Should everyone in America receive a “basic income” directly from the federal government? Considering the fact that we are already 20 trillion dollars in debt, such a concept may sound quite foolish to many of you, but this is an idea that is really starting to gain traction in leftist circles. In fact, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggested that this was something that we should “explore” during the commencement speech that he just delivered at Harvard. For quite a while it has been obvious that Zuckerberg is very strongly considering a run for the presidency in 2020, but up until just recently we haven’t had many clues about where he would stand on particular issues. If he is serious about proposing a universal basic income for all Americans, that would make Zuckerberg very appealing to the far left voters that flocked to the Bernie Sanders campaign.
Yesterday, I discussed the fact that the number of Americans that are receiving money from the government each month has reached an all-time high, but Zuckerberg would take things much farther. According to Zuckerberg, society would be far better off if everyone got an income from the government…
“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.
Such a proposal is going to look really good to a lot of people at first glance.
But who is going to pay for this?