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Silicon Valley elites continue to push for a universal basic income in America that would give all citizens a guaranteed annual income from the government.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Y Combinator President Sam Altman are just two of the tech elites pushing for universal basic income in America. “We should make it so no one is worried about how they’re going to pay for a place to live, no one has to worry about how they’re going to have enough to eat,” said Altman in a speech at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. “Just give people enough money to have a reasonable quality of life.”
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, also floated the idea in a Harvard commencement speech.“Every generation expands its definition of equality. Now it’s time for our generation to define a new social contract,” said Zuckerberg during his speech. “We should have a society that measures progress not by economic metrics like GDP but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”
Now Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) is getting onboard with the idea, pushing to introduce a $1 trillion expansion to the earned income tax credit that is currently available to low-income families. “There’s a dignity to work,” Khanna told SiliconValley.com. “People, they don’t want a handout. They want to contribute to the economy.”
Y Combinator has given 100 randomly selected families in Oakland an income of approximately $1,500 a month. The non-profit organization GiveDirectly is currently attempting to raise money to launch a basic income study in Kenya. The group currently plans to provide a basic income to more than 26,000 people, with some continuing to receive payments for up to 12 years. In January the country of Finland began giving 2,000 Finnish citizens a monthly income of $600. This study is set to last up to two years.