In a story from ToK, a woman is told to cold call businesses in the phone book one by one to ask about a job. She came back the next day with classifieds and was told she missed the point, which was to do anything an employer says, no matter how stupid.
No one's life should be tied to a job. Just as this crisis has shown that healthcare should never be tied to employment, neither should food and rent be tied to employment. Survival income is a right, not something for politicians to argue over.
Income should *NEVER* fall to $0.
We should have had UBI decades ago. Pretend we did. What does right now look like with a $1200/mo UBI? Maybe the $600/wk unemployment boost would have been $300/wk and Congress would be arguing over whether to boost people from $1200 to $2400 instead of from $0 to $2400.
With everyone starting each month with $1200 instead of $0, how many more people would have been able to pay their rent/mortgage each month on time for the past four months, instead of one third of the population being unable to? Would we be looking at an eviction crisis at all?
BREAKING: Mayors in Los Angeles, Oakland, Atlanta, Tacoma, Newark, Saint Paul, Jackson, Compton, and Shreveport announced today that they will all join @MichaelDTubbs in launching universal basic income pilot programs in their cities.
Please join this coalition of mayors. As someone who lives in New Orleans, I'd also be happy to lend my expertise to our own pilot program. I'm sure @KarlWiderquist would be happy to help as well. New Orleans should help lead the way in abolishing poverty.
Today started with 11 mayors as part of @mayorsforagi and it just became 12 with the addition of @RobertGarciaLB. Let's help get more mayors on board by tagging your mayor in reply and asking them to join the UBI pilot coalition. They can sign up here: mayorsforagi.org.
THREAD: Hearing protestors chant in unison "#ICantBreathe," is something that hits viscerally. It's a call for the importance of our individual lives. We have the right to life, and we want to stay alive. George Floyd was dispossessed of the air he needed to exist. He was killed.
Withholding air is also not the only way of dispossessing someone of their rightful access to what they need to live. We all need air, but we also all need food. We can't breathe if we can't eat, and understanding that is understanding that poverty itself is injustice. It kills.
Poverty is misunderstood as a lack of resources, but poverty as it exists today is a legal status. It's a violent act of dispossession that creates poverty. Hundreds of years ago, there was no such thing as having nothing, because we had the planet as a shared natural resource.
It's funny how I should be happy with the final results of Finland’s basic income experiment, but I'm angry. Basic income works. Over and over again, it works. Across so many dimensions important to human existence, IT WORKS. And yet, it's still a debate instead of a reality.
Just DO IT. Over 42 million people in the US just became unemployed, and yet Congress still hasn't embraced UBI. We were all ordered to stay indoors and yet we weren't all paid TO LIVE indoors. UBI has never been more important than right now. UBI will save lives AND our economy.
Stop trying to do everything else *but* UBI. Cut all the middlemen. Cut all the bureaucracy. Just get money into the hands of every single American, so they can spend it right back into our economy on food, rent, utilities, and yes even home entertainment.
The reason we support ideas says something about those ideas, and ourselves. People who support UBI, by and large, want UBI so they and others can do what's important to them. People who support FJG, by and large, don't want to do FJG work, but want other people doing that work.
That's something that I find inherently problematic about FJG supporters, that so many of them have no desire to ever do FJG work themselves. They simply believe that there is work that needs to be done that would be beneficial to them for someone to do, so someone should do it.
UBI recognizes all the work already being done, both unpaid and underpaid, and makes that work more possible by more people. It recognizes that we oftentimes are terrible at determining what's valuable and what isn't, and that we should instead quit stopping people from doing it.
I can see people's misunderstanding of UBI already leaking into the #EmergencyUBI plans. Let me try and explain. UBI is about creating an unconditional floor no one can fall beneath that lifts everyone in the economy away from the $0 point.
It is not meant as a job replacement.
I recommend first creating the UBI floor and on top of it utilizing trickle-up economy logic. Some people get paychecks. Make sure they keep getting them. Some people's paychecks are the spending of others. Make the government the consumer of last resort to keep businesses going.
