Although in recent years, UBI has gained traction primarily with left-wing progressives and billionaire libertarians, the historic base of support for UBI has come from a more moderate place.
This article from Bloomberg addresses the historic context for UBI and how different economists envisioned its implementation. Well-known economists from John Stuart Mill to Milton Friedman have supported UBI, with the intent of the government providing everyone with a minimum level of support, and then allowing individuals to chose how much they’d like to rise above that level.
Past implementations of UBI type programs have indicated that they are most effective when used to replace welfare, rather than being an add-on to the current welfare system.
Emma Dahl Comments
While UBI has recently been branded as a left-wing/ socialist welfare policy, historically, it’s been supported across the political spectrum. One of the big differences in my mind here is that the historic UBI generally suggests that UBI should be around to ensure a minimum level of security, without being comfortable. More modern UBI proposals generally have more robust income suggestions and are often accompanied by the argument that the programs are around to protect from automation.