What Is Universal Basic Income, and Can It Help Black America?

Universal Basic Income

A German startup is doing something quite revolutionary: It’s giving 85 people enough money to live decently off of for one year—with no strings attached.

The startup is called My Basic Income. Its founder is a proponent of Universal Basic Income (UBI); the idea that the government should provide all people a sufficient level of income to meet their basic needs, whether they already have a means of income or a job.

Phys.org interviewed the founder of My Basic Income, Michael Bohmeyer. He called his startup a “social experiment.”

Bohmeyer turned to crowdfunding to come up with the money needed to provide the income, and over 55,000 donated. Income recipients were chosen during a livestreamed Wheel of Fortune– type event. They receive 1,000 euros (about $1,063) per month.

Recipients report positive life changes, since being selected for the experiment. Some of them left jobs that paid minimally and made them miserable. Others went on to start new careers that impassioned them; addressed medical or addiction issues; and provided for children and loved ones.

The idea of UBI is a particularly hot topic, as more jobs are lost to robotics and automation. Advocates say universal income could eliminate poverty, as well as provide other …read more      

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