We have an immense amount of wealth in the United States. Our GDP has grown by $6 trillion over the last 10 years. We have constructed enough homes to house every American, and we produce enough food to feed ourselves twice over. We have an abundance of resources at our disposal.
And yet, more Americans are struggling now than at any point in the last 50 years. Advances in technology are allowing us to do new and amazing things, but those advances are also being used to disrupt the traditional labor model, providing less stability for American workers and allowing wealth to be concentrated into the hands of fewer and fewer individuals. Our nation is richer than ever before, but most Americans aren’t sharing in those riches.
Universal basic income (UBI) is a simple idea that could have a radical impact on our society: give people enough money to meet their basic needs, providing everyone in the country with an income floor. UBI could eliminate absolute poverty, support entrepreneurship and creativity, and allow every American to share in the prosperity that we have created together as a nation.
Over the past six years, universal basic income gained an incredible amount of traction — it has gone from a fringe idea that few people had even heard of into a mainstream policy proposal. With widespread support for the idea of supporting people with unconditional cash, we’re now at a point where policy proposals are being seriously considered at the federal, state, and local level that incorporate the principles of UBI. If we want to take the final steps towards enacting a full, nation-wide universal basic income, we need to keep momentum building for these UBI-inspired policy proposals and make sure that the policies are structured to provide maximally positive impact and not have unintended negative consequences for the people they aim to support.
At Universal Income Project, we’re working to design thoughtful, effective policy that accomplishes these goals and to continue educating people across the country about the transformative potential of this radically common-sense idea.
The Universal Income Project is fiscally sponsored by ShareProgress.
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