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Updated by UBI Advocates on Jun 11, 2018
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Common UBI Misconceptions

The Common UBI (Universal/Unconditional Basic Income) Misconceptions, and 'Why'.

Many of the "arguments" below are actually sidestepping away from focusing on the benefits (or arguing against the benefits) of UBI. Some of them are simply knee-jerk reflexive reactions to the concept of UBI that is not fully understood.

The majority of anti-UBI rhetoric is actually misplaced blame, seemingly intentional misinformation, comparisons of two entirely different things are logical fallacies, assignment of pre-existing problematic-behavior of some actors in the existing system onto UBI as if they are one in the same, when they're actually completely different things (before UBI was even around)- it's dishonest, incredulous, misleading and damaging.

Some anti-UBI responses completely ignore all the evidence provided, whilst simultaneously criticizing the concept and offering no other solution or alternative. Some anti-UBI activity is purely Anarchistic (to some, a game of annoyance, malice, inducing of strife for pleasure ie. sadism, how to spot an extreme anarchist: ignores all evidence, replies destructively, with doom/gloom/no alternatives/trolling/has no counter-proposal) or extreme libertarian ("taxation is theft!") in rare cases, psychotic, or worse: social-darwinistic: (ie supremacists) . Recognizing these patterns helps advocates not waste precious time in advocation efforts.

_The list below will explain what UBI is NOT! _

Don't fully understand UBI but want to learn more? Read this now: Unconditional/Universal Basic Income 101:

Ready to take action? Jump on to social-networks like Twitter and use the hashtag #basicincome in your post - many global supporters will see and likely share your message to continually reach a wider audience. YOU CAN make a difference. Follow the tips at to get more involved.


"UBI will cause inflation!" no... UBI will NOT cause inflation.

"UBI will cause inflation!" no... UBI will NOT cause inflation.

This is perhaps the most common misconception, and it's a misconception founded on the fear of the unknown. UBI will not cause inflation, and studies are showing that it may actually reduce inflation: ""The positive effect on production and growth means that the elasticity of supply would offset inflationary pressure""
That means that economic production and economic growth as a result of UBI would help bring new, faster demand, which would reduce inflation. What many economists fail to recognize when bringing up inflation as a reactionary misconception towards UBI is not realizing that time is an attribute of an economic system and that when people are given more time and money that economic activity increases, they're given access to new products and services, and it is not necessary for business owners to increase prices when more sales are occurring, quicker. This is evidenced in the Alaska PFD: "Alaska has experienced lower levels of inflation compared to the U.S. average since the inception of the program." ( -

Conflating "inflation" with "where money comes from" is definitely a red herring and comparing two different things, it also ignores the evidence in Alaska...(and India) in that case, the money came from oil (a natural resource right?), so in that case money did come from somewhere, one single source - and it proved that it actually lowered inflation. However, proposals for UBI include many multiple sources of income. Confusing inflation with just one potential funding source not only ignores the evidence that showed economic activity was hastened, and that both individuals and business benefitted, it sidesteps actual proposals, discussions, and ideas on many of the methods for funding UBI. It's a defeatist reaction/stance rather than constructive one.

"Wouldn't UBI just cause massive inflation" - Scott Santens @scottsantens

"The concept of "prices raise so it makes no difference for anybody" is mathematically impossible, & stems from a simple misunderstanding of the numbers involved. Yes, prices change, but purchasing power nevertheless increases for everyone below the balance-point." further reading: (via /u/ponieslovekittens on

Guy Standing discusses it in his informal March 2016 piece for Global Dialogue:
The positive effect on production and growth means that the elasticity of supply would offset inflationary pressure due to any increased demand for basic food and goods. From:

"6. The basic income grants led to small-scale investments – more and better seeds, sewing machines, establishment of little shops, repairs to equipment, and so on. This was associated with more production, and thus higher incomes. The positive effect on production and growth means that the elasticity of supply would offset inflationary pressure due to any increased demand for basic food and goods. It was encouraging to see the revival of local strains of grain that had been wiped out by the PDS."

Finally, it is important to recognize this concern of 'Inflation' as a sidestepping argument that steps away from focusing on advocating for UBI, and steps away from working on policy design proposals.

Further reading:


UBI is NOT unpayable.

"But, UBI is not affordable!" - "Who pays for it?" - "How do you pay for UBI?"

To think UBI is not financially feasible IS a common misconception. Consider this for starters: what is the COST of NOT implementing a UBI?

