Overcoming the Politics of Implementing Basic Income

Shelly Fagan
7 min readJun 3, 2017
Photo by Jason Hogan on Unsplash

Proponents of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) have been focusing on educating the public on the benefits of unconditional cash payments and the intended positive societal impact the proposal would have, while often ignoring that large-scale implementation of such a radical change will be problematic given our current political and economic realities.

The irony is that the anticipated opposition to adopting a basic income for all is the same labor market dynamic that has led us to the need for one in the first place.


Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Few workers, including Baby Boomers, will dispute the fact that in the Information Age, the existing system of work for pay is broken. This is true whether they fully understand the processes and underlying reasons that have created the income inequality which is the highest it’s been in nearly a century. While the mechanics that have led to wealth inequality may be disputed and difficult for many to grasp, an unambiguous personal experience that there is a shortage of good paying jobs will lead most, if not all, to supporting or even demanding implementation of the proposition.

It may not yet be discussed widely, but those in the workforce who are already subject to technological unemployment understand something is amiss when the prevailing counsel is that spending two years looking for a decent job is to be expected. One must conclude that desperation for employment in a highly competitive job market is at least part of the reason that 70% of college students surveyed would lie on a resume and 78% of resumes are misleading. Middle-skill positions are practically an anachronism, blue collar manufacturing has disappeared, and many people are stringing together two and three part-time jobs or doing gig work just to survive. The Millennials feel…

Shelly Fagan

Complicated subjects made accessible. Politics, Basic Income, Philosophy. I follow back.