Once again a guest post to start things off.
The biggest reason I support UBI (Universal Basic Income) has nothing to do with our possible automated future, as labor becomes less essential, or at least as we need much less of it, though that's a great reason to support it. It's not even about eliminating poverty or making the unemployment rate a non-issue, though those are very good reasons too.
The reason I want a UBI is to make work at least -technically- optional. I want this because so long as work is not optional, so long as it is mandatory, it is coercive. I want UBI so that every low wage worker whose boss screws them on hours, who reprimands them for taking sick days, who asks them to work too fast in unsafe conditions (see the current fast-food lawsuit), every young employee whose boss secretly grabs their ass while no one is looking, who's constantly making lewd comments, or racist comments, or any other sort of hateful bullshit... So that every employee who finds themselves trapped in the fiefdom of some petty little tyrant of a boss, which is actually The Majority Of Low End Workers, so that they can say:
"TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT"
So that they can really, truly, meaningfully walk the fuck away. And not have it mean they end up on the streets or their kids starve or they find themselves turning tricks to keep the water running and the lights on. Or for that matter just ending up in yet another job with a slightly different petty tyrant. And they can do this, deal with this, without having to deal with lawyers or Union Reps, who though are better than -not- having them it'd be nicer to just be able to do it ourselves. Because if -enough- of them (us) say 'NO' to this petty fucking bullshit, then firms will be forced to stop letting the petty bullshit happen (those who fail to will simply not get workers), and work in general will end up less awful for everyone.
Because the ability to say 'NO' to someone who's actively abusing you... that should be pretty high on the list of 'Liberties' worth defending. In my mind.
GDP is ultimately people buying goods and services from other people. Somebody has to flip those burgers the basic income recipients are buying.
Since low income people spend locally and buy from people they know (not robots) the income from outside the local economy stays in the local economy and all are better off. The multiplier effect of the basic income or entry wage dollar is nearly 3 times. That is, the burger flipper who is paid somewhat more than the basic income or hesh wouldn't work, spends most of herm income on local goods and services, creating more local demand for those goods and services. Also some basic income recipients will use their time to pursue a dream of artisan goods production, a local service like a band or restaurant or performance venue. Some will succeed and generate more local income.
Eliminating corporate welfare in the form of support for inadequate wages for minimum wage workers would be the first step to a more equitable distribution of the GDP. Instead of welfare to supplement inadequate earned income each adult citizen or green card holder would be provided with one half the income necessary for housing, medical care, education, and local transportation for a family if married, less if single. This assumes that a two parent household is preferred for raising children. Single mothers would be encouraged to partner up with an interested co-parent of any gender to form a family unit enabling the larger per person payment.
Eliminating welfare with all its administrative costs would more than pay for the BI for those unable to work or have better things to do with their time than unskilled minimum wage labor. Those with better things to do will probably provide taxes and purchase goods and services which will cover their BI. Everybody wants to start a restaurant, or write a graphic novel, or sing a song. Some of them would actually succeed if they didn't have to worry about feeding the family first.
It wouldn't take much transfer of wealth from the hoarders to have a profound effect on the GDP. If the corporate welfare queens had to compete for unskilled labor with a UBI minimum wage laws would be anachronistic. Market wages and working conditions for unskilled labor in a competitive market for those willing to work at those jobs would move even unskilled laborers into the low middle class.
The economic argument for a UBI is that it is outside money to low income people who spend locally for necessities provided by mainly other low income people. The bodega proprietor, (there would be food trucks on every corner) and other neighborhood business would thrive and economic benefits would trickle UP to landlords, food truck lessors, food truck builders, etc. They might even buy a solar food truck with a Powerwall 2 from Tesla if they are really successful.
If there were an UBI an income based progressive tax which would discourage wage based jobs, could provide the necessary revenues to support UBI, universal single payer Health Care and universal education. As could any of several business and financial taxes which would discourage employers and financiers.
With UBI all taxes, business and personal could be consumption based with a progressive value added tax.
Those wanting jobs would pay no additional taxes on income and those investing in jobs would not be taxed on business income from those created jobs. But since both businesses and people consume goods, a VAT of some kind would be equitable. With VAST people existing on UBI only could only consume at the basic level and pay little or no tax. People with additional income from other sources and businesses supporting them would likely purchase goods and services above the basic level and pay a progressive tax on the difference in cost.
The only way to prevent revolution by populist or pitchforks is to provide a way for people to opt out comfortably if not necessarily successfully. Providing basic needs for those who opt out, see Scandinavian socialism and post war unions, makes it possible for people to opt out of the zero sum game and still be human. In a modern society where mass production is essentially labor free, the consumption driver for the economy is gone. Some countries are recognizing this and providing a basic stipend that is liveable if not comfortable. Those who wish to contribute to society, and most reasonable people do, will find ways to contribute with artisanship, sale of intangibles on crowd funding sites, and innovation. None of which is possible for a person struggling to feed a family or even hermself.
A thorough analysis of the tax effects of UBI.
Hat tip to @miniver