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Mark Cuban calls for $1,000 stimulus checks every two weeks through November – KABC-TV

Mark Cuban calls for $1,000 stimulus checks every two weeks through November – KABC-TV

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Mark Cuban calls for $1,000 stimulus checks every two weeks through November  KABC-TV

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September 25, 2020 at 12:57PM

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These Mayors Say This Is Universal Basic Income’s Moment – Next City

These Mayors Say This Is Universal Basic Income’s Moment – Next City

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For a growing cadre of mayors across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed more than just the stubborn racial inequity built into the U.S. economy. It has also exposed what’s possible in a modern-day economy — universal basic income.

“We don’t have a funding problem, we have a priorities problem,” said St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, in a press briefing last week. “This is a concept, frankly, that is far more controversial in halls of government than on any street in America.”

The press briefing, organized by Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, featured more than a dozen other mayors from across the country. The coalition started with 11 members in June 2020, and at the briefing, the coalition announced 14 new members. These mayors have all committed to funding or exploring basic income pilots in their cities — as a hopeful first step towards a federal universal basic income program.

Proposed in various forms for decades — including by Martin Luther King Jr. — and recently popularized by presidential candidate Andrew Yang (who called it a “Freedom Dividend”), universal basic income is exactly what it sounds like: direct cash assistance for everyone.

A recent poll by The Hill found a majority of voters now in support of a universal basic income, up 12 percentage points from just one year earlier.

But the mayors on the press briefing universally recognized the uphill battle they face convincing policymakers in Washington D.C. that universal basic income is the way to go. They see a need to fight back against the old racist tropes like “welfare queens” spending government money on junk food and drugs, stereotypes created to justify severe cuts to social safety net programs in the past. And of course there are persistent questions about how to pay for a nationwide, universal basic income program.

“Guaranteed income has to be a federal solution,” said Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs. “But we understand Washington can’t move as fast. We need to give folks in D.C. the stories and the cover to do this.”

Guaranteed income or universal basic income has its critics, who worry it will reduce the incentive to work or that it costs too much. But it has had an unusually broad mix of supporters.

Martin Luther King Jr. supported it as part of the civil rights vision for economic justice.

Conservative economist Milton Friedman supported basic income as a more efficient social safety net than the raft of programs introduced by the time of President Lyndon B. Johnson and his Great Society agenda. His idea to implement it through a tax credit seeded the idea for what is now the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Silicon Valley moguls and investors support basic income for different reasons, including as a social safety net solution in response to increased automation. Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes is one of the forces behind the Economic Security Project, which prominently partnered with Stockton Mayor Michael Stubbs to run a basic income two-year pilot program that started in 2018.

With the end of Stockton’s pilot approaching, Mayor Tubbs and Economic Security Project expanded on their partnership to launch Mayors for a Guaranteed Income in June.

The other mayors on the briefing last week were at various stages of basic income pilot programs in their cities.

Some are funded entirely with private philanthropic dollars, like the HudsonUP program in Hudson, New York. The Hudson program is providing $500 each month for 5 years to just 25 recipients living within city limits and earning up to the median income for Hudson, $35,153. Chosen at random, participants may be single or married, with children or not. The lottery is weighted by equity and overseen by independent researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

“We want to demonstrate the power of basic income,” said Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson. “I believe in investing in human initiatives, not entities.”

Others, like St. Paul, are combining public dollars with private dollars. Mayor Carter described his city’s plan to provide 150 families with $500 for eighteen months. Applicants for the program must demonstrate an impact from COVID-19 in terms of reduced work hours, inability to find affordable child care or illness. The recipients will be chosen from within four of St. Paul’s most diverse and lowest income ZIP codes. The $1.5 million program will be mainly funded from private philanthropy, with $300,000 coming from the city’s allocation of CARES Act funding.

When pressed, Mayor Tubbs reiterated that the group’s collective end vision is for universal basic income, federally funded. The idea with the smaller pilots is to generate quantitative and qualitative data to convince federal policymakers, especially those who still believe in the racist stereotype of the “welfare queen” that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s.

“We’re disproving all of the racist tropes that say if you give low-income people money they’ll do XYZ with it,” said Mayor Carter.

The group also sees a wide range of knock-on effects to their communities. Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard of Mount Vernon, New York, touted the boost for small businesses in her community that would come from universal basic income. “When you give money to big businesses, they invest in offshore accounts,” said Mayor Patterson-Howard. “When you give money to people, they’re going to spend it in their community.”

Mayor Patterson-Howard is one of the new additions to the group. She was only able to verbally commit to a public and privately funded basic-income pilot program.

