Charles Murray: Give Every Citizen $10,000 A Year In Disposable Income


From Sunday's broadcast of The Revolution with host Steve Hilton on FOX News:

STEVE HILTON, FOX NEWS: This idea of universal basic income is something that is associated with the left. More recently we've had the liberal elite in Silicon Valley pushing the idea. But generally, it's seen as an idea that comes from the left. But you're obviously not from the left, far from it. Just make a case for this from this from a conservative point of view.

CHARLES MURRAY: Well the simplest case from the conservative point of view is the current system is awful and replacing it all by just giving people money is better, that was Milton Friedman's argument who made the case a long time ago. That's part of my reason. But the main reason is, well I've got a couple, one is that I think we're going to see a revolution in the job market in the next 20 or 30 years that are going to require us to define what the meaning of a job is. I'm in a minority on that.

I have a lot of economist friends who say this plan is not different and so forth. But I believe that. The second thing is that we have to revive American civil society. By civil society, I mean communities solving their own problems in dealing with each other and all the things that made America a very special place for decades and decades which is disappearing and oddly enough with universal basic income I think can give a big boost to revitalizing that

HILTON: So explain that a bit more. Because people might say it's almost the opposite of that. That universal basic income is big government gone mad, it's the ultimate welfare state.

MURRAY: Well if we gave everybody $50,000 a year, yeah, okay, in that case, you'd have a problem. In my plan, I give $10, 000 a year of disposable income, health care is taken care of otherwise. Okay, on $10,000 a year, you can't really make much of a decent living. If you get a job you could easily be above the poverty line, but guess what? If you're a couple that's $20,000 plus whatever you can get from a low-paying job. And all at once if that low-paying job pays $15,000 a year for each other you, that's 30 plus 20, that's 50, and you're moving toward a middle-class lifestyle.

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