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> UBI is too expensive to even do a proper small-scale trial.

UBI isn't too expensive to do small-scale trial, it's entire theory of operation (and the key criticisms raised, like the inflation-spiral one) is too dependent on universality and coordination with other policy changes to do a meaningful small-scale trial, as you can neither validate the claimed benefits nor refute the claimed drawbacks that way.

You can do a gradual ramp of benefits trial, but not a limited sample of population in an otherwise open environment with pre-existing policies generally applicable.

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