Andrew Yang is proposing a Universal Basic Income for every American-no questions asked. It sounds like a great idea until you decipher why $1,000 a month isn’t a long term solution for our very un-American issues. Brazil employed a similar method called Bolsa Familia that was a hit but we are two very different countries. We will explore why money isn’t the answer to our problems.
Jonathan Tepperman discusses Brazil’s revolutionary Bolsa Familia program in The Fix: How Countries Use Crises to Solve the World’s Worst Problems. It’s a universal basic income for impoverished, mostly rural Brazilians that dispenses small amounts of cash to families. The money sharing focuses on mothers to force their families to attain a required literacy and health improvement standard. The key to Bolsa Familia is the requirements to establish a healthier family so future generations will ascend from poverty. It’s success increased the literacy rate while decreasing the country’s infant mortality rate and more kids went to college lifting the next generation from poverty. Brazil halved its initial poverty rate of 9.7% to 4.3% while increasing the country’s GDP. Nothing is free for families if they do not increase in health and educational wealth they will be terminated from the program.
Yang’s Freedom Dividend suggestions along with many others are not possible without key requirements. In his policy analysis, he states every family would receive up to a $1,000 a month. A $1,000 a month is an unsubstantial amount when the average family needs about $5,000 a month for survival. “Up to” doesn’t ensure the amount a family needs will be provided either. The policy states the UBI is to help the thousands of Americans who lose their jobs to technology. He states that people will not have physical jobs. Currently, there is a shortage of tradespeople for the various building projects across the nation. We will always need physical laborers. He also states that the loss of manufacturing jobs will continue to create massive unemployment. There are 251,774 small businesses across America that are manufacturing some form of products. Due to the pressure to go to college instead of going to work, 89% of American manufacturers can’t fill thousands of vacant jobs. These are the keys that make universal income not feasible.
If Yang or any other politician wants American families to regain economic independence than there are solutions. First, stop taking all our money to repay student loans. We must expand trade schools, trade classes in high school and hire government recruits to build our nation. Student loan debt is $1.6 trillion dollars with the average household having $47,000 in debt and only making $45,000 a year. Tradespeople make an average of $47.500 a year but with no student loan debt increasing their consumer buying power which oils the squeaky wheel of capitalism. Tradespeople in unions make even more than the average physical laborer. It’s time we invest in our people’s physical skills that technology cannot replace.
According to labor expert Al Gini, up to 15% of the workforce is eliminated by technology every year. Give people who have a Small Business Association loan approval the $1,000 a month instead of having them take a loan. The high demands of business competition along with the two to three years to acquire customers could be augmented by that lack of loan payments.
Last but never least-make America first by decreasing imports of products we already make here or could make here. That would bring $1,000 or more a day to some companies. Make America rich not needy.