Congress’s guaranteed minimum income

No, not the US Congress, the Indian National Congress.

The Indian National Congress has proposed a guaranteed minimum income scheme. It has sometimes inaccurately been described as a UBI, but this proposal would involve means-tested unconditional cash transfers (though, with an appropriate tax structure, a UBI and a GMI would effectively be the same thing).

Capital in the Twenty-First Century author and prominent French economist Thomas Piketty is joined by J-PAL co-founder and MIT economist Abhijit Banerjee in helping the Congress with formulating their proposal.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. Here’s some interesting reading on both sides of the issue:

  • Scott Alexander compares a basic income with jobs guarantee schemes.
  • Simon Sarris’s initial article on why jobs guarantees are better than basic incomes and his subsequent response to Scott Alexander.
  • Tyler Cowen on why he changed his mind on a universal basic income.
  • A debate on Debate.org on the subject of a guaranteed minimum income.
  • Put a Number on It defends Andrew Yang and the UBI.

There’s a lot of interesting discussion on this elsewhere on the Internet as well.

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