In the U.S., Hawaii and Y Combinator Research will conduct formal studies.
Mark Zuckerberg champions it.
And, it could facilitate for lawyers what they keep saying they long for: work/life balance. They can put fewer hours into practicing law and spend more with family, hobbies, and/or activist causes.
Essentially, the UBI concept, in its purest form, means an entity such as the government gives money to people on a regular basis with no strings attached. Here is the feature in Bloomberg about it.
Currently, the amount is relatively small. For example, in Finland it's $670 a month. But, if the UBI proves out to achieve a socio-economic good there could be no cap on the "hand-out."
Traditionalists, of course, fear UBI will erode America's embedded Protestant Work Ethic. That could be replaced with a kind of Follow Your Bliss mindset. Or, worse, what is perceived as a sick culture of pleasure.
Those traditionalists even complain about unemployment compensation. They contend by keeping the wolf from the door it lessens motivation to search for work.
However, entitlement programs such as Social Security actually provide diverse benefits to society. Funds are released into the economy. The aging have options to experiment with part-time work, starting their own businesses, volunteering, and/or becoming artists. They don't have to chase earning enough income to pay their monthly bills.
If the amount of UBI is uncapped, this kind of scenario could play out. BigLaw junior associates want to hang in there for enough hours to develop solid experience practicing law. But the fire in their bellies is about creating a kind of 21st century Nader Raiders to out corruption in marketing products and services.
If their mission is accomplished, they could shut down the UBI funding and seek full-time employment practicing law. That wouldn't necessarily be in BigLaw.
The American Bar Association might seek funding to pilot a UBI program which can both provide work/life balance and achieve a social good.
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