The extra thousand could help stimulate the economy. | iStock.com/AndreyPopov
You Will Get $1,000 Check Every Month From the Government
What If Everyone Got a $1,000 Check Every Month From theِ Government? What wouldِ you doِ with anِ extra $1,000 perِ month.
For evenِ more ofِ us, however, itِ would probablyِ goِ toward someِ type ofِ frivolous spending.
Under a national basic income program, that’s exactlyِ what wouldِ happen, too.
What is basic income?
First thingsِ first, whatِ isِ basic income.
It’s a program inِ which everyoneِ (tax paying adults, thatِ is) receives a cash payout fromِ the government.
If youِ wereِ toِ receive a basic income ofِ $12,000, forِ example, theِ presumption isِ that you’d useِ thatِ money toِ pay forِ food, housing, andِ other necessities.
Everyone would get a payout. | dolgachov/iStock/Getty Images
The Roosevelt Institute study
As youِ mayِ haveِ guessed, installing a basic income program wouldِ beِ incredibly expensive.
That’s theِ assumption, andِ the Roosevelt Institute, a left-leaning economic thinkِ tank, looked atِ a fewِ differentِ models andِ what wouldِ happen ifِ they wereِ codified.
Specifically, thereِ were threeِ differentِ payout levels thatِ were modeled outِ over anِ eight-year period.
Next: What a $1,000 per-month payment would do for the economy.
What would an extra $1,000 do for the economy?
You canِ see theِ headline figure above: If everyِ American adult received a basic income ofِ $1,000 perِ month, theِ Roosevelt Institute’s model shows anِ economic boon ofِ approximately $2.5 trillion.
That is, overِ that eight-year period thatِ isِ modeled outِ inِ the study, ourِ GDP wouldِ increase byِ $2.5 trillion orِ byِ 12.6%-13.1%.
Those aren’t small figures, andِ given howِ interested policymakers (like theِ president, especially) areِ in seeingِ some explosive economic growth, it’s hard toِ ignore.
Government spending will be huge. | dolgachov/iStock/Getty Images
Researchers looked at other variations, too. Including smaller payouts.
How about other variations?
The $1,000 perِ month scenario wasِ oneِ ofِ three thatِ the study looked at.
All threeِ sawِ positive results orِ economic growth onِ some level.
But theِ biggest andِ therefore theِ mostِ interesting wereِ theِ results fromِ the $1,000 perِ month model.
But let’s get back to that $2.5 trillion for a minute …
The idea is it would lead to trillions in economic growth. | Dean Drobot/Getty Images
About that $2.5 trillion …
You mayِ beِ thinking thatِ this allِ sounds crazy.
The government couldn’t seriouslyِ expect toِ dole outِ $1,000 perِ month toِ theِ country’s ~320 million people andِ expect toِ somehowِ comeِ out ahead.
That people wouldِ continue toِ work whenِ theِ $1,000 payments kicked inِ — so, theyِ weren’t giving upِ onِ their careers andِ simply living offِ ofِ the extra $12,000 perِ year.
Next: How does this study jive with previous analyses?
How does this compare to other analyses?
The $1,000 was the most useful for the economy. | George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images
This isِ just oneِ study ofِ several thatِ areِ out thereِ concerningِ basic income.
We mentioned thatِ there are some places experimenting currentlyِ with basic income policies, butِ we stillِ don’t haveِ a good sense ofِ howِ it wouldِ work outِ economy-wide.
There areِ some thingsِ to takeِ intoِ account, though, whenِ itِ comesِ to a basic income.
Basic income in America
At theِ end, we’re left withِ oneِ big question: Is thisِ actuallyِ something thatِ couldِ happen inِ America.
Recent polls show thatِ asِ many asِ half ofِ Americans areِ at leastِ interested inِ it (and whoِ wouldn’t beِ when we’re talking aboutِ “free” money?).
But givenِ the current trajectory ofِ American politics, whichِ isِ steering muchِ moreِ toward corporate andِ business-friendly policies, ratherِ than expanding social programs, don’t bet onِ seeing a basic income program comeِ to fruition anytime soon., 7 ] .