Tag Archives: Y Combinator

New welfare program Universal Basic Income comes to California

The U.S. government has a dizzying array of taxpayer-funded welfare programs, including:

  1. Negative Income Tax
  2. SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps
  3. Housing Assistance
  4. SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
  5. Pell Grants
  6. TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
  7. Child Nutrition
  8. Head Start
  9. Job Training Programs
  10. WIC (healthy food for Women, Infants and Children)
  11. Child Care
  12. LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program)
  13. Lifeline (Obama Phone)

As if those welfare programs aren’t enough, the Left have been floating the idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI).

UBI is no longer hypothetical, but is being realized in two California cities — Oakland and Stockton.

Lukas Mikelionis reports for Fox News, July 9, 2019, that in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Oakland, Y Combinator, a startup incubator, is giving out $1,500 a month to randomly selected residents. It’s expected the money will soon be distributed to 100 recipients with a prospect of expanding the program to 1,000 people who will receive $1,000 monthly.

Next year, the city of Stockton in California’s Central Valley will begin a pilot Universal Basic Income program, in which a hundred residents will receive $500 a month without conditions, i.e., recipients can spend the money on anything they want without any strings attached. After 18 months, a decision will be made on expanding the UBI across all of Stockton.

On how welfare recipients misspend taxpayer funds, see:

The Stockton UBI program’s utopian goal is to eventually ensure that no one in the city of 300,000 lives in “poverty”. How “poverty” is defined is unclear.

Stockton’s economy is in shambles — from foreclosures (the city was declared America’s foreclosure capital); millions in debt from expensive development projects to lure in tourism; a median household income nearly $8,000 lower than the national median; and as many as 1-in-4 residents living below the poverty line. The city declared bankruptcy in 2012.

Stockton’s Universal Basic Income experiment has financial backing from wealthy Silicon Valley moguls, including Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, 34, whose Economic Security Project contributed $1 million to the project. Hughes told CNN: “It is such a fundamental idea behind America that if you work hard, you can get ahead, and you certainly don’t live in poverty. But that isn’t true today, and it hasn’t been true in the country for decades. I believe that unless we make significant changes today, the income inequality in our country will continue to grow and call into question the very nature of our social contract.”

But Hughes has no intention to extend his own money for the UBI program. Instead, he wants the government to fund UBI welfare from higher taxes on the “wealthy” and high-tech companies. See “Facebook co-founder: Tax the rich at 50% & give $500/month to low income earners to fix income inequality“.

Note: Chris Hughes is notorious for ruining The New Republic magazine, which he purchased a majority share of in 2012 as what the New York Times calls “a vanity project”. After mass departure of the magazine’s staff, he sold it 4 years later. Hughes is an open homosexual, married to Sean Eldridge, political director of Freedom to Marry. The couple bought a $2 million residence in New York’s 19th congressional district with the reported purpose of permitting Eldridge to run for the congressional seat there. Eldridge lost his 2014 bid for a congressional seat by 30 points. Following that and the mass resignation from The New Republic, The Daily Beast dubbed the two “America’s Worst Gay Power Couple”.

Other business moguls have endorsed the UBI idea, though mostly in rhetoric, including billionaire Richard Branson, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, Tesla’s Elon Musk, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Musk wrote in a tweet last month: “Universal income will be necessary over time if AI takes over most human jobs.” Zuckerberg said in his May 2017 Harvard commencement speech: “We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure that everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”

Others who have spoken out in favor of universal basic income, whether by name or in effect, are Senator Bernie Sanders (S-V) and Robert Reich, Bill Clinton’s Labor Secretary (source).

Both Sanders and Reich are millionaire socialists (an oxymoron!):

  • Bernie Sanders owns three homes, including a $600,000 lakeside summer home he purchased just 5 days after the end of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in which he betrayed his “useful idiot” supporters by enthusiastically endorsing Hillary Clinton. In June 2018, Newsweek reports that in 2017, for the second year in a row, Sanders made more than $1 million.
  • Robert Reich has an estimated net worth of $4 million.

It is the perverse nature of the Left to refuse to learn from precedents.

Finland experimented with UBI by giving €560 (US $657) per month to 2,000 unemployed working-age people. The program, however, came to an abrupt end in April after the Finnish government decided against continuing to fund the program. (The Guardian)

See also:

~Eowyn

Mark Zuckerberg joins Silicon Valley bigwigs in calling for government to give everybody free money

zuckerberg

Zuckerberg: Doesn’t understand how failure can drive one to succeed.

You are personally responsible for finding your own meaningful role, not the government. But that self-sufficiency mentality never crosses the mind of a proggie.

From Yahoo: CEO Mark Zuckerberg called on the need to consider universal basic income for Americans during his Harvard Commencement Speech.

Zuckerberg’s comments reflect those of other Silicon Valley bigwigs, including Sam Altman, the president of venture capital firm Y Combinator.

Every generation expands its definition of equality. Now it’s time for our generation to define a new social contract,” Zuckerberg said 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.

Zuckerberg said that, because he knew he had a safety net if projects like Facebook had failed, he was confident enough to continue on without fear of failing. Others, he said, such as children who need to support households instead of poking away on computers learning how to code, don’t have the foundation Zuckerberg had. Universal basic income would provide that sort of cushion, Zuckerberg argued.

Altman’s view is similar. A year ago, Altman said he thinkseveryone should have enough money to meet their basic needs—no matter what, especially if there are enough resources to make it possible. We don’t yet know how it should look or how to pay for it, but basic income seems a promising way to do this.” Altman believes basic income will be possible as technological advancements “generate an abundance of resources” that help decrease the cost of living.

DCG