We need guaranteed basic income (GBI) more than ever and that is why Mayor Tishaura Jones of St. Louis is now providing that need for low income families with $500 monthly payments for 18 months. The Mayor is doing something not so popular, but she is unafraid due to her commitment to doing what is right, something that has become a rarity in politics.
Reasons why we need GBI in St. Louis and universal basic income (UBI) globally:
- Rising inequality: The gap between the rich and the poor is growing wider all over the world. This is partly due to the increasing automation of jobs, which is displacing low-skilled workers. UBI could help to reduce inequality by providing everyone with a basic level of income, regardless of their employment status.
- The cost of living is rising: The cost of housing, food, and other essential goods and services is rising faster than wages in many countries. This makes it difficult for many people to make ends meet, even if they are working full-time. UBI could help to alleviate poverty and improve living standards for everyone.
- The increasing insecurity of work: The traditional job market is changing rapidly, and many people are now working in insecure jobs, such as temporary or contract work. This can make it difficult to plan for the future and save for retirement. UBI could provide a safety net for people who lose their jobs or who are unable to work due to illness or other reasons.
- The need to support entrepreneurship and innovation: UBI could give people the financial freedom to pursue their own entrepreneurial ideas or to invest in new skills. This could lead to increased innovation and economic growth.
- The need to improve mental and physical health: UBI could reduce financial stress and improve mental and physical health. Studies have shown that people who are financially stressed are more likely to experience anxiety and depression. They are also more likely to have chronic health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. UBI could help to improve the overall health of the population.
In addition to these general reasons, there are also specific reasons why we need UBI in the current context. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of the problems listed above, such as inequality, poverty, and job insecurity. UBI could help to address these challenges and build a more resilient economy.
Of course, there are also some challenges to implementing UBI. For example, it would be expensive, and it would require a significant shift in government policy. However, the benefits of UBI are potentially so great that we should seriously consider implementing it around the world.