When someone asks "Who pays?" The response usually is: who pays for any public service in society, such as police forces, roads, clean water services, libraries, schools... that's right, people do!
We do, because that's what we do. It doesn't have to be only the people though. A misconception is in the assumption that only the very wealthy will pay, or that we can't afford to pay for it— both are false.
As you can see and as will be explained below, the implementation can come from combination or multitude of policy decisions.

"Personal Income Tax is the only way to fund UBI!" - False.

There are many proposals and designs for UBI implementations, and many more designs, proposals, and implementations being carried out around the world. We currently pay for many of societies public services via taxes, and there has been historic precedence for other large-scale societal expenditures such as the Works Progress Administration where the government appropriated funds as necessary through income taxes. But personal income taxes are not the only way to fund UBI- and thinking that personal income taxes are the only way to fund it is simply unimaginative. There's a wide variety of ways to fund UBI, such as a carbon-tax, combined with a reduction in bloated programs, and here's a big list of other ideas:

Some more ideas to combine for effective funding of UBI:

  • Implement resource taxes, and/or robot(automation) taxes.
  • Reduce government spending on wasteful initiatives or excessive military spending
  • Reduce government mismanagement and allocation of funds
  • Eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse of the Welfare State.
  • Properly tax multination corporations and close harmful tax-haven loopholes
  • Consider a more fair tax system
  • Consider a simple increase of the deficit
  • Consider a negative income tax
  • Consider a value added tax (VAT)
  • Consider electronic transactions (APT tax)
  • Consider a partial Land value tax (LVT)
  • Consider a flat tax
  • Some propose variations of personal income tax schemes.
  • Combine with transaction taxes
  • Combine with savings taxes
  • Combine with a Carbon-Tax (Has dual importance for those that believe in science). - No one single tax would be able to completely pay for it, but a combination of the different options. -Some ideas, such as one by Author David J Campbell‏ encourage us to phase in entirely new socioeconomic systems in parallel with the old. (some via

As you can see, there's many combinations to pick and choose from, authors and policy-makers, scientists and researchers are working directly with informed economists to create policy proposals, they are working together to draft and propose new methods all the time, as well as reviewing existing studies to inform real-world policy introductions. Focusing so heavily on "who will pay" is actually sidestepping away from something much bigger, the moral imperative of a UBI.

The groups of Economists saying UBI is unfeasible because "it will raise people's taxes" and thus "won't be enough" is disingenuous, damaging, and really entirely unimaginative.

The government can appropriate funds where necessary. Personal income tax does not have to be the primary source of funding for things like UBI.

Reddit user /u/w_v states: "People don't realize that [federal] taxes are not needed to fund any government spending. Sports stadiums don't collect your tickets before they print them in the first place. [...] intuition about how government spending works is totally backwards. The State is the source of all money (it can never go bankrupt) and it recoups a tiny fraction of it in taxes—just enough to maintain a psychosocial need for the currency. A healthy system is one in which the government has a floating currency, has a diversified economy, and is always in debt. Our currency is unpegged (unlike Weimar Germany/Argentina/Zimbabwe/Thailand/any other country that has defaulted in history.) There is no economic reason why we can't fund everything we want/need as a society (the only thing stopping us is inflation and that only occurs when there is too much money in circulation relative to our ability to absorb the money... and we are [...] awesome at absorbing money.)" "It's stupid to keep treating our monetary system as if it were physically limited chunks of rock. We're forcing ourselves to dance with only one leg!" ... "Cash is credit. They're one in the same. The government doesn’t first collect taxes in order to obtain money to spend. It prints the government debt cash first (creates it out of thin air!) and at the end of the year taxes it (deletes it) back into nonexistence. When the government has a surplus it doesn't mean there's more money for everyone—quite the opposite: it means all of us now owe the government more than we can make. The private sector is [in trouble] whenever there's a government surplus. (Government) surpluses should be avoided at all costs! This is why deficit hawks and gold-standard libertarians are [misguided] and should be forced to take a course in economics: Six out of the last seven depressions were preceded by government budget surpluses." "IMPORTANT: The surpluses themselves don't cause the depressions—it would be [wrong] to imply that. But what happens is that less government debt = less private sector savings. Less private sector saving makes the private sector fragile—less robust to outside forces (international markets collapsing, bubbles bursting, etc.)" via Reddit user /u/w_v

... So first we must individually make the choice to step toward a future with UBI implemented. -It is possible, it is feasible, and it is desirable.

There's something else important to note... the cost of NOT implementing UBI is far far greater than the cost of UBI itself.

