Even though there’s a greater chance of finding a case of toilet paper at a Costco in New Jersey than Democratic Congresswoman Tusi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) ever winning the 2020 Democratic nomination, her ideas to ensure complete economic certainty for Americans during the Coronavirus outbreak are worth nothing.
Taking a page out of Andrew Yang’s playbook, the upstart 2020 Democratic candidate who captured many supporters with his Universal Basic Income (or Freedom Dividend) policy, Gabbard called for introducing a universal basic income (UBI) of $1,000 a month until coronavirus “no longer presents a public health emergency.”
“Most Americans don’t have that safety emergency bank account even for a short term, what to speak of if you’re talking about weeks, or in this case people are looking at potentially months,” Gabbard said in an interview on Hill.TV.
Her proposal, H.R. 897, would give a UBI of $1,000 per month to all adult Americans “until COVID-19 no longer presents a public health emergency.”
The idea of a UBI of $1,000 a month was originally popularized by Yang, which was intended to offset the effects of job automation and provide added security to Americans that have to care for a loved one. A pilot UBI program was employed in Finland, but for people who were already unemployed.
While employment levels did not improve, participants said they felt happier and less stressed. However, because the program only applied to the existing unemployed, it was poorly designed for the purposes of seeing how well it would work for those with jobs as well.
The United States has surpassed 3,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and the death toll climbed to at least 61, with 25 of the deaths associated with the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington. House Democrats finally decided an economic rescue package, but it’s riddled with holes and not nearly as robust as it needs to be.
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