Over 10 years after the 2-year universal basic income pilot ended in Namibia, this follow-up report has been published. It includes interviews with recipients, like this one with Josef Ganeb, a bricklayer, whose business flourished during the #UBI pilot.

Rudolphine Eigowas is a dressmaker and her business flourished too but when the pilot ended, problems born of money scarcity returned.

"I just want that they bring back the BIG, the whole Namibia must get the BIG - the problems are not only here - the whole Namibia must get it!”
Christian Swartbooi repaired shoes during the pilot. Over ten years later his eyesight prevents him from continuing that work and he wishes #BasicIncome would return.

“BIG was working.” His wife, Crecia, continues: “With the BIG we never had to suffer, but now we are suffering.”
Stephanus Eigowab was the local school director.

"What people bought is still there. And some still have small shops, where they sell food, those sort of businesses continue to work on a smaller scale. Other small businesses had to stop since people no longer have money to buy.”
Johannes Goagoseb had contracted HIV a few years before the UBI pilot began, and had been imprisoned after he was caught poaching to afford his HIV meds. The UBI pilot turned his life around. After it ended, so did his life. His brother now poaches too to feed his kids.
Sella and Alfred were able to start their own small business when the UBI pilot started.

"While the BIG was here, we continuously sold things and always kept stock. We do not have regular customers any longer, the problem is that now people do not have money to buy things."
Emilia Garises: "BIG was the best of all. BIG was actually not only N$100. If you are five people in the household, then that amounts to N$500... Some people are afraid, BIG would make us lazy, but how can income make you lazy? It is the other way around: BIG pushes you forward."
The biggest success story of all is widely regarded as being Frieda Nembwaya who started her own bakery as soon as she got her first UBI payment. All these years later, her biz remains:

“The BIG was good, this is why I am where I am now. If you have nothing, where can you start?
Frieda also experienced other forms of assistance. She was given goats by Germany, which she describes as not helping anything at all. With no nearby grazing, they were useless except for eating. Money is what helps people, and she believes the government damn well knows that.
Having reached the end of this report, one thing rings through the entire thing. Those who were part of the UBI pilot want it back, and they're extremely disappointed in Bishop Kameeta for becoming the Minister of Poverty Eradication, but not introducing UBI yet as they'd hoped.

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More from @scottsantens

29 May
This article is a lesson in how to be a terrible journalist. As one example, he wants readers to think that Jackson's successful basic income pilot is evidence of how it'll replace government services, leaving people worse off, because of a boil advisory.

He also plants the notion that perhaps Tubbs deserved to lose in Stockton as punishment for choosing to get people cash versus fixing local journalism. And he links to my article about the importance to our health of preventing poverty (vs just treating the effects) as "ominous."
In just the first two paragraphs he wants readers to think that the *only* reason Yang may become the next mayor of NYC is because of UBI's massive popularity, and that despite being a frontrunner, Yang can only get 4 volunteers, and that if elected he'll be NYC's Michael Scott.
Read 4 tweets
17 May
Parents will receive their first child tax credit payment on July 15. Each month thereafter for six months 39 million families will receive another. We should make them permanent like Romney proposes, plus extend monthly payments to childless adults too.

The monthly child tax credit is essentially the income guarantee for families that Nixon proposed half a century ago. That's how long ago we could have started dramatically reducing child poverty, but we chose not to. It's time to change that for good.

There are however some problems with the design of the new child tax credit. Because the IRS handles them, tax filing is required. So make sure and file! But there will be many low income non-filers who earn too little to file who don't know they qualify.

Read 4 tweets
11 May
Some progressive guaranteed income supporters are making the claim that a targeted guaranteed income approach will reduce inequality more than universal basic income (UBI) because they want GI to exclude the rich. Here's why I think that's false and based on bad analysis.

Let's say you're a very wealthy GI supporter and you think GI should be means-tested in the same way the stimulus checks were so that you receive nothing. The total cost is seen as less than the cost of UBI, and your taxes go up $1 million a year. That indeed reduces inequality.
However, now consider a $20k/yr UBI that would be considered much more expensive than a $20k/yr GI. Do you think your taxes would go up by only $1.02 million? If so, you'd see the exact same loss of disposable income as a $20k GI design. But that's a very unrealistic assumption.
Read 8 tweets
15 Apr
Among families earning under $50,000, 56% mostly used their $1400 stimulus check to pay down debt, 26% mostly saved it, and 18% mostly spent it.

Among families earning over$100,000, 38% mostly paid down debt, 39% mostly saved it, and 23% mostly spent it.

I think it's important to note that based on the above numbers, 77% to 82% of the stimulus checks put no upward pressure on inflation at all because the money didn't chase any goods or services in limited supply.

In fact, paying off debt is deflationary.

So why spend $850 billion on stimulus checks if the majority of the money was saved or used to pay off loans instead of being spent into the economy? Because money can be for survival or loan forgiveness or a feeling of security for a rainy day.

Let people decide for themselves.
Read 6 tweets
31 Mar
Here's a quick thread on the $UBI coin project that's part of @DemocracyEarth and @Kleros_io on the Ethereum blockchain that @santisiri has recently launched.

First, I have to say, I'm impressed by its approach to UBI which includes some pros and cons.


1. Verified humans receive $UBI in the form of a constant drip. With every second of existence, you get a bit more UBI.

2. Verification is a process that prevents one person from getting more than one account.

3. The currency provided has actual value. (about $450/mo)

1. The application process is prohibitively expensive. It cost me about $350 of which $290 was refundable. ($60 was the ETH gas fee)

2. The application process requires the ability to setup and connect an ETH wallet with sufficient ETH, and record a video + post a photo.
Read 9 tweets
3 Mar
The results of the basic income experiment in Stockton are in.


✅More full-time employment
✅Income stability increased
✅It was mostly spent on essentials
✅Debts were reduced
✅Mental health improved
✅Helped family and friends too

theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/… ImageImageImageImage
"Unemployment among basic income recipients dropped to 8% in February 2020 from 12% in February 2019. In the experiment's control group — those who didn't receive monthly stipends — unemployment rose to 15% from 14%."

Lack of income PREVENTS employment.

businessinsider.com/stockton-basic… ImageImage
Important to note the difference between increased employment and reduced unemployment. People without jobs were able to get them, but also, people with jobs were able to get better jobs.

Basic income helped recipients afford the costs of better jobs.

mashable.com/article/univer… Image
Read 6 tweets

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