Others have mentioned that we can "dismantle the current inefficient welfare system" however many advocates propose that instead of dismantle we instead significantly improve it's efficiency.

Some have mentioned "Go single payer on medicare, make wealthy people and companies actually pay their taxes" instead of hiding it in sneaky offshore accounts. The government can also adjust tax-levels on corporations for example.

“If you give somebody a dollar, that dollar has to come from somewhere,” -Jason Furman

This could be the most damaging logical fallacy. Zero-Sum means one persons gain means another persons loss, but that's just not how the economy actually works. Banks invent money out of thin air all the time. There's tons of IOU's that can just vanish in finance, there's entrepreneurs who set arbitrary prices every day. People can trade one thing for another thing they deem of equal value and yet may have different opinions of what one item or service vs. another is worth— all this is ignoring one other important aspect that many economists seem to ignore: time. "Profits in the private sector are mostly created from the thin air of IOUs. r > g. The financial sector creates credit at will and circulates it as money, converting the created credit to Fed dollars on demand." /u/smegko

Economists will say that Money is "Zero-Sum" and that is an Economic Law. It's difficult to argue that a dollar is not worth a dollar. Money itself might be zero-sum, but the the market, trade, the economy is not. The truth is that money supply in our economic system is often created, such as through credit. Focusing on how Government may or may not respond to the economy is sidestepping and ignoring the many issues that UBI addresses such as poverty, financial inequality, loss of jobs due to automation, coercive elements of culture, homelessness, and the list keeps getting bigger.

One recent development is the suggestion that we can tax automation to help fund UBI: - or Rutger Bregman's book.

Once again, considering 'income taxes' alone as the only way to fund UBI is not thinking big enough. Proposals are in the works, and YOU could be the one to change the world with YOUR proposal. Submit your proposals on or send it to @basicincomeorg or @scottsantens on twitter, to reach policy designers all over the world.

Another thing to stress is that the question should not be "Can we afford to implement a UBI?" - the question should be "Can we afford NOT to implement a UBI?" - evidence suggests that UBI should've been implemented many years ago.
"Universal Basic Income as the Social Vaccine of the 21st Century— Can the savings of basic income exceed the costs?" -

More ideas here by Gris Anik:

Further reading:

"UBI Calculations" - A misunderstanding on the real cost of UBI:

More reading: -


"Laziness is the problem!" False. UBI will NOT make people STOP working.

"Laziness is the problem!" False. UBI will NOT make people STOP working.

"UBI will make people lazy!" - "people won't work anymore" - "laziness is the problem!"

This is a common misconception, that ensuring people are provided with a foundational amount of money to obtain access to basic needs like food, water, the dentist, shelter, etc... that they would just stop working or being productive altogether. Studies have shown that this simply isn't true. In the Namibia pilot, economic activity increased In India, the grants led to more labor and work/jobs -

The Psychology behind laze:

Some people who are lazy are actually demoralized (often mistaken for depression or boredom) because of the situation they are in:

Often people who say "They're just lazy!" are actually just saying that to make themselves feel better. This is unhelpful and actually quite insulting.

More reading:

"Won't people stop working?"


UBI is not a Utopia

UBI is not a Utopia

"People just want free stuff"

This is a common misconception, upon hearing that something might be 'free', such as medical care, or education, or money itself, the next thought jumps straight to the incorrect conflation of UBI and Utopia. UBI would potentially be a door toward a better, greater society, there is no guarantee that it would be utopia. However, some have argued that proper access to schooling, medical care, food, clean water, shelter, and other basic needs is in fact a utopia. Others argue that a 'pittance' would be dystopic- both ignore many facets of a correctly implemented UBI program and sidestep the global moral imperative to enact UBI. The term utopia is then very subjective and easy to jump to comparisons and relative differences. Saying UBI is a Utopia is claiming it might as well be fantasy. Unfortunately calling it a fantasy is highly insulting to those individuals all around the world already benefitting by the access that UBI has provided them to a 'normal' standard of living through UBI pilots. That is very real to them. See: - these are real people in the real world benefitting from UBI programs- it doesn't get any more realist than that.
Saying basic normal things like access to clean water, education, clinics is utopic is not only old era thinking, it's entirely unimaginative.


UBI would NOT decrease motivation

UBI would NOT decrease motivation

A common misconception is that students would not be motivated to study. Pilots showed improved school attendance and performance. Studies also showed long-term enhancements in two personality traits: Conscientiousness and agreeableness. People were more honest, more observant, more comfortable around other people. More willing to work together with others."- "most likely lifelong changes." " from - "marked increase in economic activity"


UBI will NOT increase alcohol and drug use

UBI will NOT increase alcohol and drug use

"People will just spend it on drugs and beer!"

