By Steven Drake
- Financial stability in economic models seen all across the world include some form of Universal Basic Income
- Chicago is exploring a UBI trial that would give 1K residents $1,000 a month, for a year and a half
There have been renewed calls for national and local governments to act to ensure economic and financial safety for their citizens, as the coronavirus pandemic has reportedly caused over 500,000 deaths in the U.S. One path to achieve such financial stability in economic models seen all across the world is Universal Basic Income (UBI), which at its core, is where governments would issue a guaranteed monthly check that meets basic human needs. Is the $3 trillion HEROES Act meant to aid people with staying engaged in the economy enough, in what some have seen as a step towards facilitating a national UBI?
Why This Matters: Cities across the U.S. and countries around the world are executing their visions for UBI. In February 2019, Stockton, California, a city with a 14% African American population, began their city’s testing of UBI, which saw 125 people, who lived at or below the median income receive $500-a-month payments. A Chicago Alderman and the Chicago Resilient Families Task Force have teamed up in the city with a 30% Black population, to explore a UBI trial that would give one-thousand selected residents $1,000 a month for a year and a half.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is in support of Yang’s UBI mission and has donated $5M to his COVID-19 relief efforts
Advocates of UBI believe that trillions of dollars more are needed to help bridge important and long-standing health and financial gaps faced by millions of people. Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who made UBI the foundation of his campaign, expressed as much: “We are in a generational public health and economic crisis and universal basic income or a version of it is going to become the obvious solution to getting money into the hands of Americans and people around the world,” he told The Washington Post. Even Twitter (TWTR -0.14%) CEO Jack Dorsey is in support of Yang’s UBI mission and has donated $5 million to his COVID-19 relief efforts.
Situational Awareness: At one time on the periphery of public policy debate, UBI has now gained more credibility and legitimacy. As the world struggles to chart a path forward during a public health crisis, governments are taking bold action to protect their citizens through a guaranteed income.
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