Delivering Support To Families That Need It
Millions of families and individuals are left without any support. Most Americans do not have the capacity to sit at home for weeks – or months – on end and meet even basic needs.
The typical remedies offered during an economic downturn – expanded sick leave, payroll taxes, lower interest rates, loans to companies – will do nothing or next to nothing for many Americans who are being hit by the economic slowdown. The average shift worker is a temp or contractor who can be fired at will.
The most effective thing we could do is put cash into people’s hands.
“We call it the ‘basic income feeling. The subtext of the unconditionality is, ‘We as a society believe you are OK.”
World Economic Forum
Plain and simple: the alternative to not having UBI is worse — worse for our country's stability, our safety, and our collective health. By not strongly addressing COVID-19 repercussions (by implementing UBI), inequality is going to further skyrocket, increasing social tensions that would cost governments even more and open countries to heightened risk of societal conflict.
Societal conflict that, combined with the rising likelihood of social unrest, unmanageable mass migration and the proliferation of extremist groups that capitalize and ferment on social disappointment, is on track to reach a boiling point without action. The payoff of social stability and overall wellbeing is tremendous, making an even more powerful argument for UBI.
Stanford Basic Income Lab
Evidence consistently and unequivocally demonstrates that unconditional cash programs in low and middle income countries leads to a (1) measurable decrease in poverty and (2) an increase in household expenditures. These relief programs have minimal impact on aggregate measures of labor market participation, with some studies reporting an increase in work participation.
These relief programs show improvements to health status and to the myriad of behavioral and social factors that are linked to leading causes of premature ill health, disability, and death.
New York Times
A call for applications went out, and a million people signed up in less than three days. The research that was revealed kept in findings with other basic income studies around the world. Few people quit their jobs, and many made changes to better themselves and the community around them.
A social worker retrained as a hospice worker, a waitress stuck working with an exploitative boss was able to get another job at a better restaurant. Regardless of whether those involved spent the money, saved it, invested it or gave it away, almost all said the monthly payments just made them feel better.
The Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) further posted findings that indicate UBI can help mitigate or even solve everyday emergencies. Recipients spent the money on groceries, utility bills, credit card debt, and investing in their small businesses. It allowed them to feel less anxious and spend more time with their families during the pandemic.
Economic Security Project
The Econmomic Security Project analyzed data from all over the world. "The evidence is clear: When provided with cash, individuals struggling with economic insecurity take care of their most basic needs and commit to climbing up the economic ladder".
Economists found that cash transfers don't make people work less. They also found that it leads to improved education and mental health and decreased addiction and crime.
Recipients of the cash benefit in Japan were 3.9 times more likely to be interested in launching a new business. Recipients saw a decrease in divorce rates — 1.5% to 0.6%. An overwhelming number of recipients said they experienced a significant increase in happiness levels.
The research unequivocally backs it up: cash relief is not only the economically right thing to do, but the morally right thing to do as well.