A recent wave of worldwide economic experiments called “universal basic income” seems to be ushering in a new era of wealth redistribution.
What is Universal Basic Income?
Universal basic income is an emerging plan to provide a guaranteed payment for living expenses to all people.
Under the plan, everyone would get a set amount of money, including children, workers, and non-workers. Those workers who earn more will be taxed proportionately to help fund the program.
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Individuals are not tested to see if it is needed, and no one is required to work to earn it. The payments would be modest, but enough to enable recipients to live a frugal, yet decent lifestyle.
In other words, it is a massive wealth redistribution scheme.
Advocates claim a universal basic income would eliminate poverty and provide a safety net for workers who have recently lost their jobs. Others say it is needed in an era where machines are increasingly displacing human workers. In Finland, the program is hailed for reducing stress levels.
But critics are quick to point out that people would be encouraged to work less, thereby contributing less taxes into the new welfare program.
Where is it Today?
Universal basic income is already being tested in areas of Britain, Finland, Netherlands, Kenya, Canada, and even the United States. Next on the list is Scotland, where residents living in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife, and North Ayrshire are slated to start receiving a regular sum of money.
Under the Scotland proposal, pensioners would get £150, working adults would get £100, and children would get £50 per week.
Who Promotes it?
In the US, universal basic income has a well-documented following in Silicon Valley. The idea has caught the admiration of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg actually pitched the idea during Harvard’s spring 2017 commencement ceremony, saying:
“We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure that everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”
However, the idea itself seems to be compatible with the UN’s 2015 resolution called “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
There, world leaders affirmed their commitment to “combat inequalities within and among countries,” and “create conditions for sustainable, inclusive and sustained economic growth and shared prosperity.”
Agenda 2030 insists that by 2030 “all people must enjoy a basic standard of living, including through social protection systems.”
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The UN’s Agenda 2030 lays the framework for a worldwide socialist economic system. It insists that sustainable economic growth is essential for prosperity, and that “this will only be possible if wealth is shared and income inequality is addressed.”
It is quite apparent that this progressive scheme is being pushed by the same progressive lawmakers and public figures that insist on inviting mass immigration. Imagine the drain on wealth that would occur.
A Biblical Perspective
Biblical wisdom indicates universal basic income, as a form of socialism, is a bad idea.
David Jones, an ethics professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary says, “In Scripture, Christians are not called to pursue economic equality. Rather, believers are called to promote economic justice.”
Nevertheless, some people will argue that socialism was advocated in the Bible, specifically in Acts 4:32-35:
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
However, notes Jones, in context Acts 4:32-35 refers to providing resources in an emergency. The sharing of resources in this context just talks about what happened for a unique period; it doesn’t give this as a model for living. Notice that it was from time to time that people sold things they had.
Jesus’ parable of the talents is a great reminder that people are expected to multiply their talents and abilities for economic gain, not squander them.
Paul also reminded his audiences that he worked to support himself. He didn’t demand others share with him and he insisted that each should work for his own needs:
“If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat . . .” and “For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread . . . and if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15
Let God bless those whom He wishes, and let us not steal rightfully-earned wages from others. Nor let us not encourage one another to eat the bread of idleness, but rather encourage one another to live wisely.
Despite the good intentions we read from its advocates, we must remember that the UN’s universal basic income wealth redistribution scheme inherently forsakes biblical wisdom.
 Adapted from Mark Zuckerberg’s spring 2017 commencement address at Harvard University.
 Agenda 2030: The 2030 Plan for Sustainable Development, Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on September 25, 2015, 3,4.
 Ibid., 7.
 Ibid., 8.
 David W. Jones, “Socialism, Communism, and the Early Church”, available online at http://intersectproject.org/faith-and-economics/david-jones-socialism-communism-and-the-early-church/ Last accessed on 29 December 2017.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.