WSJ.com has a review of a took titled "Basic Income." Hyperlink here: Cash Handouts for Everyone. That link is behind a paywall, but another discussion on the book topic can be found at WaPo here: How to ensure everyone a guaranteed basic income.
We talked about it at this blog almost a year ago in Charles Murray makes the case for a universal basic income.
The concept sounds simple: The government gives everyone a modest income -- just enough to pay for minimum existence. There will be some for whom that will be enough so long as they don't have to work. Others will work at jobs or their own businesses to better their lives. By eliminating all other forms of welfare and government payments the overall cost to taxpayers will be lower.
Would it work as predicted? It's an intriguing concept, especially the part that eliminates welfare and subsidies. While most Americans are probably curious, they/we are not likely to want to uproot the economic system in the U.S. for such a grand experiment. What we need is some country to do it first and offer some proof that a guaranteed basic income would accomplish all those lofty goals.
Addendum: It's interesting, although not surprising, that so many of the tech billionaires -- those geniuses whose inventions are probably responsible for the loss of more American jobs than were lost to the factories in China -- are in favor of it.