I think the desire to do things like rent and mortgage freezes is out of fear. What we want is to make sure people can pay their rent and mortgage in the same way they already were. If we freeze stuff we have to then bail out stuff later. Focus on maintaining consumption instead.
I'm not done writing the article this point is in, but I want to stress it now. The reason full universality is so important goes beyond never excluding anyone in need. It's also about trust. What policymakers don't realize is that the lines they insist on drawing erodes trust.
This is not a small effect either. It's quite large actually. A very cleverly designed experiment out of Pakistan found that feeling poor, no matter your actual income, leads to a very large decrease in government support among those who don't get help.
The effect is so large that when we draw a line between the "deserving" and "undeserving," those who get help gain a 0.6 percentage point increase in government satisfaction while among those who don't get help, their approval with government plummets by 10.5 percentage points.
THREAD: What I'm about to tell you I only understand because I have a #BasicIncome already and it's hugely important for everyone to understand right now in this #coronavirus moment.
$1 ≠ $1
That may seem like bad math, but let me try and explain...
Many of us were already feeling financial insecurity prior to this pandemic. Every month was a matter of survival. Would you earn enough? Would you keep your job? What would happen if you lost your job? Would you find another? Would you go on welfare? Would you become homeless?
All of those fears and anxieties are now actually happening. It's real. People are actually losing their sources of income. People have no idea how long they'll be without income and what's going to happen to them. People are scared shitless and rightly so.
The following thread is a summary of the just released report by @McMasterU of Ontario's canceled basic income experiment which utterly destroys any belief that it wasn't succeeding at the time of its cancellation. What @fordnation did was unforgivable.
Amazing how the #YangMediaBlackout ends the moment Yang drops out of the race. Suddenly every media outlet is falling over themselves to cover the candidate they worked to hide. Congrats. You got the outcome you wanted. But this fight is far from over. The #YangGang has awakened.
Thank you to all of you for everything you've done, pouring your heart & soul into this campaign which has become a movement. The #YangGang is incredible and important and we will change the world. I hope you all will continue fighting for the justice we all so desperately need.
Fear is a weapon used against us to keep us in line, but hope is a shield. If we can picture in our mind's eye the potential our civilization has to break away from this dystopian track we're on, and forge the utopian path instead, we will never stop fighting for that. I won't.
Now that I'm back home, I just want to share a few thoughts about my experience spending 2 weeks in Iowa visiting #YangGang in town after town. Here's my number one takeaway from Iowa: the most important part of @AndrewYang's campaign are the social bonds growing among all of us.
At one point I was struck hard by how truly American the #YangGang feels. We are a massively diverse group who see each other as family. Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and more, holding all kinds of beliefs individually, but all seeing each other as holding shared purpose.
That's what America used to be and is no more. We as a nation are so divided right now that we won't even talk to people from "the other side". But that's not true in the #YangGang. We've healed that divide. Everyone is welcome and our diversity is our strength. We are a big fam.
Today is #MLKDay. Every year on this day I try to spread awareness of the fact that Dr. King at the end of his life, before it was taken from him and us, was fighting for universal basic income. Most people still don't know this. Know his words.
If you read Dr. King's writing on UBI, you'll see that his support was founded upon the abolition of poverty (because it is immoral) in the most direct way possible - cash. He said we keep trying indirect ways like education and housing, but those too would be improved by cash.
Dr. King was also ahead of his time in seeing the importance in a nation of mechanized abundance to turn non-producers into consumers. He saw the problem as being one of distribution, not production. We have no shortage of goods. People have a shortage of money to pay for them.
It's been requested repeatedly that I gather together in one place all the apologies that I know of from MSNBC for the "mistakes" they've made covering @AndrewYang's presidential candidacy. Here's a thread. To see what each apology is for, please refer to vocal.media/theSwamp/a-vis….
