This is a significant moment for basic income in the United States. The Economic Security Project is launching less than a month after an election where tens of millions of Americans expressed frustration with an economic system that seems rigged against them.
There are many public policies that can help address our broken economy. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, making it easier to join together in a union to have a say in what you’re paid and when you work, and pursuing fair trade that encourages good jobs both here and abroad are just some of those policies.
Yet even if we made these needed policies the law of the land today, they wouldn’t address the underlying structure of a rigged economic system where the vast majority of people are in competition for a dwindling number of jobs, to the enrichment of a small number of big corporations and rich individuals. This problem will only get worse with time, as the global population explodes and automation reduces the number of jobs.
We have to fundamentally change this economic equation of too many people competing for too few jobs for the income to survive if we are ever to reduce income inequality, ensure financial security for our families, and finally fix our broken economy so that it truly works for you and me, not just the wealthy few.
This moment screams out for a big, bold solution that changes the equation: the universal basic income. When work isn’t our only source of income, when everyone has at least enough money to meet their basic needs as a human right, and when wealth doesn’t just pool at the top but gets funneled back into the hands of everyday working people who helped create it, then we will have changed the equation and un-rigged the economy.
Originally posted on Medium.com