Universal basic income (UBI) could eradicate low-paid, menial jobs, freeing people to pursue more fulfilling work or leisure activities. The concept of UBI, a non-means-tested sum paid to all citizens regardless of employment status, has gained traction globally. Proponents argue it would reduce poverty, inequality and bureaucracy, while critics warn of its prohibitive cost and potential to discourage work.

UBI experiments in Canada, India, and Namibia have shown positive results, including reduced poverty and improved health and education outcomes. A potential barrier to UBI implementation is the risk of inflation, but this could be mitigated through careful policy design.

The idea of a UBI is not new; it has been proposed by philosophers and economists such as Thomas Paine and Milton Friedman. Today, it is seen as a potential solution to job losses caused by automation.

UBI could also have profound psychological effects, reducing the stigma associated with unemployment and potentially increasing happiness levels. It could also lead to a cultural shift in attitudes towards work, with people free to pursue more meaningful activities.

While the debate on UBI continues, it is clear that it has the potential to radically reshape society and the economy. The challenge lies in designing a UBI system that is both economically viable and socially beneficial.

Go to source article: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/01/paying-everyone-a-basic-income-would-kill-off-low-paid-menial-jobs