Answering UBI Questions and Concerns (Universal Basic Income Part 3)

Last week we started our deep dive into Universal Basic Income.

First we learned what UBI actually is and what the different visions for it entail. Then we dove into the research to learn that giving people money works.

Today we’re going to tackle a whole range of other questions and concerns that people have about UBI.

(Today’s post is going to reference information we learned in the last two posts, so if you feel like you’re missing something, feel free to double back and catch up!) Continue reading “Answering UBI Questions and Concerns (Universal Basic Income Part 3)”

Giving People Money Works (Universal Basic Income Part 2)

On Tuesday we started a deep dive on Universal Basic Income by looking at what the concept actually entails.

We explored the different problems that people believe UBI can solve and the different visions that groups of supporters have. We explored Universal Basic Income as a replacement for the safety net, as a cure for poverty, and as a protection against job loss.

But all of this is based on one major premise: Universal Basic Income works.

The question we need to tackle next, then, is whether this is true. Would Universal Basic Income work? Is giving people cash the best approach to ending poverty?

Adopting a UBI is a huge undertaking, both economically and politically. Before we jump in, we should make sure there is evidence to support it.

That’s what we’re exploring today. Continue reading “Giving People Money Works (Universal Basic Income Part 2)”

Just Give Everyone Money

We’re spending the month of October around these parts diving into politics and policy and how they affect our lives.

One policy idea that I’ve found intriguing in recent years is the Universal Basic Income. It’s a concept that has been laughed off as utopian in many circles but has gotten more and more traction among policy wonks lately.

I decided that an article on UBI would be an interesting and thought-provoking piece for the personal finance community. As I was doing my research, however, I came across a major problem.

A thorough look at UBI would require far more information than I could reasonably put into one article.

And so this article today will start a mini-series exploring the ins and outs of Universal Basic Income. Today we’ll cover the basics and the competing visions for UBI. The next few articles will dive deeper into the pros and cons, addressing concerns, and figuring out how to pay for it.

I’ve gone back and forth over the years with whether I support the idea. Over the next few articles I intend to give you all the pros and cons so that you can come to your own decision.

Whichever side you fall on, however, it’s time we start taking the idea of a Universal Basic Income seriously. Continue reading “Just Give Everyone Money”

Bridging the Gap in the Privilege Conversation

When I first decided that I was going to spend a month exploring politics for this year of learning to live a better life, I knew I had to write about privilege.

The concept of privilege is a hot button issue both in the country writ large and the personal finance community specifically. Add in an adjective (white privilege, for example) and you’ve got a recipe for a fiery comment section, some Twitter blocking, and a thousand think pieces.

There’s a lot of passion around the idea of privilege and I wanted to cut through all that and try to develop a nuanced understanding and help others do the same. Continue reading “Bridging the Gap in the Privilege Conversation”

Loan Forgiveness (or Why Dave Ramsey Doesn’t Know What He’s Talking About)

“Oh! You’re the student loan tweet guy!”

This is a response that I heard a lot while introducing myself to people recently at FinCon, a conference for money writers and podcasters. It’s a strange thing to be known for after spending two and a half years writing about finances without ever really touching on the topic.

That said, the tweet led to a lot of interesting conversations, both in person and on Twitter, about student loans. In particular, a lot of people were very interested in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program in which I am participating.

Some people objected to the program on financial grounds, but many raised political or policy issues.

Because of this, I thought that the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program would be a topic worth exploring during our month of politics. Continue reading “Loan Forgiveness (or Why Dave Ramsey Doesn’t Know What He’s Talking About)”

Why We Need to Talk About Politics

We’re spending 2018 around here learning how to live a better life.

Each month, we’re diving into a different theme to learn as much as we can about how to improve ourselves in that area and use what we learn to live a happier, wealthier, and more productive life.

So far, we have focused mainly on happiness and finances, with a side of health and productivity.

This month I want to go into an area that most people view as entirely separate from self-improvement: politics.

Before diving into anything specific, though, I think I should first explain why politics and policy matters, why we should talk about it more, and how it impacts our lives. Continue reading “Why We Need to Talk About Politics”

Will Kids Make You Happier?

I’m a new father this year and when I decided to explore the intersection between relationships and happiness I knew I wanted to see what the research found on how children affect our happiness.

I’ve read a lot of research on children this year, but pretty much all of it had to do with best practices in raising them. Now I wanted to see the impact that children have on adults.

Do kids make us happier?

I could wax poetic about my own experience, but if you’ve been here before you know I’d rather dive into the data. We’re all biased when it comes to our own experiences, but aggregated data is less biased.

So what does the data say? Do kids make us happier?

Well…It depends on how you define happy.

And where you live. Continue reading “Will Kids Make You Happier?”

Everything You Need to Know About the New Republican Tax Plan

A lot of people in the personal finance space tune out politics and recommend that their readers do the same. I don’t agree with this approach. I follow politics closely and stay up to date on policy proposals and all sorts of nerdy wonkery.

That said, when approaching topics for this blog, I make sure that every article has a takeaway that you can use to directly improve your life. That rule helps me stay focused on helping people with my writing rather than just writing about areas of my own interest. This also means I usually don’t discuss policy proposals making their way through Congress.

In the case of the current tax overhaul, I decided that it is worth discussing here. Continue reading “Everything You Need to Know About the New Republican Tax Plan”

Don’t Bank on the Mortgage Interest Deduction

Every conversation that I have had discussing the benefits of buying versus renting has eventually turned to the Mortgage Interest Deduction.

(What? Doesn’t everyone have those conversations? Just me?)

If you itemize deductions on your tax return, the Mortgage Interest Deduction allows you to deduct the interest that you pay on your mortgage from your income. This ultimately lowers your taxes and, in turn, your cost of home ownership.

This perk is often mentioned to me as a key reason for buying a home rather than renting.

There are a number of reasons why I disagree with this approach, but today I want to explore one in particular.

The Mortgage Interest Deduction could be gone soon.

Continue reading “Don’t Bank on the Mortgage Interest Deduction”

Act Like the Person You Want to Be

This is an article that I have had kicking around in my head for quite some time.

It was originally an uplifting and positive article. The context has changed, though. The world has changed.

The idea centers on a Kurt Vonnegut quote.

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be very careful what we pretend to be.”

This is a very powerful truth. One that I firmly believe we should harness to become better people. Continue reading “Act Like the Person You Want to Be”