Kamis, November 30, 2023

Universal Basic Income: A Path to Economic Equity?

Ziva Gentasangkara
Ziva Gentasangkara
Mahasiswa Fakultas Hukum Universitas Indonesia

Universal Basic Income (UBI) has attracted significant attention recently as a prospective remedy for addressing diverse social and economic challenges. UBI envisions governments offering unconditional cash disbursements to all citizens, regardless of their employment status or income level.

The underlying rationale behind UBI is to establish a social safety net that guarantees fundamental human necessities, diminishes poverty, and fosters economic stability. While UBI introduces a promising avenue, its execution prompts a series of pivotal inquiries and considerations. Supporters of UBI contend that it could enact a transformative shift in society.

By instating a fundamental income baseline, UBI could mitigate poverty, mitigate income inequality, and ensure universal access to essential necessities such as sustenance, housing, and medical care. Such a scenario might improve overall quality of life and engender a more just societal structure. Moreover, UBI may address the ramifications of automation and technological progress, which could lead to the displacement of many jobs.

Furthermore, UBI could streamline the welfare framework by consolidating various social aid programs into a solitary disbursement. This more simplified approach might curtail administrative expenditures and bureaucratic intricacies, facilitating a more efficacious allocation of resources.

Additionally, UBI could empower individuals to pursue entrepreneurial undertakings, invigorating economic expansion and innovation. However, executing UBI is full of challenges and conceivable adverse consequences. A prominent concern revolves around the fiscal viability of such an initiative.

Furnishing a basic income to all citizens could impose a substantial financial strain on government budgets. Financing UBI necessitates a meticulous contemplation of taxation policies, possible trade-offs with other public amenities, and an in-depth analysis of the general economic repercussions of such a redistributive endeavor.

Critics also posit that UBI might induce disincentives for labor participation, potentially resulting in diminished workforce engagement. Suppose individuals are guaranteed an income irrespective of their employment status.

In that case, certain segments may opt out of the workforce, leading to a need for more proficient labor and an overall reduction in productivity. Striking the right equilibrium between ensuring financial security and upholding labor motivation is a complex challenge that policymakers must grapple with.

Moreover, cultural and social ramifications should not be disregarded. UBI could reshape societal norms and perceptions surrounding work, productivity, and personal accountability. It might engender debates concerning the intrinsic worth of work and the extent of government involvement in citizens’ lives. Additionally, meticulous scrutiny of the specific amount of the basic income and its implications on inflation, purchasing capacity, and cost of living is imperative.

In conclusion, implementing Universal Basic Income constitutes a multifaceted predicament demanding judicious evaluation of its merits and demerits. While UBI holds the potential to tackle poverty, inequality, and the consequences of automation, its viability, economic reverberations, and impact on workforce dynamics necessitate thorough examination.

Policymakers must engage in empirical investigation, pilot programs, and comprehensive modeling to ascertain UBI’s plausibility and potential repercussions within distinct contexts. As we contemplate the execution of UBI, it becomes pivotal to achieve a harmonious equilibrium between societal progression and fiscal viability.

Ziva Gentasangkara
Ziva Gentasangkara
Mahasiswa Fakultas Hukum Universitas Indonesia
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