According to a new study by the left-leaning Roosevelt Institute, a universal basic income could permanently make U.S. economy trillions of dollars larger. While such socialistic policies sound great in theory, history, and data, show it isn’t the economic savior it is touted to be.

What Is A Universal Basic Income (UBI)

To understand why the theory of universal basic incomes (UBI) is heavily flawed, we need to understand what UBI is.

Basic income, also called universal basic income (UBI), is a public governmental program for a periodic payment delivered to all citizens of a given population without a means test or work requirement. Basic income can be implemented nationally, regionally, or locally, and is an unconditional income sufficient to meet a person’s basic needs (i.e., at or above the poverty line).

The idea of guaranteed income is not a new thing. According to Wikipedia:

“The concept of a state-run basic income dates back to the early 16th century when Sir Thomas More’s “Utopia” depicted a society where every person receives a guaranteed income.

In the late 18th century, English radical Thomas Spence, and American revolutionary Thomas Paine, declared their support for a welfare system that guaranteed an assured basic income. Nineteenth-century debate on basic income was limited, but during the early part of the 20th century, a basic income called a “state bonus” was widely discussed.

In 1946, the United Kingdom implemented unconditional family allowances for every family’s second and subsequent children. In the 1960s and 1970s, the United States and Canada conducted several experiments with negative income taxation, a related welfare system. From the 1980s and onward, the debate in Europe took off more broadly, and since then, it has expanded to many countries around the world. “

While the idea of a UBI sounds good in theory, as discussed previously, they fail to work in reality.