Politics and Your Wallet – The LIFT Act

People in the personal finance community tend to avoid talking about politics like the plague.

I understand the inclination. Politics can be divisive and we want to bring people together. We want our message to reach the widest possible audience. And, for those writers who monetize their blogs, they want to bring in traffic without turning anyone off.

But this inclination to avoid politics hurts our readers.

Politics matters. We need to stop pretending that it doesn’t.

All of us that are writing about personal finance are doing so because we want to help people live better lives. The policies that politicians enact directly impact whether that goal is easier or harder to reach.

This is true of all sorts of policies, not just economic. But there is absolutely no ignoring the fact that economic policies created in Washington directly affect our wallets and our lives.

We all can affect what those policies look like and which get enacted, both through our votes and through your voices. If we really want to empower our readers to make the best decisions for improving their lives, we can’t ignore politics. Continue reading “Politics and Your Wallet – The LIFT Act”

Building a FIRE UBI (Universal Basic Income Part 6)

Before going into year-end mode, I want to take one last dive into the Universal Basic Income pool.

I promise this won’t be another 5,000 word tome. In fact, this will be a lot lighter on policy detail and a heavier on big picture ideas.

To recap our journey so far, we started by learning what Universal Basic Income actually is. We then looked into whether it works and addressed some commonly-raised concerns. Finally, we figured out how to pay for it with a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.

Today I want to step back and try something new. I want to apply a bit of FIRE thinking to UBI. Continue reading “Building a FIRE UBI (Universal Basic Income Part 6)”

How to Raise Trillions of Dollars (Universal Basic Income Part 5)

It’s election day in America! Make sure you get out and vote. If you want to have a say in government policy, you need to make your voice heard. The government is going to act in your name whether you like it or not, so do something to shape it. Grab a friend or three and get to the polls!

Today, we’re picking up where we left off with Universal Basic Income.

First, we learned what it is and what the different visions for UBI entail. Then we explored the evidence that giving people money works and responded to concerns that people have about Universal Basic Income.

Most recently, we started tackling the biggest question with regards to UBI: How will we pay for it? Last week we figured out how much money we needed to find and looked for some spending cuts that could get us started.

Today we dive into everyone’s least favorite topic: raising taxes. Continue reading “How to Raise Trillions of Dollars (Universal Basic Income Part 5)”

Where’s All That Money Coming From (Universal Basic Income Part 4)

We’ve been spending the last couple weeks diving deep into the details on Universal Basic Income.

We’ve explored the different visions for it, looked into the research showing that it works, and addressed a whole string of questions and concerns that people have raised about it.

The biggest question about Universal Basic Income, however, is: How will we pay for it? That’s what we’ll tackle today.

As I researched and drafted this article, it grew to be quite long. A quick Twitter poll suggested that you all would rather read such a lengthy discussion in two parts.

To that end, today will cover the background of funding a UBI, how much it will cost, and what spending we could cut to help pay for it. Thursday will get into the details on what taxes could be raised and where else new revenue could be found. Continue reading “Where’s All That Money Coming From (Universal Basic Income Part 4)”

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”