Boy, a universal ‘income’ sounds strange, and will probably never take hold, but I would have to research it more. However, there are other strategies, rather than just handing cash out.
Right now we are spending tons of tax dollars subsidizing things that don’t bring us health or happiness. For example, corn, soy and wheat, all of which are high calorie/low nutrient foods, are highly subsidized and are turned into packaged junk foods sold by big corporations, while small farmers are struggling to make money providing highly nutritious foods. I get really annoyed when I see people using food stamps to buy soda and potato chips. This is not sustainable from a health perspective and everyone deserves access to healthy foods.
And, as a pacifist, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the amount of money we spend on the military vs. something like universal health care for all.
So, for me, instead a universal income, why not just shift tax dollars to provide the things that people actually need, which really boils down to whole, healthy food (and clean drinking water). I know that we need shelter also, but we don’t all need stand alone homes. I’d love to see more ventures providing affordable co-housing type places, where units are tiny, with small areas for minimal cooking, but then there are plenty of common areas for cooking and socializing. This is already going on all over the world, it is just not mainstream in America, yet. We could even use them to house swap while traveling the world! And, if someone doesn’t want this type of living, then they can work more hours for a bigger house.
These small tweaks would allow most people to then be free to pursue work on their terms, based on their own values, and their spending desires. Because most of us do want to work at something and we need the tax dollars.
A steady state economy is a concept that many economists are in favor of, which sounds much more reasonable than universal basic income: steadystate.org