Universal Basic Income or Means Tested

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Task Force: Universal Basic Income or Means Tested


You have been hired by the Department of Treasury to decide between universal basic income and means tested. Your goal is to be able to defend your choice after an understanding of both. 

Why Are We Doing This?

A universal basic income would serve the purpose of providing every citizen with a certain amount of income to offset job loss and lack of job opportunities. A means tested income, on the other hand, would be given based off of each individual’s income and would require them to provide evidence that they are making an amount below a specified limit. Here, we ask you to choose between these two options and create a defense for your position. 


  1. Before you begin, research information about a universal basic income and a means tested income. What are your initial thoughts about each? 
  2. Then, try to come up with a decision about which type of income the Department of Treasury should adopt.
    1. What is the difference between the two types of income?
    2. Which one do you think should be adopted? Why?
    3. Who might the universal basic income benefit? Who might the means tested income benefit?
    4. What are the common arguments for and against the two types of income? Which are more convincing to you?
  3. Think through the possible objections about your decision that someone might have.
  4. Share with the group and see if you can convince them to agree with your decision to implement either a universal basic income or a means tested income nationally. 

Things to Keep in Mind:

  •  Be prepared to defend against your decision by having an understanding of the similarities and differences between the two types of incomes.
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