This is a common misconception, rooted in the false belief that people don't know what is best for their own wellbeing when provided with a foundational income. "on average, there is no increase in the consumption of temptation goods." --- "There is clear evidence that transfers are not consistently used for alcohol or tobacco in any of these environments." "strong evidence that concerns that transfers will be used on alcohol and tobacco are unfounded." ---


UBI is NOT 'money for nothing'

UBI is NOT 'money for nothing'

This is a common misconception. UBI is "money for societal cooperation and for the fundamentally flawed justifications of original appropriation." "Taking something ultimately scarce from nature or benefitting from something that no human has made in their voluntarily exchanged labor, that is temporally or locally limited in its availability, that can only be fair if all people or actual representatives of such who could aspire to benefit similarly, were asked about it." "UBI is tendencially a step in the direction of establishing that the golden rule is met, in our property and currency system, unless you get it quite wrong in its financing. It's a money for more justice." "[Guy Standing stresses that] today's monetary wealth relations fail to adequately express at all, whose parents and grandparents did all the hard work to build our wealth, as expected given the systemic relations of domination between some and other people and their ancestors, and makes a point about the legacy of our forefathers as such being a collective inheritance, as we cannot meaningfully untangle whose parents and grandparents did what and so on." — /u/TiV3 on

UBI is NOT "Free Money":


UBI is NOT Communism.

UBI is NOT Communism.

Communism = Communal ownership of the means of production. Basic income is not communal ownership of the means of production, it is not communism. Instead UBI is a set amount of cash ensured as a right for being a human being, allowing extended choice and time. In other words, freedom. It is not communism and it does not lead to totalitarianism or fascism.

UBI isn't stateless, and it isn't cashless. UBI means equal distribution, not distribution linked to “needs” or “abilities”. The "U" in UBI is Unconditional - that means without conditions or prerequisites.

UBI works within the Capitalist system, therefore, it is not Communism. There's still government, still money, and still private property, therefore it is not Communism. Some people can be afraid of what they don't know enough about, "It's Communism!" is an impulsive reaction. Another word for this response is "knee-jerk".

Is social security, welfare and medicaid communism? No. Is demanding clean water an act of communism? No. Arguing that such a decision should be decided at the State level instead of the Federal level is sidestepping and ignoring the fact that people require clean water to be healthy.

UBI is not Communism, and to argue what is better: Socialism, Capitalism, Communism or UBI is actually wasting time when one can be learning the real, evidence-based research behind the benefits of enacting a UBI.

Further reading for the open-minded:

"UBI is communism like what happened in Cuba!" - "UBI is communism like what happened in Poland!" - both of these statements are misleading and false.

In poland between 1945 and 1989 the government guaranteed a job for everyone (which is btw, a Job Guarantee, summed up as: 'pigeonholing' potentially the opposite of UBI).
The government introduced "coupons" for sugar, bread, meat & other basic goods per month per family (essentially communism). This was not UBI. Basic Income is real money, not coupons. That means it isn't rationing systems or food stamps or similar.
What we saw in Poland was "hoarding behavior", "whereas basic income encourages investment and saving."

"The system [in Poland] is in no way applicable to contemporary universal basic income proposals." "Poland, [during that time], was operating under a centrally-planned system of economics, in which private companies with more than fifty employees were nationalized and taken over by the state. Additionally, attempts at collective farming led to massive food shortages, exacerbated by artificially high exchange rate implemented by the Polish govt." via /u/DerpyGrooves


UBI is NOT Socialism

UBI is NOT Socialism

Capitalism is not UBI. Neither is Socialism or Communism. They are separate ideas.

Calling UBI Socialism is not only false, it is a misunderstanding of the idea of both UBI and Socialism. Not only that, it is sidestepping real world issues to debate the difference between two very different ideas rather than the merits of either idea.

Socialism is defined as a system in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.

Basic Income is: “A periodic cash payment unconditionally delivered to all on an individual basis, without means-test or work requirement.” -Basic Income Earth Network

UBI is implemented within a system whereby people are still capable of having bank accounts, trading, saving money, buying machines, producing things for sale, renting or owning space, buying supplies, etc...

UBI can be implemented within a Capitalistic system, and it would imply taking care of citizens, giving them more time and more choice.

