Joe Biden is going to come out tomorrow against a universal basic income. He is right to do so. It should be one of the lessons we take from welfare reform back in the nineties. Just giving people money can cause them to lose their sense of self-worth. They lose initiative and their soul decays.
I think it is telling that in the perfect Garden of Eden, created by God himself, he commands Adam to work and creates Eve as a help mate to help him work.
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” Genesis 2:15
Eden is a model for our perfect relationship with God. If we want to think about the new heavens and the new earth, we should look to Eden. And we see we have tasks. We have work. There is something soul dignifying about work. Work provides us a sense of self-worth. Work provides us a purpose. Work provides us a means to help ourselves and through our independency we are able then to feel a need to help others.
A universal income would take that all away for many. It would cause a loss of initiative for some. It would cause a loss of charity for others. It would cause a loss of purpose for most. It is a bad idea at an intrinsic, moral level.
There will always be those who cannot help themselves. But it would be a damnable thing for us to add to that list many who can, but who lose their way through dependence on a government program or a loss of self-worth by taking away direction and purpose.
Basic dignity should necessitate jobs, not handouts. Basic dignity requires allowing someone to build pride in their life and their accomplishments. Handouts take that away and cultural rot sets in. The opioid epidemic our nation is dealing with right now is nothing compared to what we would see when we hand out basic income and take away purpose and job.