Spain creates a universal minimum income targeted at 2.3 million people

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As the pandemic continues to destroy the economy, the government guarantees no one will earn less than about $500 a month. With the coronavirus pandemic exacerbating the most vulnerable people’s financial struggles, the Spanish government has decided to implement what it’s calling a national minimum income, ensuring that people in the nation’s 850,000 lowest-income households receive at least roughly $500 a month in income. The plan aims to reach 2.3 million people and is expected to cost the government about €3 billion a year. Read Full Story

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A $15 federal minimum wage would reshape the lives of working people. Can Biden deliver?

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Between the emergency of the pandemic and wage increases at the state level, we’ve never been closer to a national $15 minimum wage. Saru Jayaraman likes to say the restaurant industry had a “pre-existing condition” long before the pandemic. “It was already the nation’s second largest private sector employer with the absolute lowest wage jobs of any industry,” says Jayaraman, the cofounder and president of One Fair Wage . The pandemic only exacerbated the financial insecurity of working in the restaurant industry—but with the added threat of contracting a dangerous virus. “Millions and millions of these workers were forced to go back to work before they felt safe or ready because they got no benefits, [and] they had no choice,” she says. “And what our data has shown is that when they went back to work, it was a nightmare.” Read Full Story

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Gates: COVID-19 has pushed 37 million people into extreme poverty and set vaccinations back 25 years

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Every year, the Gates Foundation’s Goalkeepers Report on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals is full of good news. Not this year. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation likes to promote a sense of optimism about the progress that the world has made in fighting poverty and improving global health over the last two decades—for instance, the fact that as more children in low-income countries have gotten access to childhood vaccines, millions of lives have been saved. But in the foundation’s newest Goalkeepers Report, an annual report that tracks how the world is advancing on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the news is now grim: After years of progress, the pandemic is setting the world back on most of the goals. 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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How are people supposed to pay April rent if they lost their jobs due to coronavirus?

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While cities have put in place protections to keep people who lost their jobs due to coronavirus from getting evicted, how are this many people supposed to eventually pay their rent if they’re not working? Millions of renters have lost their jobs or lost hours at work because of coronavirus-related business shutdowns—and for many, it isn’t clear how they’re going to pay rent on April 1. In some cities, eviction moratoriums mean that renters have temporary protection, though they’ll still be on the hook for paying back rent in the future, which will be difficult given their continued lack of income. In response to this obvious economic tension, some governments are facing the fact that rents are going to need stronger protections than simply owing three months of rent after three months of no income. Read Full Story

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800 Compton residents will get a guaranteed income

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A pilot program will give them checks for two years, to research the effects of UBI. In the city of Compton, one in five residents lives in poverty, double the national average. Since the pandemic began, the unemployment rate has risen from about 7% to more than 20%. But a select group will have a chance to get help reversing those trends, as part of a pilot program called the Compton Pledge that will aim to assist 800 people through no-strings-attached direct cash payments over two years. 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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Best Employee Retirement Plans

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. Starting an employee retirement plan is not too hard or expensive, even for small businesses. Plus, these programs offer tax advantages to both the employees and the company, which leave more money in everyone’s account. Offering such benefits is a great way to attract qualified candidates and gives your top talent a huge reason to stay. The sooner you start the better. First, I’ll walk you through the different types of employee retirement plans available. There are more than just 401(k) plans helping people save for post-career life, including some types that are specifically made for small businesses. Then we’ll take a look at what to consider as you decide on which provider you want to manage your employee retirement plan. There’s a little bit to know, sure, but …

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The coronavirus is exposing how vital stable housing is to healthcare

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The economic crisis threatens to undermine the already fragile housing situation of millions. That’s going to make preventing further spread (and a future recovery) much more difficult. Housing is more than a basic need—it’s a key part to healthcare. Amid the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, that aspect of healthcare is both more needed and more precarious than ever. There are already nearly 10 million very low-income renter households across the U.S., and another 1.5 million will become very or extremely low income as a result of the coronavirus crisis and the subsequent financial fallout, according to an estimate from the National Low Income Housing Coalition—adding stress to an already stressed housing system, and further highlighting that link between housing and health. Read Full Story

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