Is the pandemic finally the moment for a universal basic income?

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As unemployment remains high and the threat of automation looms over any recovery, UBI is getting another look as a potential key to ongoing economic stimulus. When Andrew Yang dropped out of the Democratic presidential primary in February, he had no way of knowing that within weeks one of the central pillars of his failed campaign would move from the fringes of American political conversation to the very center of global policy debates. Citing looming labor market disruptions brought on by accelerating workplace automation, Yang ran on the idea of instituting a universal basic income (UBI), an idea that’s lived at the outskirts of American political thought—though never quite in the mainstream—for 250 years. Specifically, Yang proposed the U.S. government pay each of its adult citizens $1,000 per month (in lieu of some of the benefits the government currently offers) to alleviate poverty and gird all Americans for the day the robots come for their jobs, a notion dismissed by its many, many detractors as fantasy. Read Full Story

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Sign up for this app and you’ll get weekly basic income (or help give one)

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New app Comingle is creating a community-funded basic income for its members. If you want to benefit from direct cash transfers or a universal basic income right now , you have to live in one of the areas where various governments or nonprofits are running pilot programs to test the idea. Not that many people have won that geographic lottery. But now there’s a chance for anyone to volunteer for a guaranteed income program, one that you both can benefit from—and help support. Read Full Story

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Andrew Yang is joining this philanthropic cash relief initiative giving away $1,000 checks

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The $1K Project supplies in-need families with three months of $1,000 cash payouts from anonymous donors—and exposes the government’s failures in managing its own safety net. Andrew Yang ran for president on the single issue of universal basic income (UBI), which then seemed like a reasonably fringe idea. Months later, the government sent out $1,200 checks to millions of Americans devastated by the economic downturn, in a move that vaguely resembled Yang’s concept of a “Freedom Dividend.” Read Full Story

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Andrew Yang renews calls for UBI after latest stimulus package fails to provide direct payments

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Universal basic income was the centerpiece of Yang’s presidential platform. Now, a lot more people see it as a good idea. Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang and his supporters see a pivotal failing with the $484 billion stimulus bill supplement signed today by President Trump. The plan contains no stimulus for the people. He is lobbying for $2,000 monthly stimulus checks to be sent directly to American adults, plus $500 per child, until the end of the COVID-19 crisis, and he’s encouraging his 1.4 million Twitter followers to call their congressional representatives. Read Full Story

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Stimulus update: Andrew Yang, AOC, and others express frustration over plan with no direct payments

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“If a stimulus bill passes without cash relief it should be regarded as a failure,” said UBI supporter Andrew Yang. As Congress races to iron out a stimulus package for coronavirus relief before Friday’s spending deadline, some progressive lawmakers and other supporters of universal basic income are expressing dismay that the leading compromise plan does not include direct payments to Americans. Read Full Story

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Andrew Yang has some concerns about Zoom

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New York’s leading mayoral candidate opens up about opening up, the future of bitcoin, why Manhattan beats Miami, and his problem with Zoom. There’s nobody quite like Andrew Yang, the erstwhile presidential phenomenon whose campaign for a universal basic income found an unlikely ally in the Trump White House—and helped lay the groundwork for direct cash payments during the pandemic. He’s a political outsider who loves to be on the inside; a tech cheerleader who worries about artificial intelligence; a progressive who’s not afraid of Joe Rogan; and now a New York City mayoral candidate who’s . . . never voted for mayor. Read Full Story

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To stop a coronavirus quarantine recession, economists say send everyone cash—now

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Whether you call it free money, an economic stimulus, or a mini universal basic income, it could be the best recession-fighting measure we have. The novel coronavirus has been a boon to a handful of very specific businesses, including those producing disinfectant wipes, canned goods, and telecommunication apps. But, as social distancing and self-quarantining become the norm, the economy is taking a deep hit, as restaurants, hotels, airlines, theaters, and a host of other industries find themselves suddenly without customers, and workers are being left without tips, or furloughed, or simply laid off. The stock market’s continuing tumbles—exacerbated by the president’s performance—is prompting fears of a looming recession. Bloomberg News’ recession predictor now places the odds at 53%. Read Full Story

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