THREAD: As my #PledgeForHumanity yesterday, I spent the day with Louisiana #YangGang volunteering at a home for the homeless. It's been in operation for almost 17 years. The founder who owns and runs it is an amazing woman named Francis Seymore. It's called the House of Serenity.
It's inspiring how much good one person can do. Francis was living in California when she decided to buy a place in Ponchatoula, LA that could be a shelter from homelessness. Running the place is a month to month expense she just manages to cover. In her words, God provides.
She knows there are poverty-targeted programs that are supposed to be helping places like hers with expenses, and yet despite being the only shelter for many miles around, she gets nothing. That money is controlled by politicians who apparently feel there are better uses for it.
Conservatives tend to think of freedom as freedom from government. Progressives tend to think of freedom as freedom of opportunity. Absolute freedom is freedom from *domination* and the only candidate running on it is @AndrewYang. Liberation via nondomination isn't left or right.
Freedom is not simply the removal of shackles. It's the power to refuse shackles ever being put on us. That kind of power requires a permanently protected status. The only way to achieve that is together, just as the Preamble says, and unconditional basic income is how we do it.
I think someday we will understand that the Freedom Dividend as proposed by @AndrewYang is what's been missing from our country since its creation as the means of making real the ideals of freedom upon which our Republic was built to actualize.
Hi @AOC, you probably won't see this because of the onslaught of notifications you receive, and even if you do I know your time is scarce, but please read or listen to this link before you say again that @AndrewYang's Freedom Dividend is a regressive UBI. medium.com/basic-income/t…
My focus for six years now has been UBI. I can tell you that what @AndrewYang is proposing is a massive improvement to our safety net. As proposed, it would reduce poverty among the entire population as much as Social Security reduced poverty among seniors. It would change lives.
If someone won the lottery and started earning $1,000/mo right now, most would no longer qualify for any assistance. That is also true of a job guarantee and a $15 min wage. That does not mean these things are Trojan horses. They are simply lifting people above qualifying lines.
It's baffling how many on the left explain over and over how Medicare for All will be a net benefit despite tax increases, but those very same people will angrily argue that @AndrewYang's $12k Freedom Dividend hurts the poor despite being a net benefit for them. Poverty is <$12k.
For the very same reason that you come out ahead if you pay $200/mo more in taxes but pay $500/mo less on private insurance expenses, you will come out ahead if your taxes go up $50/mo to pay for $1,000/mo. The MATH is very clear in both instances that you get more than you pay.
And please, I beg of you, if you consider yourself progressive, or even a full-blown socialist, before you talk shit about Yang's Freedom Dividend, make a point of asking some people living in extreme poverty. Also try & listen to those who have received a basic income. Research.
By decoupling income from work, UBI challenges capitalism's theory of value in a way socialism doesn't. Socialism still believes your value is determined by your work. It just wants you to own more of it. UBI says we are all inherently valuable and your time belongs to you alone.
It's been said by @katjakipping that the old left wants control over the means of production while the new left wants control over their own lives. What's more important to you? Control of capital, or control of your life and how you spend your extremely limited hours living it?
This is where a bridge exists between the left and the right and why UBI is forward. On the right, one could say the old right wants to cut taxes while the new right wants individual liberty. Govt should empower individuals as individuals with the freedom of self-determination.
Thread: Something happened to me recently that I want to share as an example of a regressive tax and why what @AndrewYang is proposing with a UBI-VAT combo is so different. It involves traffic tickets and how they're used as revenue-generation mechanisms on the backs of the poor.
Yesterday I got three tickets in the mail for a total of $225 as a result of automated ticketing of speed limits within school zones. I haven't gotten one of these in years and now out of nowhere, I got three. What happened? Am I suddenly a worse driver? No. Cause is two-fold.
First, my fiance and I have been in the process of moving. I've been picking her up earlier to drive to places during school zone hours instead of after. Second, I'm now aware of something my mayor did in order to raise city revenue, in direct violation of what she ran on to win.