- Basic Income
For a policy proposal that has an approximately 0 percent chance of being passed by the US Congress right now, universal basic income is an uncommonly hot topic. The idea that every body should receive a paycheck simply for being alive is fast becoming a darling of several factions: tech investors who expect millions of jobs to be automated out of existence, libertarians who see it as a way to avoid the inefficiencies of the traditional welfare state, and certain lefties who have embraced it as part of a way to separate government benefits from work. Dylan Matthews of Vox has produced a string of primers on the subject, and The Atlantic recently profiled a Reddit-famous basic income advocate. Yet the idea goes against everything Republicans are supposed to believe about no free rides, as well as Democrats’ preference for welfare programs designed from on high. Even if there were solid mainstream support for basic income, Congress can barely do anything these days, much less consider a wholesale redistribution of wealth.