Universal Basic Income for all United States Citizens

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Introduction

The concept of universal basic income(UBI) has been in discussion for decades and resurfaced as a preeminent leading solution in releasing the financial burdens and serves as an incremental anti-poverty intervention for United States citizens. Historical figures such as Thomas Paine (founding father of the United States) and civil activist Martin Luther King Jr. advocated UBI as a way to combat disparity between the rich and the poor. The contemporary automation of technology has drastically inhibited the growth of the U.S. labor economy. Automation had already destroyed four million manufacturing jobs, and experts predict that a third of Americans will lose their job to automation in the next 12 years (Vermeulen 22). Democratic presidential candidate, Andrew Yang's primary campaign focuses on combating the technological shift by implementing the universal basic income. Many studies conducted on UBI showed a positive correlation that outweighs the negative criticism when UBI was implemented on the selected groups. The study conducted on UBI and early child health development support a significantly positive effect on increased birth weight of 38.8 grams and 14 percent of the decreased likelihood of low birth weight (Ruckert 3). Though with the optimistic and pessimistic point of view on UBI, the findings largely supported the hypothesis, proposing that universal basic income should be a right for all United States citizens.

Method

Study Participants

This research objective is to give an insight of the study participants. There is a total of 42 participants, and about 34 are females, and 8 are males. The respondent age group ranges from 18 years old to 51 years old. Thirty-two people are currently employed and ten unemployed people. The occupations of the respondents consist of: Administrative assistant, army reservist, baker, care review processor, cashier, students, customer service associate, food service, waiter, homemaker, licensed vocational nurse, retail worker, personal injury paralegal, security guard, teacher assistant, retail worker, and nurse. All participants who contributed to this questionnaire are anonymous.

Instrument

The method of study used in this research is the correlation study. The types of questions used for the questionnaire are multiple-choice, long answer, short answer, and the linear scale. There are a total of five multiple-choice questions. One sample of a multiple-choice question directly acquired from the questionnaire is. “Are you in debt in any way?” The participant can choose to either response to a yes or no answer. The other type of question that is used is the long answer question. There are two long answer questions on the survey. The participant is given a question such as, “Are you in any way against having the right to receive $1000 from the government?” The respondent can give an extended response corresponding to the questions based on his or her analysis of the question. The other type of question is the short answer question. There are a total of two short answer questions. One sample short-answer question is, “What is your occupation?” The respondent can input their occupation of choice in the short-answer box below the question.

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Lastly, the linear-scale question is used to measure the strength of the U.S. economy based on the feedback of all the respondents. There is only one linear-scale question on the questionnaire. The participant is given a question such as, “Do you think the economy in the United States is doing well?” The respondent chooses the numbers between one through five, which the number one indicates weakness, and the number five indicates the strength of the economy.

Procedure

The survey was created by utilizing Google forms. Then, the survey was posted on Long Beach City College and Cerritos College Facebook discussion page. There are approximately 7000 members combined in the two discussion pages. Once the link to the survey is posted, a notification is sent to every single member of the group. Only 42 participants were needed for the questionnaire. The survey does not take any responses once the threshold is met. Participants need to individually read and fill out the survey through a smartphone or computer. Once the participants completed the survey, the response is automatically collected and sent to the examiner’s computer.

Results

The findings demonstrate that 76.2 percent of people are currently employed. There is 66.7 percent of people that are currently in debt from student loans, etc. There is 85.7 percent of people that are fully functional and does not have any disability. Ninety-percent of people agrees that receiving $1000 a month will relieve their financial stress from their life. There is 14.3 percent of people that are unsure or against receiving UBI. Hundred percent of people will still work or actively search for a job if they are receiving UBI. Lastly, 7.1 percent of people firmly believe that the economy of the United States is performing well. Nineteen-percent somewhat agrees that the economy is not doing well. There is 59.5 percent of people that have a neutral stance on the strength of the economy. Lastly, 14.3 percent of people believe that the economy is somewhat doing well.

Discussion

As expected, the UBI survey revealed that the overall data support with corresponding alternative sources that universal basic income should be a right for every United States citizen. One conspicuous argument against UBI is that the basic income might encourage idleness and creates disincentives to work, which could undermine work productivity on a large scale. However, one study on UBI in the United States in the 1970s found that inclusive work determination did not dwindle considerably, and very few participants withdrew from the labor force once they qualify for UBI. In addition, individuals who select to decrease their hours of labor are likely to be mothers and adolescent males who withdrew from school due to financial reasons and are self-determined to enhance their employment skills (Ruckert5). To further prove this point, the findings found in this research using the correlation study displayed that 76.2 percent of people are currently employed and only 23.8 percent of people are unemployed. Also, 100 percent of people would still work or actively search for a job if they are receiving UBI. This data expresses that there is a higher probability that people who might be receiving UBI will not dwell in idleness, nonetheless be more self-determined.

Persons with insecure income and lesser educational status can experience elevated risk of morbidity and stress. Both indirectly (through the educational pathway) and directly, another association with income benefits can be improved mental health. Although research data on this association are limited, there have been some encouraging results. According to a UBI experiment on schoolgirls in Malawi, the data presents that the girls are 38 percent less likely to suffer from psychological stress compared to the control group. Also, a research in Kenya where income supplementation was installed displayed that the experimental group experienced psychological comfort which displayed positive outcomes on mental health (4). In addition, the correlation study reviewed that currently 66.7 percent of people are in debt and by implementing UBI in their life would relief most of the financial burdens according to 90.5 percent of people that took the survey. Cross-examined and analyzed, Ruckert’s findings and the correlation study conducted by the examiner determined that income supplementation increases the well-being of an individual’s psychological and physical health.

The study conducted on UBI came out as expected. There are many scholarly and useful sources that were integrated into this research paper. Also, many of the existing articles supported the correlation study. The challenging segment of creating this research paper is creating the correlation study questions and separating necessary data from insignificant information. The other challenging aspect is to meet the five-page requirement. Gathering responses was probably the easiest job because there are 7000 members in the discussion page. Overall, the content of the paper did meet the standards.

References

  1. Banerjee, A., Niehaus, P., & Suri, T. (2019). Universal basic income in the developing world. Retrieved October 18, 2019, from https://economics.mit.edu/files/16000.
  2. Ruckert, A., Huynh, C., & Labonte, R. (2017). Reducing health inequities: is universal basic income the way forward? Retrieved October 18, 2019, from https://academic.oup.com/jpubhealth/article/40/1/3/2966187.
  3. Morris, C.G. (2015) Understanding Psychology, 11th Edition.
  4. Ezrati, M., National Interest, Center for the Study of Human Capital, University at Buffalo, & Suny. (2019). An old idea, wrong as ever. Retrieved from https://www.city-journal.org/universal-basic-income.
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