A guaranteed income is one of those things I liked even before it became any sort of real idea. Granted, in some respects it seems insane. But in others, it's one of the best proposals the nation could consider. AlterNet does a terrific job of not only making a case for "mincome," but highlights examples of it in action (such as the town in Canada where they coined the term "mincome").
The premise is this: Since we already pay to supplement the poorest Americans through a convoluted labyrinth of programs, there would be value in paying them a flat paycheck that reduces the need for such programs, and could be a more efficient use of taxpayer funds. These recipients would then spend that money, thus upgrading their lives and stimulating the economy, leading to jobs and an attendant reduction in crime.
It would also provide a boost to those who might want to start a business, undertake a creative enterprise or otherwise do something valuable but not necessarily profitable in the short term.
Or, we could make all work worthwhile by substantially increasing the minimum wage to exceed the cost of living. But that's apparently an equally radical idea.