Redistribution of wealth is being demanded to undo this fraud: - however, proposals for UBI don't always include taking from one group of society and giving it directly to another.

Even so, that is still not socialism because nobody is calling for "seizing the means of production/factories/business/equipment, etc"

Some will say "But Venezuela!" "But that ignores three important facts. First, Venezuela is not a dictatorship. Second, it's economy is hardly socialist: the private sector still controls the overwhelming majority. Third, despite the 2003-2008 oil boom, Chávez failed to tackle corruption, dismantle currency controls after they had served their purpose, and wean Venezuela from its extreme dependence on oil."

UBI is not Socialism, and to argue what is better: Socialism, Capitalism, Communism or UBI is actually wasting time when one can be learning the real, evidence-based research behind the benefits of enacting a UBI. - there are real people in the real world who are benefitting from UBI programs.


UBI is NOT Neoliberalism

UBI is NOT Neoliberalism

Unconditional/Universal Basic Income is NOT Neoliberalism. It does not attack the state or justify impoverishment. People who focus on pinning UBI as a neoliberal trojan horse tend to have an extreme view. They usually want to demolish capitalism/trade/savings or cause some form of chaos or they are afraid the people will cripple UBI. If somebody cripples UBI, it isn't really UBI, and we must not expect anything less than UBI. The concern that UBI would be too low is a real and genuine concern, but the blame should fall on those who would purposefully cripple the program. Don't blame UBI for someone who is intentionally crippling it into something it isn't. If a UBI is set too low it wouldn't be a real UBI, someone would have to be blamed for letting people suffer or die. If UBI is not foundational to cover basic things like access to food, water, shelter, clinics, education, dentistry, optometry, etc, it isn't really UBI. If this happens, the country that first enacts a real and proper UBI will be the one to lead the way. Others must emulate and follow the lead. People also forget that UBI would likely increase social cohesion, and give people power to collaborate for the wellbeing of society.

Neoliberalism is defined on Wikipedia as:
*"extensive economic liberalization policies such as privatization, fiscal austerity [extreme reduction on spending], deregulation, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society"
Another definition is that it encourages merciless unempathetic capitalism. Austerity is putting a choke-collar on the government's ability to allocate funds usually for public-benefitting expenditures, like educational programs. Neoliberal seems to be rampant, unchecked, merciless egotism (supremacism) and greed- which seems to go directly against the virtues of Universal Basic Income. Having that in mind, does that mean UBI is something actual Neoliberals would (secretly) vehemently hate but can't outright come out and say they're against it? If so... The quickest way for them to bury UBI might be to make it one part of their platform and spread the false idea that UBI is neoliberal. As a side note related to this... the idea of a Job Guarantee INSTEAD of UBI (as opposed to in combination with it) seems like it might be pleasing to Neoliberals, who might see JG as not only a way to take down UBI but an opportunity to essentially permanently force people into wage slavery.

"Private firms can buy and sell capital, and create new capital using nefarious schemes that neoliberal academics never thought of. See Greenspan's 2008 testimony before Congress where he says that his neoliberal system has had its fundamental axioms about rationality revealed as flaws. One of the flaws is that the private sector can create money without consequence, but if the government creates money there will be inflation and we must fear inflation because there is absolutely nothing that can be done about it."

"Neoliberals are unimaginative. We should not fear inflation as a price signal that we must not ignore. We should solve inflation with the same technology advances we should automate jobs with. Inflation is psychological, arbitrary, fickle. We should create public policies to assuage the fears of inflation expectationers, assure them that basic income will not take anything away from them. Neoliberals attack my proposals because their model says that money is basically fixed and only the private sector should create money anyway because if the government creates money, you will have unacceptable inflation. We must challenge that neoliberal model, I think. I start by attacking the assumption that money is basically fixed — From Alan Greenspan: "So the problem here is, something which looked to be a very solid edifice, and indeed a critical pillar to market competition and free markets, did break down. And I think that, as I said, shocked me. I still do not fully understand why it happened. And obviously, to the extent that I figure out where it happened and why, I will change my views. And if the facts change, I will change."" —Would you say: "Alan Greenspan thought money was fixed, and to his own shock admitted his Neoliberalism policies were flawed."? I think Greenspan thought that neoliberal models of rational behavior would prevent the vast expansion of private-sector capital. I think the scope of private capital creation via derivatives was something he was aware of, but thought that since it was a natural outgrowth of deregulating free capital markets, it was naturally rational and naturally a good thing. Then I think he kind of ignored the scale of private money creation because it was unimaginable, given his models. I think the flaw in Greenspan's neoliberalism is that if government expands capital it will cause inflation. The same rationality that broke down for Greenspan in 2007-2008 breaks down in his inflation model, too. To be more specific, I think that Greenspan assumed that neoliberal models of rational behavior would lead shadow banks to fully insure and hedge against the market devaluation of riskless, AAA-rated assets. I think Greenspan also assumed that rational markets would not panic and devalue Mortgage-backed securities so quickly. I think Greenspan assumed that if an insurance company said it was insuring Mortgage-backed securities, it would back up that promise; but AIG couldn't get the funding it needed to make insurance payouts, because the market had devalued the Mortgage-backed securities AIG was using as collateral to insure against the Mortgage-backed securities suddenly going down in value. I think the neoliberal assumption of rationality and utility maximization is flawed because hedging is formally irrational in that it violates transitivity: banks make money if the mortgage-backed securities go up and if they go down. The problem was that the insurance part broke down in 2007-2008. I think the unpredicted scenario that so much money was created by the private sector, and they thought they insured all of it, but the insurance piece was unable to summon the funds it needed to pay out when necessary, so they had to rely on Fed money creation; I think the way that whole scenario played out violated Greenspan's models of where money comes from."


