A new government policy called Universal Basic income, could be a dream come true for many U.S citizens.
The proposed government program would essentially give every citizen a guaranteed floor income of say $1000 a month from the government.
Andy Stern, former president of the powerful Service Employees International Union and now a professor at Columbia University, has said, “at a time when our anti-poverty programs aren’t really working,” and with technology bringing massive job disruption, “we need to provide a safety net, a floor for every single American.”
In his new book ‘Raising the Floor,’ Stern lays out the case for UBI.
“It is an old idea,” Stern points out. “Thomas Paine proposed it early on when we were forming the nation.” Richard Nixon and conservative uber-economist Milton Friedman were also both proponents.
So how would Washington be able to afford this?
According to Stern there are 126 government programs that pay out cash to citizens and acknowledges that some of them (not Social Security) could be “cashed out” and folded in to a Universal Basic Income program. Stern has also noted that UBI would require “some new income, some new revenue sources,” aka taxes.
Although some have suggested it would cost the United States $3 trillion a year for the program, it’s one that could be very beneficial overall.