Your first step in completing this assignment is to read Andy Stern's article “A Universal Basic Income Would Insure Against Job Loss” with close attention. Jot down some notes as you read, focusing on your reactions to the author's claims.
As you prepare to give your own opinions and feedback, think first about the nature of this piece. It is a short opinion spot that advocates for a universal basic income of $1,000 a month for every adult. The author begins with a statement we can all relate to. We are concerned about the future of children. Stern starts this way to draw his audience in and make them open up to what he is about to say. He establishes a common ground.
Next, he provides some interesting statistics about job automation. These are concerning, but these are only two studies, and one of them is already eight years old. The other is six years old. We might wonder if there is more current information about this. Stern also uses the vague word “experts,” who are warning of a “tsunami of job losses.” The metaphor is creative, but we should be wondering who these “experts” are and if they have any credibility.
Stern then proceeds to present his claim about a universal basic income. He provides three historical proponents of the idea, but he gives no further details about what their ideas were or if they are the same as his own, although one of his links does lead to a page about the history of this idea. Stern describes his proposition in more detail and offers potential benefits. He does not, however, address any possible objections to this idea. Stern concludes with an example of a dividend (which is different from universal basic income) and some planned experiments before stating his claim once again.
Overall, this article's argument could be much stronger and provide much more evidence. Stern makes a claim, but he doesn't build a particularly strong case.