RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Galeon writes: "Earlier this month, Hawaii earned the distinction of being the first in the U.S. to formally accept the provisions of the Paris Climate Agreement after President Donald Trump decided to withdraw the nation from it, and now, Hawaii is taking the lead in embracing yet another innovative idea: universal basic income (UBI)."

A rally for fair pay at the Hawaii State Capitol. (photo: Ikaika M. Hussey)
A rally for fair pay at the Hawaii State Capitol. (photo: Ikaika M. Hussey)


Hawaii Just Became the First US State to Pass a Bill Supporting Basic Income

By Dom Galeon, Futurism

17 June 17

 

arlier this month, the state earned the distinction of being the first in the U.S. to formally accept the provisions of the Paris Climate Agreement after President Donald Trump decided to withdraw the nation from it, and now, Hawaii is taking the lead in embracing yet another innovative idea: universal basic income (UBI).

On June 15, Hawaii state representative Chris Lee wrote a Reddit post about House Concurrent Resolution 89, a bill he says he introduced in order to "start a conversation about our future." According to Lee, "After much work and with the help of a few key colleagues, it passed both houses of the State Legislature unanimously."

Lee also mentioned the development via Twitter:

The bill has two major provisions. First, it declares that all families in Hawaii are entitled to basic financial security. "As far as I'm told, it's the first time any state has made such a pronouncement," wrote Lee. The second provision establishes a number of government offices "to analyze our state's economy and find ways to ensure all families have basic financial security, including an evaluation of different forms of a full or partial universal basic income."

The congressman thanked "redditors" in his post, as he said the site became his first resource in considering UBI, and added a Reddit-standard TL;DR at the end: "The State of Hawaii is going to begin evaluating universal basic income."

A step forward

Under a UBI program, every citizen is granted a fixed income that's not dependent on their status in life. Despite the current focus on the concept, it actually isn't particularly new. In fact, former US President Richard Nixon actually floated the idea back in 1969.

However, the benefits of such a program have become more appealing in light of recent technological advances, specifically, the adoption of automated systems that could result in widespread unemployment.

Proponents of UBI have highlighted how it would be an improvement on existing social welfare programs while mitigating the effects of the joblessness expected to follow automation. Critics think that UBI would encourage a more lax attitude about work and argue that funding such a system would be difficult, if not impossible.

Existing pilot programs, however, seem to indicate otherwise.

Hawaii may be the first U.S. state to pass any sort of UBI-positive legislation, but several countries around the globe are already testing the system. Finland began its two-year UBI pilot in 2016, and Germany has one as well. Canada plans to start trials in Prince Edward Island (PEI) and Ontario, while India is currently debating the merits of UBI. Several private UBI endeavors are also in the works, including one that uses blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Of course, the implementation of any major UBI program requires a great deal of political will. As Lee wrote, "Planning for the future isn't politically sexy and won't win anyone an election […]. But if we do it properly, we will all be much better off for it in the long run."

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

We are going to return to our original fully-moderated format in the comments section.

The abusive complaints in the comment sections are just too far out of control at this point and have become a significant burden on our staff. As a result, our moderators will review all comments prior to publication. Comments will no longer go live immediately. Please be patient and check back.

To improve your chances of seeing your comment published, avoid confrontational or antagonistic methods of communication. Really that is the problem we are confronting.

We encourage all views. We discourage ad hominem disparagement.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+11 # lfeuille 2017-06-18 00:21
Besides giving people income to survive on in an increasingly insecure job market, it would somewhat shift the balance of power between labor and management. If people are not desperate, they don't have to put up with inadequate wages and poor working conditions and things like wage theft. It would restore some of the power lost by the weakening of unions over the last several decades.
 
 
+11 # relegn 2017-06-18 05:48
UBI makes a lot of sense if you consider that your tax dollars are being returned to the economy which will in turn drive economic growth as well as improving general living conditions.
 
 
+2 # mill valley maven 2017-06-18 09:00
The assumption that every able-bodied adult needs a full-time job is no longer tenable. Check out the ubuntu movement, which goes even further — making money itself obsolete.
 
 
+8 # PCPrincess 2017-06-18 09:53
Universal Basic Income is the only way to deal with the change from a goods and services/supply and demand capitalistic society to one where the resources are now controlled by very few people and citizens are left fighting over essentially, scraps.

We are at the point where people are renting out the use of vehicles (Uber) and homes and anything else they can sell for a buck.

What UBI would provide is a return to a society where each person is able to pursue natural skills, do what they are best doing and still be able to make a living. Naysayers will attempt to claim that people will become lazy and not work, and I will argue that it is our very definition of 'work' that needs to be changed. For example, there is no society wherein a city with nothing but successful doctors could exist. There must be a place to purchase gas for our cars, clothing for our families, food, etc. Those services are just as important, yet we have deemed only certain professions to be valid or worth a living-wage.

Much work needs to be done to fix our economic systems, including reminding our citizens that WE decide what is necessary, what is important, and what constitutes a 'contribution' to society.

Posters above have already pointed out the economic benefit of moving funds through the economy which stirs up growth.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN