Ben, your original is on the right track and I thought the same thing when I went into the article. The subject the author ignores completely is how the money that is being dispersed throughout the tribe is actually gained. A small community using the revenue stream of a casino, through which the money of a far larger population base is being spent and redistributed is sustainable for the tribe. And while I understand that the article was less about the economics of the situation and more about the impact the money had on the tribe, there is an ignorance toward the broader aspects of what a program like this would like for an entire country.
Let’s do some quick math:
If we paid 250 million people $12,500 per year, the US would spend roughly $3.1 trillion on that single program. Tax receipts for 2015 were at roughly $3.4 trillion on a federal level and that amount again if you account for State and municipal revenues. Total GDP sits at around $20 trillion per year, and total annual wages are around $11 trillion per year.
The notion that spending the entire federal budget of welfare programs is asinine. Tax receipts are already over 31%. A single federal program like the UBI would cost the Federal Government almost what they bring in annually, and I still only used the 250 million figure assuming adults would be the one’s receiving it. Add children into the mix and the figure eclipses rational thought.
You simply can’t tax people enough to pay for a plan like this. In the case of this article, the means through which the marked improvements were achieved is, indeed, more important than the results themselves.