Poverty, income volatility, job instability, and lack of social mobility are real problems in the US. While most Americans manage to climb the socioeconomic ladder to achieve a decent version of the American Dream, some get stuck on the lower rungs. They need help. In previous posts (here, here, and here), I proposed an Adult Student Basic Income (ASBI) that would effectively address these societal ills without diminishing labor market participation or labor productivity.
Brief description: the ASBI would provide $1000/month up to six years total (minimum one month at a time) for adults enrolled at least part-time in postsecondary training and education programs, from ESL classes to apprenticeships to graduate school. The benefit would not be means-tested, so recipients could work without jeopardizing their ASBI payments.
The beauty of this ASBI is that it would mostly be funded through eliminating or downsizing other government programs, as follows:
Note that the reduced budgets for other programs (e.g., SSI, TANF) would be mostly due to a decline in applications, as more disabled, unemployed, and low-income folk choose to take advantage of the ASBI, which often pays more than the other benefits, with the additional perk of not being means-tested. However, the other benefit programs are means-tested, so income from the ASBI would impact eligibility or benefit payments in these programs. Either way, ASBI recipients would usually be better off than if the ASBI were not available.