UBI does NOT work in THIS country.

UBI does NOT work in THIS country.

This is a common misconception, stating that every country is different and that it is an impossible fantasy to implement here.

However, there have been literally hundreds of studies all over the world that proves that where cash transfers were introduced significant improvements were seen:

Wherever money opens a door for someone to give them access to basic normal things like clean water, food, clinic visits, schooling/education, or transport, UBI or a form of it was proven to help. UBI touches many aspects of society because so does money. Here's some 70+ reasons why deciding to support and be vocal about UBI as an individual is increasingly imperative:"Everywhere money opens a door"

For USA readers:

"But UBI is too big of an overhaul, won't work!"

Experiments come before actual policy changes, and Pilot Studies are now all over the world, but in Quebec, they are bypassing testing and planning on implementing UBI right away:


UBI is NOT "theft"!

UBI is NOT "theft"!

This is a common misconception, and it is rooted in the fear that people will come and steal your "private property". Often people who have this stance are either: Anarchists, or extreme libertarians who feel that taxation is theft/coercion (they'd rather live alone in a forest shack). But is paying for public services like schools, libraries, traffic lights, police, hospitals and so on really theft? This is absurd. The truth is that no man is an island, humans are connected and, like it or not, we need each other. While we are both incredibly unique- we also have so much in common- it's not a paradox, it's reality. The next time you stop at a traffic light and watch a pedestrian cross the road while you wait at that red light- imagine if they had to insert coins into a dangerous traffic light just for the walk sign to appear? - now THAT would be theft, and yet that is much of what society is currently like for so many people.


"UBI is for those that don't know how to provide for themselves"

"UBI is for those that don't know how to provide for themselves"

This is a common misconception, along the lines of "wealthy people need to pay for poor people because poor people don't know any better", completely ignores many of these issues: Many problems with economic mobility are both cultural and systematic. The false statement above actually incorrectly assumes two things: 1. that people don't know how to best make decisions with their income ("they're just mooching off welfare!"), of which multiple studies have shown that this is completely false ( people spend it on things that help them improve their situations. AND/OR 2. it also assumes that taxation is the only way to fund UBI, so often people say "UBI is theft!" but there are many ways to combine and potentially fund UBI, one example is a carbon tax, another is land value tax. (, this also ignores that all of us pay taxes for public services such as clean water, police services, hospitals, parks, libraries, etc.

Something else important to note here is that this response is often only said to bolster ones own perceived position in society, an expression of narcissistic egotism, as if patting their own back to feel superior- either in defense, as a misunderstanding, or intentionally... So, technically this response is rooted in false superiority, otherwise known as supremacism. Yuck. Sometimes, in extreme cases, language such as "losers vs winners" can be used implying belief in social darwinism: ... or even worse, - don't be that guy

A short lesson might help in these situations, for some minds are still yet open:


UBI is NOT a "Trojan Horse"

UBI is NOT a "Trojan Horse"

