Diane Coyle on UBI, in the FT:
"Once in a generation, an automation scare triggers a bout of enthusiasm for a universal basic income — a payment made to all citizens regardless of work, wealth or their social contribution. Today’s discussion of the merits of UBI echoes similar debates in the 1960s and 1990s. But the appeal of this palliative for the replacement of humans by machines is misplaced.
The starting point for thinking about how a government should respond to an intense wave of creative destruction in the economy is an acknowledgment that previous policy responses have failed. Governments did not have anything to offer in response to the deindustrialisation (thanks to automation) of large areas, and the loss of millions of jobs. People found that their governments had breached the implicit social contract of the postwar welfare state. ...
But it is hard to see why [UBI] would do better at addressing the economic and social costs of large-scale redundancy than the previous policy of making payments to those who lost their jobs. The problem is a hole torn in the fabric of a local or regional economy and society; giving people money is a temporary patch. ...
One advocate of a version of a guaranteed income was Milton Friedman, who supported it in part because of its focus on the individual. This is exactly why it would be an inadequate response to a significant economic shock. No individual can deal with a major technological change in the structure of the economy."