are more easily offended than leftists
- all international borders should be abolished
- not dating bisexuals is bigoted
- Democrats should embrace socialism to win elections
Watch Riley explain why she supports UBI below!
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