Is It Finally Time for a Basic Income? – Panel Discussion

June 2, 2020

Long before the COVID-19 crisis, there was a human-made crisis of an economy so broken that almost half American families couldn’t scrape together $400 in an emergency. Now, with the nation approaching 36 million unemployed, policymakers are forced to reckon with an economy that valued big returns for shareholders over economic resiliency for all. One way of creating this much-needed resiliency is through a Universal Basic Income, or a Guaranteed Income. Once a relatively obscure concept, universal basic income was brought to the fore by pioneering Mayor Michael Tubbs, who is demonstrating the concept in Stockton, CA; and during the presidential primary by Andrew Yang.

This virtual event covered the concept of direct cash support policies, including basic income, with policymakers and experts who are leading the charge on this issue. We heard from Congressman Ro Khanna, who has introduced a bill to provide most Americans with $2,000 per month until the crisis is over; Mayor Michael Tubbs of Stockton, CA who has been running a basic income experiment for over a year; and Natalie Foster, co-Chair and co-founder of the Economic Security Project, an organization working to make a guaranteed income a reality for the past four years.