After hundreds of years, basic income seems to be finally catching on.
The general idea — that the government should give every citizen a regular infusion of free money with no strings attached — has been around since the 16th century. But it’s experienced a remarkable resurgence over the past few years, moving from the fringes into the mainstream.
Advocates ranging from tech billionaire Mark Zuckerberg to libertarian economist Milton Friedman have endorsed it. Andrew Yang popularized it on the Democratic debate stage. And around the world, countries are running pilot programs to test it.Read more
A recent survey by Gallup and Northeastern University finds a slight majority of Americans opposed to a universal basic income (UBI) program as a way to support workers displaced by AI adoption. Conversely, about three-fourths of residents in the U.K. and Canada favor the idea.
These findings come from a Gallup/Northeastern survey of over 10,000 adults in Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. conducted from April to June 2019. By some estimates, up to 50% of jobs are expected to be automated within the next decade. An OECD study across 21 countries suggests that while only 9% of jobs are currently at high risk of automation, low-skilled workers are most vulnerable to job displacement.Read more
As the idea of giving every American a monthly check migrates from the political fringes toward the center of policy debates, one hedge-fund executive is contributing research on whether, and how, such a scheme might actually work.
Bob Jain, 48, created the Jain Family Institute, a nonprofit applied-research organization, in 2014 to investigate, among other things, programs for “guaranteed income.” Better known as Universal Basic Income, the idea is to give money to people, regardless of income bracket, at regular intervals.Read more
The arguments over the morality of basic income are a waste of time because the public already accepts the concept.
To explain, every day, state, local, and national governments giveaway vast amounts of goods, services, and cash. For example, most local governments in the United States operate free public parks and libraries.
In addition, almost all the roads, highways, freeways, and trails in the United States are free for any driver, hiker, walker, or cyclist to use. Beyond that, almost all governments provide free fire departments, ambulance services, and police forces.Read more
Political philosopher and economist Karl Widerquist remembers a poll from 10 years ago that showed just 12 percent of Americans approved of a universal basic income.
That's changed — and quickly. Today, 48 percent of Americans support it, according to a new Northeastern University/Gallup survey of more than 3,000 U.S. adults.
The survey looked at universal basic income as a solution for Americans who have lost jobs to automation.Read more