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What is Universal Basic Income?

By Leianna Giryan

· Business,Economic

Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a form of social security in which all citizens receive a uniform monthly stipend, regardless of their employment. Its intended purpose would be to eliminate, reduce, or prevent poverty and heighten citizens’ equality within society. This idea was first introduced in 1516 by English humanist and Lord Chancellor of the United Kingdom Thomas More in his novel ‘Utopia’. In ‘Utopia’, More outlined topics, such as women’s rights, euthanasia, divorce, and penology. The book’s premise is in regard to communism being triumphant over egoism. In this modern era, according to Basic Income Earth Network, Universal Basic Income has several characteristics. This includes periodic payments through cash funds to every single legal-aged citizen and the fact that they would not need to demonstrate their willingness to work.

Democratic candidate Andrew Yang has become notorious for his advocacy for universal basic income. He proposes that American adults should receive universal basic income via a program entitled the Freedom Dividend. The Freedom Dividend would not require passing a test nor any form of work fulfillment; and it would guarantee $1,000 a month to all adult U.S. citizens. According to a Hill-HarrisX survey, 57% of registered voters were opposed to this idea. These trends illustrated that younger voters are more likely to support UBI whereas older voters do not. In an interview with Hill.TV., Yang remarked that the universal basic income would become important with advances in technology that will affect employment. Even Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerburg has mentioned a basic income to help those who have been “disrupted by technology.”

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