My Weekly BIT, week of Sept 29 2017
Happy Friday everyone!
After consecutive weeks of major US Politicians publicly taking a stance on Universal Basic Income (thanks Secretary Clinton and Vice President Biden!), it seemed weird that this week DIDN’T feature a statement about UBI from a Presidential Candidate.
However, there were some other interesting stories that came out this week:
The technology startup incubator Y Combinator has finished their year-long feasibility study on Basic Income, and will now embark on a 5-year randomized trial across 2 US States.
“In the upcoming study, 3,000 people whose median household income is below the average income in that county will be selected from the two states to receive a fixed monthly sum. These people, aged between 21 and 40, will be chosen to represent a variety of demographics and income levels. While 1,000 of these people will receive $1,000 per month for up to five years, the other 2,000 will receive just $50 per month as a way for the researchers to compare.”
From Elizabeth Rhodes, the Basic Income Research Director: “Of course, no single study can answer all questions about basic income, and every program has an array of positive and negative effects...Nonetheless, we view this experiment as a strong foundation for a broad research agenda on basic income.”
If you can imagine what a future would look like with Basic Income, here’s your chance to win your own Basic Income!
The Economic Security Project is sponsoring this short-fiction writing contest (5,000 words or less) that “imagines a future of economic security”.
The grand prize winner will receive a Basic Income of $12,000 over the next year, and be featured on Gizmodo’s i09 website.
Submissions are due November 1st, 2017, here’s the link to submit!
UPCOMING EVENTS IN SAN FRANCISCO
CASH Conference, Exploring Basic Income In A Changing Economy (Eventbrite.com)
On Oct 19th, come participate on a day of conversations over “what an economy built on the well-being of everyone could look like”. Speakers will range from artists to politicians, from academics to activists. We will all be examining the potential and power of Basic Income, from topics like how the concept of “work” could be redefined, to how our society will face the challenges of today and tomorrow.
I will be there, and I hope you will be too!
MY QUICK THOUGHTS
I love stories. Everything that seems to be worth remembering, everything I share with others, it always takes the form of a story.
I believe stories are what we need right now as we build the UBI movement. While I think having additional facts and evidence from trial studies can’t hurt, we can no longer wait to act. However, part of me still wants to hold out for that tantalizing “indisputable fact” that is exactly what I need to convince my friends and sway strangers about Basic Income.
There’s no such thing.
I believe we have the facts, now we need the stories. We need to tell and share stories of all kinds. We need fictional stories depicting a world where everyone explores a life without fear of their basic needs. We also need non-fictional stories depicting the lives of our fellow Americans, where we hear their honest thoughts and feelings around their current struggles, and let them share what their own path with a Basic Income would look like.
If you would like to share your story with me, I’d love to help you tell it, please feel free to reach out!