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Can Guaranteed Income Be an Anecdote to Greed and Inequality?

The world isn’t working well. Wars continue to brew. Inequality escalates. The climate is becoming toxic. Interestingly, all the Big Problems we face have a single underlying common denominator: Greed.

The Guaranteed Basic Income

How would our world be different if we shared more, and hoarded less? David Degraw explores the idea of a guaranteed basic income for all citizens with Dennis Trainor, Jr. on AcronymTV. His research shows that guaranteed income builds healthier populations and lowers crime rates. Might there be other benefits? For instance, can guaranteed income forestall riots and chaos?

The Economics of Revolution

Before I started doing the research, the concept of a guaranteed income was something I didn’t generally support. A guaranteed income is when the government… gives everyone of working age, or over the age of 18, a check every month…. And I thought, if we did that, people would be lazy, they would spend the money foolishly. But then when I went through and looked at a bunch of studies that have been done, that’s not the case. People spent on basic necessities….

Most interesting, the cost of healthcare and the cost of crime… decline greatly when you provide a guaranteed income. [So much so] that it almost paid for itself. And on top of that, in study after study, a person’s wealth creation increases when you give them enough money to buy basic necessities…. The cost of having poverty… is more than the cost of eliminating poverty.

David Degraw

David Degraw just published The Economics of Revolution. You can learn more about David and his book at DavidDegraw.Org.

More Benefits of a Guaranteed Income

There are many benefits that spring from guaranteed basic income. Here are two of my favorites:

Creatives Freed to Create Works

With a guaranteed basic income, people would be free to leave jobs that they dislike, or could choose to work fewer hours for the boss man. Perhaps this would motivate employers to treat workers better. But the big plus would be that creative people like writers, artists, inventors and online entrepreneurs would have time to develop and maximize their skills and talents. That’s a win/win both for the creatives and society in general, which would benefit from many of the works produced.

Everyone Happier When All Are OK

I have a friend who always says people would be less stressed if they knew everyone in their community was OK. She believes that everyone, whether they suppress it or not, possesses the human capacity for empathy and compassion. If she is right, a guaranteed basic income would create a happier society – even for people who don’t need a financial safety net.

Can you think of more benefits a guaranteed income would provide? What about the challenges involved with implementing such a system?

More About Guaranteed Basic Income

At first, the concept of a guaranteed basic income may seem extremely radical. But it’s an idea that has been knocked around for some time. Conservatives, liberals, and libertarians have been known to support it.

You may find these articles about guaranteed income interesting:

Will a Guaranteed Income Ever Come to America? – PBS Newshour

5 Reasons to Consider a No-Strings-Attached Basic Income for All Americans – AlterNet

What Is the Basic Income Guarantee? – U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network

What If the Government Guaranteed You an Income? – CNN

Money for Nothing – Aljazeera America

About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


  • Economists years ago proposed diverting the trillions in Quantitative Easing (QE) going to banks directly into citizens’ pockets. It’s hard to argue with the logic behind a guaranteed basic income, most people would vote for such a proposal, and everybody wins. Who could be opposed to everyone winning?

    • You pose a deep psychological and spiritual question.

      I have pondered such a question in relation to the monied interests who are devastating our planet – in light of the fact that they are also hurting themselves and their own loved ones.

      I guess some people don’t feel like winners unless they are the only one who has won. Sadly, and ironically, I suspect their deeper motivation to win is really about wanting to be loved.

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