$1000/month is almost certainly insufficient to make a dent or transform society at all. A person with no other income would still be below the poverty line. If you receive this income and are still in poverty, I don’t see how that’s a basic income. If someone is not aiming higher — way higher — then that tells you a lot about his politics.

I realize Yang’s platform also includes medicare for all, so that changes the calculus on poverty (since healthcare in the US is prohibitively expensive), but I am a little skeptical when a multimillionaire who sees the writing on the wall with regard to automation and work is proposing such a low number for UBI.

One good place to start might be to calculate the income of a minimum wage earner if the minimum wage were more in line with a living wage, like the oft-cited figure of $15/hour, base UBI on that, and then peg it to US economic growth (not inflation) so that as the US economy grows, the UBI disbursement moves up along with it and everyone benefits from economic growth (thereby preventing runaway wealth inequality, where the top 1% soaks up virtually all of the economic growth). That would be a platform genuinely aimed at getting people out of poverty and keeping people out of poverty forever. For the record, that comes to $30,000/year, or $2500/month. That, in theory, would be a basic income.

I like that this conversation is taking place in mainstream politics, but it’s getting off on the wrong foot when we’re talking about such a low UBI.

Just the facts: Writer. Gamer. Feminist. Educated in Astrophysics. Professional Gambler. Student of Language. Satanist. Anarchist.

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