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为什么全民基本收入是个坏主意

发自波士顿——由于美国和其他发达国家的社会安全网多有不足,以至于关于全民基本收入(universal basic income)的提案日益得到民众欢迎。近年来富人与普通人之间的差距已大大扩大,而许多人担心自动化和全球化还将加剧这一趋势。

毫无疑问,如果只能在大规模贫困和全民基本收入之间二选一,那么全民基本收入显然是必选。该项目可以让人们把钱花在他们最为珍视的东西上。它将创造一种广泛的所有权意识和一个足以动摇金钱政治体系的新选区体制。而多项针对发展中经济体有条件现金转移支付项目的研究也发现这些政策可以赋权于妇女和其他边缘群体。

但全民基本收入是个有缺陷的理念,尤其是除非伴随着对安全网其他部分的大幅削减,否则它将昂贵得让各方无力承受。在拥有3.27亿人口的美国,每月仅支付1000美元的全民基本收入每年就将花费大约4万亿美元,几乎相当于2018年的整个联邦预算。如果不砍掉其他大笔支出,就必须让美国联邦税收翻一番——这将给经济带来巨大的扭曲成本。而且一项永久性的全民基本收入是无法用政府债券或新印刷货币来融资支付的。

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