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Inherent Good  cover image

Inherent Good 2020

Recommended with Reservations

Distributed by Passion River Films, 154 Mt. Bethel Rd., Warren, NJ 07059; 732-321-0711
Produced by Trae Crowder, Chris Panizzon, Doug Purdy, and Rennie Soga
Directed by Steve Borst
Streaming, 56 mins

General Adult
Universal Basic Income; Welfare

Date Entered: 05/20/2021

Reviewed by Daniel L. Thacker, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Penn State Altoona

Inherent Good is a documentary on positive aspects of Universal Basic Income (UBI). Its premise is in order for real individual freedom to take place, a person must be economically secure and independent. This would take place if every citizen in the United States received $1,000 a month to do and spend anyway, they saw fit. The Inherent Good would be the presupposition that people are inherently good and would spend the money in their best interest creating a stronger and happier nation. However, the inverse was implicitly implied that if a person did not want to give unconditional money to everyone, they did not trust the goodness in people.

Inherent Good gives its best case for UBI through several ways. One way being a case study giving a group of people $1,000 a month for one year and comparing that to welfare programs that are already in place. Other arguments are made through interviews with people such as 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang and people who have had or who are, one emergency from financial ruin. This documentary receives a rating of Recommended with Reservations because it is a good film if one is looking for an introduction to UBI. It covers the basics of the idea while acknowledging and addressing common counterpoints like, how do we pay for this program, is this socialism, will this create a welfare state, and will this create bigger government?

Inherent Good is establishing the general precepts of UBI and doesn’t go into the deeper aspects of implementation and possible negative affects to the United States economy such as does UBI replace or run concurrent with other welfare and government policies like minimum wage, does this promote inflation in the form of price gouging, what does this do to inflation in regards to M2 money supply, the already weakening dollar, and the United States losing World’s Reserve Currency status, and is the United States really the wealthiest country in the world when we are the most indebted? These issues are not the scope of this documentary.

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