On the question of how to fund a universal basic income program, the COVID-19 pandemic has emboldened the group. There’s the evidence that the initial round of $1,200 economic impact payments helped keep 10 million families from falling into poverty. But even more emboldening, has been the massive amount of aid and low-interest lending that the federal government has made available to large corporations in the wake of the pandemic.

“These people are printing money, so the idea is the money is there, but the will is not there,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. “They’re finding money somewhere, giving it out, and arguing about who gets it. We’re saying this is where it needs to go, and we want them to understand it needs to be in perpetuity, not just a one off thing.”

Oscar is Next City’s senior economics correspondent. He previously served as Next City’s editor from 2018-2019, and was a Next City Equitable Cities Fellow from 2015-2016. Since 2011, Oscar has covered community development finance, community banking, impact investing, economic development, housing and more for media outlets such as Shelterforce, B Magazine, Impact Alpha, and Fast Company.

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September 24, 2020 at 04:55AM

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What is basic income? Does basic income work? Can we afford it? Your questions, answered – Toronto Star

What is basic income? Does basic income work? Can we afford it? Your questions, answered – Toronto Star

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What is basic income? Does basic income work? Can we afford it? Your questions, answered  Toronto Star

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September 23, 2020 at 07:46PM

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FATAH: It’s not just ‘leftists’ who support a basic income – Toronto Sun

FATAH: It’s not just ‘leftists’ who support a basic income – Toronto Sun

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Article content continued

3. The United Church of Canada believes, “A [basic income] program would help provide an adequate living level for everyone and address the persistent inequities within our country.”

4. Pope Francis, who wrote after the coronavirus pandemic, “This may be the time to consider a universal basic wage … that would ensure and concretely achieve the ideal, at once so human and so Christian, of no worker without rights.”

5. The Anglican Church of Canada. In May, 41 bishops of the Anglican and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “We recommend [a basic income], not just as an astute financial policy, but also because it marks our identity as a country who cares for one another.”

Some middle-class Canadians seem traumatized at the thought, that their working-class low-income fellow citizens would get “free money.” But the same people who feign concern over Canada’s deficits, seem to have no problem with Canadian billionaires making a killing while COVID-19 was killing people.

During an economic crisis that has left millions of Canadians out of a job, Canada’s top 20 billionaires collectively have become $37 billion richer.

We all need to pay attention to a report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer this year that found the top 1% of wealthy Canadians account for more than a quarter of the country’s wealth, while the bottom 40% account for a measly 1%.

It is that bottom 40% that seems most hostile to the basic income idea along with the ideological ultra-right, who massage the egos of the working class to fight against its own interests.

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September 23, 2020 at 07:46PM

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Why has the pandemic increased support for Universal Basic Income? – British Politics and Policy at LSE

Why has the pandemic increased support for Universal Basic Income?  British Politics and Policy at LSE

source https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/covid19-support-ubi/

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Meet BlackRock, the New Great Vampire Squid

BlackRock is a global financial giant with customers in 100 countries and its tentacles in major asset classes all over the world; and it now manages the spigots to trillions of bailout dollars from the Federal Reserve. The fate of a large portion of the country’s corporations has been put in the hands of a […]

source https://ellenbrown.com/2020/06/22/meet-blackrock-the-new-great-vampire-squid/

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The case for a Universal Basic Income: freeing artists from neo-liberalism – ArtsHub UK

The case for a Universal Basic Income: freeing artists from neo-liberalism  ArtsHub UK

source https://www.artshub.co.uk/news-article/opinions-and-analysis/grants-and-funding/david-pledger/the-case-for-a-universal-basic-income-freeing-artists-from-neo-liberalism-260583

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Universal basic income would revolutionise mothers’ lives, whose unpaid work keeps society going – The Canary

Universal basic income would revolutionise mothers’ lives, whose unpaid work keeps society going  The Canary

source https://www.thecanary.co/feature/2020/06/21/universal-basic-income-would-revolutionise-mothers-lives-whose-unpaid-work-keeps-society-going/

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How Cryptocurrency Can Help in Paying Universal Basic Income

The utopian idea of universal basic income — which has been with humanity for at least half a millenia — can become real with digital currency.

source https://cointelegraph.com/news/how-cryptocurrency-can-help-in-paying-universal-basic-income

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‘We Need to Rewrite the Rules of the Economy’ – westsidespirit.com

‘We Need to Rewrite the Rules of the Economy’  westsidespirit.com

source http://www.westsidespirit.com/news/we-need-to-rewrite-the-rules-of-the-economy-AK1185741