On Sunday, May 31, we will hold a discussion of Andrew Yang’s book, The War on Normal People. In his book, the former Democratic candidate for president lays out the case for a universal basic income (UBI), funded through a system of automation taxes, to counteract the threat automated technologies pose to the job market.
UBI is not a new idea, going back as far as 1796 when Thomas Paine called for a tax on heritage to fund “basic incomes” for people in their twenties. But the shock of the coronavirus crisis has made UBI seem closer to reality than even only a few months ago. It has also opened the conversation to alternative ideas such as a federal jobs guarantee to manage the country’s current staggering number of unemployment claims, as well as the rickety and underfunded unemployment system.
The truth is that today, people are suffering. For many in the US who were already struggling before the coronavirus crisis, being out of work or not receiving unemployment benefits will mean food insecurity, being forced to skip medication and/or face foreclosure on their homes. Social costs from mental health troubles, domestic abuse, addictions, suicides and sickness will certainly skyrocket.
What should be done? Join us as we discuss Yang’s book, the vision it proposes and debate on what should be done in our new current reality to ease the hurt of working Americans.
Lyon, CA 69007
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