What is the Goal of Universal Basic Income?

Dan Hurt

January 23, 2023

The Mindset of a Servant Leader

If you’re wondering what the goal of universal basic income is, you’ve come to the right place. The goal of a universal basic income is to guarantee that all citizens have a basic income that meets their needs and is not dependent on employment.

Y Combinator Research

The Mountain View-based startup accelerator Y Combinator announced plans to conduct a universal essential income study. They have been unable to raise funds, though, and their trial will not be able to begin until it does.

The study will compare the effects of a guaranteed monthly payment to that of a non-basic payment. The goal is to test whether a routine cash transfer will alleviate anxieties about automation.

Y Combinator has signed a contract with Michigan’s Survey Research Center to conduct the study. After screening, a group of 3,000 participants from two states will be selected. These individuals will receive up to $1,000 per month over five years. This amount may vary depending on the participant’s eligibility for existing benefits.

Mayors for a Guaranteed Income

A coalition of mayors from more than 30 cities has formed called Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI). They believe guaranteed income programs can help supplement the existing social safety net.

Several mayors have already launched pilot programs in their cities. These programs offer monthly cash payments directly to recipients. The program is meant to address systemic economic inequities. Private or public funds support many guaranteed income programs.

One of the country’s most extensive guaranteed income pilot programs is in Ithaca, New York. Recipients must be 18 or younger and make less than the city’s median annual income. In addition to the guaranteed income, participants can also receive free financial education courses.

Shreveport, Louisiana, launched a guaranteed income pilot in February of 2022. During the pilot, monthly cash payments will be made directly to individuals. Those who qualify will receive money to purchase groceries and clothing. As of June, the pilot has distributed $3.9 million.

Andrew Yang

Andrew Yang, a Democratic presidential candidate, is trying to get the word out about a universal basic income. He has a plan, a slogan, and several other shiny objects. But he hasn’t offered a budget or any quantifiable data to prove his claim.

There is a reason why a campaign promoting a universal basic income is in vogue. A recent estimate predicts that 45 million American workers will be out of a job within 12 years. If the government can’t find ways to re-create those jobs, a wave of chronic unemployment will eventually impact American society.

One way to get the ball rolling is to introduce a UBI, or as Yang calls it, a “Freedom Dividend.” This isn’t an entirely new concept, but providing a guaranteed, recurring cash payment is.

Monetary wellbeing

Universal basic income is the name given to a program that gives each person a guaranteed monthly income regardless of their income. In theory, it would reduce poverty and bureaucracy while improving the health of all citizens. It has been a hot topic of debate in many countries worldwide.

UBI has been around for a long time but has recently received renewed interest thanks to technological advances and the prospect of automation replacing many jobs shortly. However, the actual value of a basic income depends on how it is financed.

Several studies have evaluated the benefits of a universal basic income. One study compared the effects of a basic income to those of a traditional unemployment insurance program. The studies found that a basic income increased employment and mental health.

Results of a high-profile UBI experiment

Stockton, California, is one of the first cities in the United States to pilot a universal basic income (UBI) program. Stockton has a population of more than 300,000 people. It is located in the Central Valley of California, 85 miles east of San Francisco.

Stockton is home to the first mayor-led guaranteed income program in the country. A lack of affordable housing drove a sharp increase in homelessness. In response, the municipal government cut public services.

The mayor of Stockton, Michael Tubbs, began exploring the concept of a guaranteed income after his reelection bid was thwarted. With help from Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, the Economic Security Project was launched.