How does the stimulus check compare to Universal Basic Income?

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Observer staff

Various countries have experimented with Universal Basic Income (UBI).

Mark Brown, Staff Writer

If you are one of the nearly 10 million workers who are currently unemployed, and you are an independent working adult, you may be receiving a stimulus check soon. This stimulus is $1,200, with $500 on top of that per dependant of yours- if you can claim one. But is this enough?

There is a reason why it is $1,200, and that is because that is how much a worker would have made in one month while working for the federal minimum wage. It is basic math actually, here is the breakdown: $7.25 (minimum wage) * 40 (full-time hours) = $290. Take that $290 * 4 (weeks a month) for a total of $1,160. The government just rounded it up to be a clean $1,200

This stimulus should be expanded onto all Americans- a popularized idea made way by former Democratic candidate Andrew Yang- in the form of Universal Basic Income, which is just the stimulus but Americans would get the $1,200 once a month. This pandemic shows that the citizens of America need a form of income outside of their jobs just to stay afloat.

Andrew Yang proposed a $1,000 a month for every citizen over the age of 18. The UBI bill is a form of freedom to the workers by giving them an income outside of the workplace, so they do not become a slave to the workplace. Giving those citizens the right to leave their job and not need to fear not having enough money to pay the bills.

The stimulus and the UBI bill are very similar to the point that both will not be taxable and neither are loans that need to be repaid. UBI is just an extended stimulus that would persevere after this pandemic finally leaves us.

This pandemic teaches us, among other things, that all Americans should have a form of income, like UBI, in order to keep the people from fearing a loss of primary income from a loss of their job. This would calm the fear of bankruptcy, unplayable debts and also not being able to afford to even pay taxes or rent.

For the fiscally conservative who wonder how the government would pay for such a thing, Andrew Yang himself said that we would just institute a “value-added tax”, which is a tiny tax placed on the biggest corporations in America- such as Amazon and Google- where a sliver of every sale will go back to the people. According to Andrew Yang, it would also pay for itself due to the fact that we would have cost savings from incarceration and homeless services because with the additional money getting put back to the people, there will be fewer incarcerations and fewer people living on the streets.

A one-time payment of $1,200 is not nearly enough to keep an economy thriving, especially since the $1,200 is going into the biggest majority of citizens in the country. This is still being debated- in the respected houses- to determine whether or not this stimulus package should be a monthly repeat, or a one and only.

This stimulus should be expanded onto all Americans- a popularized idea made way by former Democratic candidate Andrew Yang- in the form of Universal Basic Income, which is just the stimulus if it was but in a renewed form. This pandemic shows that the citizens of America need a form of income outside of their jobs just to stay afloat.

 

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