There are many individuals who have been affected by cutbacks, and are now conflating the idea of UBI with the 'trojan horse' of further neoliberal or austerity-related public-service cutbacks. However, a proper UBI implementation would not eliminate all public services. Another fear is that UBI would be distorted into something else entirely, such as very small pittance that isn't enough to allow for access to basic services like clean water, food, shelter, clinics, or transport. Their greatest fear is that UBI will be used as a tool to eradicate public services and then soon after see all public services gone. However the fear is misdirected at UBI and the blame is too. The problem is that if UBI is not Unconditional, not Universal, and not Foundational, it isn't UBI - it's something else, something ugly. If it isn't Unconditional, Universal, and Foundational, it isn't UBI, and the blame should fall on those who fail to implement a proper UBI - not on UBI itself. If you are concerned that UBI would be used to eradicate public services, your blame is misplaced, because it is those individuals attempting to distort UBI into something it ISN'T that you should be blaming those individuals and their actions - not UBI itself. Don't blame UBI, blame those individuals. Be clear on who it is, and why. Don't say it's UBI, and don't call UBI something it isn't.


UBI is NOT a 'fantasy' - "UBI is impossible!"

UBI is NOT a 'fantasy' - "UBI is impossible!"

Calling UBI a fantasy is completely ignoring real world effects. These are real, they are not fantasy. Macau has had a 'Basic Income', since 2008, and it continues through 2017. Unfortunately calling it a fantasy is highly insulting to those individuals all around the world already benefitting by the access that UBI has provided them to a 'normal' standard of living through UBI pilots. That is very real to them. See: - these are real people in the real world benefitting from UBI programs- it doesn't get any more realist than that. Saying basic normal things like access to clean water, education, clinics is utopic is not only old era thinking, it's entirely unimaginative. On top of that, many smart people have said some things were impossible throughout history and they were horribly wrong…


UBI will not get rid of work, people will not be clueless

UBI will not get rid of work, people will not be clueless

"We need jobs for direction in life! Life will be empty without it!" - false. Just ask anyone who is retired or already has a Basic Income.
"We need work to give life meaning" - false. Meaning can come from multiple things, not just work.
"People will be passionless without work!" - false. People can find passion outside of work, but even if you completely love work and love your job - that doesn't mean UBI will make it vanish. The evidence has show that people will still work, that the economy will even grow, that inflation is reduced, and the evidence keeps pouring in:

There's a big difference between "work" and "jobs" and it's necessary to understand the difference:


UBI is NOT a cult.

UBI is NOT a cult.

The difference between a cult and a culture: “In a cult, a leader sees greatness in themselves, in a culture the leader sees greatness in the people.”

This is a common misconception. UBI is not a cult. Many cults are founded on faith or beliefs, however, UBI is actually founded on evidence and science. - there is something scientists have in common with religious people, and that is faith- it's just used a bit differently. Without the idea that trying something to see if it works or not, nothing new will ever be tried. Science is about connecting the dots about what has come before, inferring something new, having some faith that you might be right, testing it out, and then seeing if the results are true. If we never infer anything, we never progress, we don't grow as a society- we actually regress.

When 23% percent of an entire country votes for UBI, does that make them all cultists? Absolutely not...


UBI is not a "Big Government Boogeyman"

UBI is not a "Big Government Boogeyman"

A common misconception of UBI is that it is a big government tool to control the masses. Consider this, does the government control the masses by ensuring people have access to public services like clean water? How about hospitals, police forces, firemen, or libraries, or education? No. That's completely ridiculous. This is giving people increased freedom.

Just like business, just like any organization, the government is made up of people. If you're scared of big government- you might actually be scared of corruption via bad actors - in that case, you should place the blame accordingly.

UBI is not some terrifying government boogeyman trying to tell you what to do.

Some people will quote Ronald Reagan here: "The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help." this is highly misleading.
From - it was Richard Nixon who said "“The task of government is not to make decisions for you or for anyone. The task of government is to enable you to make decisions for yourselves. Not to see the truth of that statement is fundamentally to mistake the genius of democracy. We have made too many mistakes of this type—but no more. Our job is to get resources to people in need and then to let them run their own lives.”

"The role of the government should be to empower the people, not make decisions for them - Traditional thinking would suggest that in order to empower people and combat poverty that the government should provide services, but studies - - - have shown that it’s more effective to just give cash directly because people in poverty know best how to use the money allocated to them. We live in the most educated society in history and we need to acknowledge that poverty is primarily due to influences in our collective economy rather than an individual’s lack of education."


Conflation of UBI with Government Corruption

Conflation of UBI with Government Corruption

A common misconception is to incorrectly conflate UBI with corruption in Government. Government must work for the people. If corporate lobbying by "the elite" and bankers have caused the Government to put profits before the interest of the people, that is called political corruption.

