Letter to the Editor – Universal Basic Income


Dear Editor,

Brandon Mayer’s certainty…

Well, Brandon Mayer certainly isn’t subtle in his use of emotionally loaded vocabulary to rail against the idea of a Universal Basic Income.  We are accustomed to, not just to waste, but “excessive waste in government”. We are taking “a firm step in the direction of communism.”

Now to more substantive issues:  

He says, “Working less hard and making less money has no real consequences when the government promises to make up the difference.”

  1. The government has no intention “to make up the difference” if that means giving the equivalent of the average taxpayer’s salary.
  2. Equating working less hard and earning less money is a false premise. We all know that salaries per hour range very widely. How is there an apparently obvious connection between hard work and lots of money? Many work 2 or 3 different minimum pay jobs.

“I work 60 hours a week, and I don’t do it so that someone who works 20 hours a week can take my money when it’s confiscated as taxes….”

  1. Again, the assumption that equal hours of work gain equal amounts of money. (And possibly the ‘entitled’ assumption that if we are paid more an hour it is automatically because we deserve it.)
  2. “Take” my money? “Confiscated” as taxes? No assumptions here!
  3. It’s quite possible that some make far more money in 20 hours than others do in 60.

He complains about “…rising unemployment as unambitious people choose to ride the system” assuming that all who need income supplements are “unambitious.”

There may well be valuable points to discuss about UBI, and how much money is “basic.” But I see this article as presented as mean spirited.

Darrell Nunn



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