Missing the obvious
Not having heard from Obama for a while, it's worthwhile remembering that as reported above, he did at least comment on the possibility of a universal basic income but as with so many other things he handled, the question was left wide open. The problem is that as he says, there will be a debate over this question for the next 10 to 20 years but perhaps technology is moving faster than that. What he and everyone else is missing in relation to this question is how a UBI will need to change our overall concept of democracy. As posted previously, what governments fail to recognise is that people under a one person one vote system vote for those who will give them what they want. If people are going to get money for not working, human nature would suggest that they will vote for anyone who gives them more, and more – as we can see already in our welfare system, where in the end the government cannot afford to pay and it all comes crashing down. The elephant in the room here is that when the system reaches the crisis point the only answer is an authoritarian system where as in China a few people at the top have to decide what is best for everyone else. This might have its attractions for some people but its just pointing out that it changes democracy as we understand it and no government has yet recognised this eventuality..
In an attempt to focus comment on this aspect of UBI there is now the Universal Basic Income Institute is an attempt to correlate comment and try and get government to notice. www.universalbasicincomeinstitute.com