UBI is dead; long life is guaranteed


Encouraged by this success, Tubbs established an organization that guarantees the income of the mayor to expand the scope of the pilot in his city. So far, 42 mayors across the United States have signed agreements, and other projects are currently being carried out in towns and cities. Hudson, New York and Gary, Indiana, to Compton, California.

since Results of SEED’s first year were released in March, Tubbs is often asked what he learned from it. “I want to say’Nothing,'” he told me in late March.

What he meant was that the pilot did not tell him anything that was not yet obvious: he knew from personal experience that many stereotypes about the poor (especially poor blacks), as he said, were not “rooted in reality” “.

Tubus was born in Stockton, a teenage mother and an imprisoned father. He received a need-based scholarship, attended Stanford University, and returned home after graduation. Soon, he was elected to the city council, and then became mayor when he was 26 years old.

Tubbs doesn’t need data to know that he can trust people to make sound financial decisions, but this experience does help him “learn the power of narrative.”

He realized that “sometimes ideology, sometimes racism” changed people’s perceptions. He said that part of his job as mayor is to “show what is true and what is not.” He saw an opportunity to “explain what is actually supported by data and what is supported by bias.”

The need to change the narrative through research and evidence is also obvious to Nyandoro of the Mulan Mother Trust. A few days before the third queue started to collect payments, I asked her what research questions she hoped this new cycle would answer.

She told me: “We now have enough data to prove that cash can work.” Now her question is not how cash will affect low-income people, but, “What data or discussion points do we need… to shake decision makers.” Heart?” What evidence is sufficient to make guaranteed income a federal-level policy?

It turns out that what is different is not more research, but the global pandemic.

Pandemic effect

When orders that stay at home are closed, many companies (and destroy jobs, especially for low-income workers who are already vulnerable), the inequality gap among Americans becomes more difficult to ignore. The food line stretched for miles.Millions of Americans Facing relocation.students No internet At home, they sit in a public parking lot and hook up Wi-Fi so that they can take classes online.

For people of color, all this is worse. By February 2021, black and Hispanic women accounted for only one-third of the female labor force. Accounted for nearly half of women’s job losses in the pandemic.At the same time, according to census data, the unemployment rate of blacks is almost twice that of other races. Analyzed Provided by Pew Research Center.

All this has also changed the discussion about the cost of guaranteed revenue plans. When comparing basic income with the status quo, people think they are too expensive to achieve. However, in the face of the economic recession caused by the pandemic, people suddenly believed that bailout measures must be taken to start the US economy, or at least to avoid what the then Fed Chairman Jerome Powell called “Brexit”. “Descent ChannelBrings “tragic” results.

“Covid-19 does speak to all those of us who actually work with financially insecure people, work with them and those who have relationships with them know everything.”

Tubbs said: “Covid-19 does illustrate everything that those of us who work with financially insecure people, work with them, and those who have relationships with them know.” In other words, poverty is not “people . It has to do with the system. It has to do with the policy.”

Incentive payments and increased unemployment benefits (that is, unconditional direct cash transfers to Americans) have received huge public support. Earlier this year, an expanded “Children and Dependent Tax Credit” (CTC) was introduced to provide most American families with monthly installments of up to $3,600 per child.

This new benefit will last for one year, even for families whose income is not enough to pay income tax. They have been excluded from the previous version of the tax credit. By sending payments of up to $300 per month to each child, instead of offering a single discount at the end of the year, it provides families with opportunities to plan and budget better. It is expected to reduce child poverty by half.

Washington may not use guaranteed income language, but these procedures fit the definition.

CTC is a “game changer,” said Natalie Foster, co-founder of the Economic Security Project. The project has funded many pilot projects with guaranteed income, including SEED and mayors with guaranteed income. She said this “subverted decades of punitive welfare policies in the United States,” and laid the foundation for longer-term policies.

Her organization initially thought it might take ten years to obtain data from the city’s pilot program to “provide information for federal decision-making,” but the CTC stated that the guaranteed income has arrived at least temporarily.

The stimulus bill and the Counter-Terrorism Committee also made Tubbs “more optimistic now than ever before”, guaranteeing income will soon become a permanent means of federal policy.

He said: “We are living in a pandemic.” “It’s not just covid-19. Next month is an earthquake. It is a wildfire. All these things are happening all the time, without even mentioning automation. We must empower our people to build Economic resilience.”

Michael Tubbs, the former mayor of Stockton, California, said the responsibility for poverty lies in “policy.”


But even if the rhetoric has shifted away from UBI’s technocratic concept, Silicon Valley’s interest in universality has not disappeared. Last April, Jack Dorsey announced a new charity plan, Start a small limited liability company, Donated 1 billion US dollars.

He said these donations will initially focus on covid-19 relief and then transfer to universal basic income and girls’ education after the pandemic. To invest money in these causes, Dorsey (Dorsey) explainedRepresents “the best long-term solution to the survival problems facing the world.”

Although it has been announced to focus on common Basic income, StartSmall has become one of the largest funders Guaranteed income. It provided the mayor with $18 million in guaranteed income, donated $15 million to Open Research Labs (previously known as the Y Combinator Basic Income Experiment), and donated $7 million to Humanity Forward, Andrew Yang’s foundation, and more recently. Donated $3.5 million to establish a cash transfer laboratory to conduct more research on this issue at New York University.

Yang Zhiyuan, who is now running for mayor of New York City, no longer focuses on universality. Instead of sending a check for $1,000 a month to everyone, he now advocates guaranteeing a minimum income of $2,000 per year for New Yorkers living in extreme poverty.

Tubbs praised these changes.He recalled a conversation with Dorsey. In an interview with the billionaire, he said: “It will take time to achieve universality, but we urgently need to guarantee income… So, we will not… test UBI We were able Test revenue guarantee. Let’s start here. “

If there are any signs of his donation, Dorsey will firmly remember Tubbs’ words. However, it is not clear whether he and other technology leaders see guaranteed revenue as a stepping stone to UBI or an end in itself. (Neither Dorsey nor Start Small employees responded to interview requests.)

Scott Santens, one of the earliest people “Basic Income Brothers” It is believed that the initial interest of the technology sector in UBI is an important means to solve unemployment. He said that this pandemic has led to an increase in sales of automation and robots, and pointed out that there have been reports that inquiries about Amazon call center technology have increased, and the purchase of warehouse robots to replace warehouse workers has also increased.

At the same time, Sam Altman helped launch Y Combinator’s UBI experiment and then left the artificial intelligence startup OpenAI, Wrote recently declaration Regarding the situation. In his report, he urged us to continue to pay attention to the big picture: even if the pandemic has a short-term impact, over time, technology (especially artificial intelligence) will have the greatest impact on employment.

Altman called on UBI to be funded by a 2.5% tax levied on businesses. He wrote: “The best way to improve capitalism is to enable everyone to directly benefit from capitalism from the owner.”

But “everyone” will include people of color, they have AI’s bias is hurt at a disproportionate level? Can dividends paid out of the spoils of artificial intelligence make up for this harm? Altman’s manifesto obviously did not mention race.

When commenting, he spoke through an OpenAI representative: “We must build AI in a way that does not cause more harm to traditional marginalized communities. In addition to building technology in a fair and just manner, we must also find a way Ways to broadly share benefits. These are all important independent issues.”


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