ER Editor: These programs seem to be opportunistic moves by far left city councils to ride on the back of hardship, deliberately caused by ‘Covid’ lockdown, which has also discouraged people from working with free money. When there are record numbers of jobs available.
Further, it’s not difficult to see that the discrimination already applied to able-bodied people, who’ve been cut off from employment through refusing the dangerous injections, will be applied to recipients of UBI, who will be refused their UBI payments if they don’t comply with an umpteenth dose. The total dependency state.
Even though UBI trials have not produced tangible benefits to society, city after city continue to take the plunge, expecting different results. Americans are generally against UBI, preferring work to being on the government dole. Protagonists claim that robots will displace workers; others say that the economy just doesn’t work for some citizens.
Universal Basic Income is an original tenet of historic Technocracy, an economic system developed by engineers and scientists at Columbia University in the 1930s. ⁃ TN Editor
The Chicago City Council is poised to vote this week on what would be one of the nation’s largest basic income programs, giving 5,000 low-income households $500 per month each using federal funding from the pandemic stimulus package enacted this year.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) has proposed the more than $31 million program as part of her 2022 budget, which the city council is scheduled to consider on Wednesday. The one-year pilot program, funded by the nearly $2 billion Chicago received from the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan, is supported by most of city’s 50 aldermen. But it has received pushback from the 20-member Black Caucus, which has urged Lightfoot to redirect the money to violence prevention programs.
Lightfoot has said the pilot program is motivated by her own childhood memories of hardship while growing up in Ohio. “I knew what it felt like to live check to check. When you’re in need, every bit of income helps,” she wrote in a tweet announcing the plan earlier this month.
Basic income programs have been spreading across the country since Stockton, Calif., started providing monthly stipends with no strings attached to 125 of its residents in 2019. Those stipends resulted in more full-time employment and improved mental and emotional well-being among recipients, according to preliminary findings reported earlier this year by researchers who helped design the program.
Michael Tubbs, who implemented the program as then-mayor of Stockton, noted that recipients’ largest expenditure was food, making up at least a third of spending each month, according to the report. “I had no idea so many people in my area were hungry,” Tubbs said.
Since Stockton’s program launched, about 40 other cities have considered or started on similar efforts to target economic insecurity within their boundaries, according to Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, including Denver, Newark, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, New Orleans and Compton, Calif. A program in Los Angeles will provide 2,000 residents with a guaranteed income of $1,000 a month for a year.
The surge of interest in basic income has been fueled in part by the influx of money that cities have received from the coronavirus stimulus package and the formation of Mayors for Universal Basic Income, an advocacy coalition that Tubbs founded last year.
Critics worry that guaranteed income programs will discourage people from finding jobs and drain the labor force, a particular concern amid the record job openings in the country this year, said Michael Faulkender, who served as an assistant treasury secretary for economic policy during the Trump administration. Last week, the National Federation of Independent Business reported that 51 percent of small business owners have jobs they cannot fill, more than double the historical average of 22 percent.
“There are still millions of low-skilled jobs out there, and you have small business owners who can’t find workers to join their companies,” said Faulkender, who teaches finance at the University of Maryland. Proposals like the one in Chicago feed the “process of reducing the willingness of people to participate in the workforce,” he said.
Opposition to federal entitlement programs, such as rent vouchers and food stamps, has been waged for decades, but advocates like Tubbs say that today, “the climate has changed.” Economic blows struck by recent natural disasters and the pandemic have proven that “the economy doesn’t work for a vast number of Americans,” he said.
Ironically, Mayor Garcetti’s UBI program is called “BIG LEAP”. It’s easier to throw money at impoverished citizens than it is to take the jackboot off the necks of local business who could create jobs for these people. Most UBI experiments have been conducted by cities run by radical leftist mayors and councils. ⁃ TN Editor
GRACE DEAN, BUSINESS INSIDER
Los Angeles is launching a universal-basic income (UBI) pilot program, set to be the biggest in the US so far.
The scheme will give about 3,000 families in poverty $1,000 a month for a year, and there are no rules for how the families spend the money.
To be eligible, applicants need to live in the City of Los Angeles, be at least 18 years old, have an income at or below the federal poverty level, have at least one dependent minor or be pregnant, and have experienced either financial or medical hardships related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The federal poverty level depends on the size of a household. For a four-person household, a family earning less than $26,500 would fall under the federal poverty line. Poverty affects two out of every 10 residents in the City of Los Angeles – most of them people of color, according to a website for the program.
The program is called the Basic Income Guaranteed: Los Angeles Economic Assistance Pilot (BIG LEAP).
Price said that the program would be “the largest guaranteed income economic assistance pilot program in our nation’s history,” and called it a “life-changing initiative.”
The city said that the program would consist of “unconditional, regular, and direct cash payments,” with “no restrictions on how the money can be spent.” The payments would supplement existing welfare programs, the city said.
The concept of UBI dates back to at least the 16th century, when Spanish-born humanist Juan Luis Vives advocated for a system of unconditional welfare. Since then, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has declared his support for the concept, and it went on to become a cornerstone of Andrew Yang’s run in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries
“The idea of a guaranteed pilot program is one my office has been following for some time, and it gained momentum as we witnessed our country examine the racial disparities and social injustices during the COVID pandemic,” Price said on Tuesday.
Other cities across the US have trialed UBI programs.
Image of Lori Lightfoot: Nam Y Huh / AP
Image of Eric Garcetti: Marcus Yam / LA Times
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