11/13/2013 11:37 am ET

Everyone's Talking About This Simple Solution To Ending Poverty By Just Giving People Free Money

Duangkamon Khattiya via Getty Images

A simple idea for eliminating poverty is garnering greater attention in recent weeks: automatically have the government give every adult a basic income.

The Atlantic's Matt Bruenig and Elizabeth Stoker brought up the idea a few weeks ago when they contemplated cutting poverty in half and Annie Lowrey revisited it today in the New York Times.

Real wages have been stagnant in America for decades now and income inequality has grown immensely.In the aftermath of the Great Recession, it’s only gotten worse. The Census Bureau reported in September that the 15 percent of Americans (46.5 million) live below the poverty line. Government benefits like food stamps and TANF help lift some of them above the line, but millions still live below it.

So here's what you need to know about it.