I remember that story! Very interesting.
This is my biggest peeve about UBI. Perhaps if it were branded “Universal Income” people couldn’t complain that some were getting more than necessary/desired. Or suppose it were “Basic Income” but you don’t qualify if you already have significant financial assets. Either of these would yield better results, systematically and by way of public opinion, but by claiming to provide “everyone” with a “basic” income, it seems suspect. People are too different and want very different things.
I could understand a more literal version of UBI. For example:
You own a grocery store. Fella comes in skinny as bones. You will give him free food.
The thing that worries me is this: because a government is probably going to be enforcing these policies, there will probably be penalties for not falling in line. It would be yet another case of trying to fix a broken system with punitive justice. We need a system that’s elegant, that doesn’t need to fall back on extortion/threats, that everyone agrees on enough to not protest.
I would also hope the review intervals for any attempted system are not too far apart, lest an error come up that can’t be fixed because everything is set in stone for another X years.
Of course the only reason UBI is even being discussed is because so many people fall through the cracks. Maybe the focus should be on quality education, healthcare and public services so that the world is not eventually burdened by mostly mentally ill, unfit to work homeless populations. UBI is solving a problem after it has occurred.