People have (sound) fears that poorly implemented UBI (or corrupted UBI implementations) would be the fault of UBI itself. However, this is not placing the blame where it belongs, and it is ignoring that UBI is an ideal, not an ideology. In fully understanding what UBI is exactly the realization is that anything less than UBI is simply not UBI, and that the real blame should placed squarely on those individuals who are corrupting government for the people by the people for their own selfish gain- while pushing others down.

Political corruption in the 21st century is widespread, but a proper implementation of UBI seeks to reduce crime and corruption significantly, studies have shown that it reduces crime significantly, but what is not well recognized is that it gives people leverage to say 'NO', it gives people power to resist corruption. We must ensure government works for people, and part of this is speaking up for what UBI really is, and raising awareness for what UBI really is wherever and whenever we can. To be involved in the advocacy of Unconditional Basic Income is to be proactive in facing the big problems of our societies, and we should consider the evidence and the science, and be proactive- rather than waiting for regression and attempting to be reactive.

Still concerned? This might help:


UBI is NOT a new idea.

UBI is NOT a new idea.

UBI is not a "radical and new proposal." UBI is not "an idea in it's infancy." UBI has been around for at least 50 years, others have dug up evidence that it was mentioned as far back as Aristotle in ancient Athens on Opponents of UBI can often say it's new and radical in an attempt to downplay its trust, significance or importance.

" The reality is it's been appropriate and easily affordable for several decades, and was already long overdue by the time Milton Friedman (a notoriously conservative, free market-minded world-renowned economist) effectively suggested it for the U.S. economy." "Milton Friedman, Martin Luther King" have mentioned UBI, and other famous academics and activists. "UBI is long overdue and backed by brilliant minds, and we need to fight back by framing the argument" as something radical and new. via /u/UBI_NOW on

Further reading:


UBI would NOT cause massive overpopulation.

UBI would NOT cause massive overpopulation.

This is a common misconception or concern. There's no evidence to suggest that UBI would cause overpopulation or excessive birthrates. "We found no evidence that fertility increased among Dauphin subjects relative to the comparison group. In fact, there is weak evidence of delayed childbirth among the youngest cohort of Dauphin mothers." — however "improved nutrition and access to prenatal care may lead to healthier newborns" "residents benefited from increased income security" residents were "offered stability and predictability; families knew they could count on at least some support, no matter what happened to agricultural prices or the weather. They knew that sudden illness, disability or unpredictable economic events would not be financially devastating."

Some folks who are anti-UBI claim that overpopulation would lead to excessive use of travel and airlines, causing way more problems with CO2. But this belief or claims are not 'grounded' on the scientific evidence.


UBI is NOT Welfare

If it is not universal, it a means-tested benefit, and that is what we have now, Welfare. Welfare is conditional, UBI is not.
The current welfare system discourages work. It takes away benefits when you do work. UBI is more like social welfare: consider this: how does UBI benefit society as a whole?

"Welfare/dole functions as a ceiling. Basic income functions as a floor. These are big differences w/ largely different effects on motivation"

Further reading:

"Entitled kids these days!"

'The definition of "entitlement" is not what you described and it's unfortunate the word has become so twisted. Entitlement is being owed something because you paid for it or otherwise earned it. If you give someone money in exchange for something, you are entitled to it. It's not a bad word. It's not expecting something for nothing. It's expecting something for something, where if the transaction remains one-sided, so that a person gives and gets nothing in return for it, that's theft. Social security is an entitlement because people paid in. Unemployment insurance is an entitlement because people paid in. People expect these things because they paid for them. They are entitled to them as a result. When it comes to current welfare programs like food stamps, and future programs like basic income, the question becomes are we entitled to those too? Did we pay for them in taxes? Do we pay in some other way? Yes we do. We pay with our lost freedom. We are owed compensation for the existence and enforcement of property rights which result in our births into a system that effectively starts us off in debt, forcing us to work for those who own all the land and property someone just up and called dibs on in the past. Because we can't just stake out a piece of land, and live our lives by the sweat of our own brows instead of being involuntarily forced to work for another, we are entitled to compensation for this lost freedom." /u/2noame

Basic Income will NOT increase overpopulation

"We found no evidence that fertility increased among Dauphin subjects relative to the comparison group. In fact, there is weak evidence of delayed childbirth among the youngest cohort of Dauphin mothers."

UBI does not have a significant impact on population explosion, and data are showing it does exactly the opposite.

More reading at the /r/BasicIncome Wiki

A narrative of where we may be headed, and where we could choose to go from here.