Universal basic income is popular in libertarian circle, they see basic income as a way to shrink the welfare state, you could take away food stamps or subsidies. Basic income would be the way for humans to maintain their lifestyle when labor becomes increasingly obsolete. It can also remove perverse incentives that discourage citizens from innovating, like the unemployment insurance. It’s an idea that has been around for a long period of time.
Recently there have been many experiments of basic income around the world, a nonprofit is running an experiment in Kenya and Ontario, Canada just launched an experiment in three different cities, but Finland is the country which is pioneering basic income experiments. It will be the first country in the world to pilot a basic income. In the beginning of 2017 the Finnish government started an experiment with basic income. ¿What will people do when they receive money without working? ¿Will they hang out at home instead of going to college? ¿How will they evaluate success? ¿Will basic income make people more or less active?
The basic income is a very American idea, it was first mentioned by American founding father Thomas Paine. They did some studies with UBI back in the 70’s with Richard Nixon. They tested different variations around the country, but data showed people dropping and out college and work. Eventough, they were not statistically significant results (they were kind of rumors), people became afraid of what this would do to society and the idea of family so the program was ended.
UBI should start on developed countries, start small and expand over time. The problem with this is that the Constitutions of democratic countries say you should treat everyone equally and giving some people basic income and excluding others is, by definition, not treating people equally. Regulations would have to pass, and governments would have to design policies so that they can start small, adapt and expand and at the same time avoid violating the Constitution.
People have opposing views on UBI. Nevertheless, it is still going to be a few years until people analyze the results of the Finnish (and other countries) experiment. No one has solid answers about what basic income would mean to the tax code, happiness, labor, the economy, income inequality or robots and AI. Right now, all we know is economists around the world are analyzing data and trying to figure out what results of implementing this would mean for the economy.