Universal Basic Income has been a topic of discussion in the United States for quite some time. It is a concept where the government provides a guaranteed income to every citizen regardless of their employment status or financial situation.
The idea behind UBI is to eliminate poverty, reduce income inequality, and ensure a basic standard of living for all citizens. In recent years, several politicians and policymakers have proposed implementing Universal Basic Income programs in the United States, including Michigan.
Poverty in Michigan
Poverty is among the major issues in Michigan, with over 1.4 million residents living below the poverty line (per Michigan Labor and Economic Opportunity). Statista also mentioned that the poverty rate in Michigan has been growing since 2000, with the state’s poverty rate at 13% in 2019 and 13.7% in 2020.
Michigan Foundation also reported that the state’s child poverty rate was reduced by about 28 percent between 2010 and 2020.
Although more people can make ends meet than a decade ago, 1.5 million households in Michigan still struggle to pay for essentials.
Universal Basic Income in Michigan
Several politicians and policymakers have proposed implementing Universal Basic Income program in Michigan. In 2018, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan launched a two-year pilot program called “Detroit at Work” to provide a guaranteed income to 200 low-income households.
The Universal Basic Income program aimed to help residents become financially stable and improve their job prospects. The Kellogg Foundation and the McGregor Fund funded the program, and participants received $500 per month for two years. Preliminary results from the program showed that the guaranteed income helped reduce financial stress and improve participants’ overall well-being.
Other UBI programs have been proposed in Michigan, such as the “Michigan Family Income Guarantee” proposed by State Representative Rashida Tlaib (per Basic Income Today). The program would provide $3,000 per year to every household in Michigan, with an additional $2,000 per year per child. The program aims to reduce poverty and provide financial stability to Michigan families.
Will UBI Fix Poverty Issues in Michigan?
While Universal Basic Income programs have shown promising results in pilot studies, it is unclear whether they can fix poverty in Michigan and the United States.
Scientific American said that UBI programs could help reduce poverty and improve well-being.
However, some experts argue that Universal Basic Income programs could have unintended consequences, such as disincentivizing work and reducing economic productivity. Others argue that UBI programs could be expensive to implement and maintain.