Bob is talking to two girls with YIN shirts on. Bob: It’s so great to meet other people who support UBI! It’s the most AMAZING idea! Bob begins to sip from a cup. The shot lingers. Seamus pops out of a manhole and the lid goes flying. Seamus: Actually... Bob: UGH! You? What could you possibly say about Universal Basic Income? It would replace what we have now and be more efficient and cost less! Seamus: That’s definitely not a guarantee! Leaving aside the significant questions of math and efficiency, what makes you believe any politician would be willing to eliminate ALL of the jobs being filled at the 80+ government assistance programs that UBI will supposedly replace? Something tells me putting all of those people out of the job wouldn’t be too popular. Bob: Hmm… I suppose that could be true… by the way, where did the manhole lid go? Bob looks up and squints Seamus: Also, are you sure you want everyone to get that check every month? That they could use for anything that’s legal? Bob: Of course I do! Seamus: Even people who, say, use their money for harmful stuff, like cigarettes or gambling or Sugar-Frosted Sugar Puffs? Bob: Well, I mean, no, maybe not... Seamus: Even people who, say, use their money for legal-but-awful stuff like promoting racism or sexism or other kinds of hateful things? Bob: Of course not! But then again, maybe? Ugh I don’t know. Seamus: Another problem with UBI on a national scale in a country as massive and diverse as our own is it would essentially turn many of our private hobbies and pastimes- innocent or otherwise, into de facto government funded programs. Which means when people took notice of their hard earned tax money being spent by strangers on things they believe to be foolish or evil, they would either have to suck it up and deal with it OR more likely people would begin to push to restrict who gets UBI based on their spending habits, in which case it would cease to be universal. Bob: That seems like a stretch- Seamus: Are you sure? What happens when people use their UBI to spread political propaganda? Or purchase guns and ammo? Or support deeply controversial people and ideas? You don’t think there’s going to be a push to restrict how it can be spent, or who's allowed to have it in the first place? Bob: I… guess that’s possible… yeah, you’ve made your point. Seamus: Oh. Glad we can agree. Bob: …. So…. how’s the family? The manhole lid hits bob on the head Seamus: They’re good. ($2.63 trillion spent in 2018 on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other entitlements based on my math using stats from above sources)

Common Sense Soapbox


About this show

Short videos with a punchy, comedic tone and entertaining Socratic characters taking on trending issues and important concepts from a classical liberal perspective, written & animated by Seamus Coughlin.

"Free" Money is Really Expensive!

July 23, 2019

Bob's excited about Universal Basic Income, and thinks that it would be a great way to help people for less money than the inefficient welfare programs we already have. That could be true, but only if it completely the current system, and that's... unlikely. Find out why in this new episode of Common Sense Soapbox!

Written by Seamus Coughlin & Jennifer Maffessanti
Animated by Seamus Coughlin
Produced by Sean W. Malone

($2.63 trillion spent in 2018 on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other entitlements based on my math using stats from above sources)

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