Universal Basic Income suggests possible solutions

Courtesy of SEED

Stockton, a city only six hours from Riverside, will soon be experimenting with universal basic income.

UBI is a program designed to give a fixed amount of money to citizens regularly regardless of his or her involvement in the workforce, with no strings attached.

Michael Tubbs, the mayor of Stockton, is planning to start a basic-income trial in 2019 by giving a select group of families $500 cash a month for roughly 18 months. Adding up to $1 million, the money will be provided by the Economic Security Project, which is owned by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes.

Brianna Appaugh, freshman biomedical science major, said Stockton is not the only place that needs UBI.

Living in the United States, a lot of us are fortunate. I got the chance to go to Africa, and if anything, they need the money more than I do,” Appaugh said

Hughes and other visionaries, such as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, are outspoken sponsors of UBI. Hughes suggests that taxes on wealthy Americans be raised to provide a $290 billion package to give $500 to families who make less than $50,000 a year.

Hughes, Zuckerberg and Musk are not the only fans of UBI, though.

Andrew Yang, entrepreneur and 2020, Democratic presidential candidate, wants to take UBI nationwide. Yang hopes to give American citizens between the ages of 18 and 64 $1,000 a month or $10,000 a year.

Yang plans to fund his ver- sion of UBI by joining welfare programs with Social Security programs and adding a value-added tax on American products. Yang also anticipates that UBI will pay for itself by reducing healthcare costs and incarceration rates.

Yang said that America is unprepared for the massive changes that job automation will bring to the future American job market, such as joblessness and widespread poverty among low-skilled workers.

Dr. Bob Namvar, professor of economics, agreed with Yang and said job automation will lead to the need for UBI.

“At the turn of the 20th century, 80 percent of people were in agriculture — right now it’s 4 percent. What happened to the other 74 percent? They were moved to other sectors,” Namvar said.

Josue Gonzales, senior health science major, said he would support yang if certain expectations of his were met.

“If there is a way to regulate the money to make sure people aren’t abusing it (UBI), then I would support it,” Garcia said.

 

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