United States: Presidential candidate Bill de Blasio chooses a Federal Jobs Guarantee over a UBI

Bill de Blasio. Picture credit to: UPI.

Bill de Blasio, New York City mayor and Democratic Party candidate for the United States 2020 presidential elections, is firmly against Universal Basic Income (UBI). According to him, UBI is “woefully inadequate”, fearing it will replace existing (complex, inefficient, stigmatizing and conditional) welfare programs while failing to put people to work. As Joe Biden, the Democratic Party preferred candidate according to all polls, de Blasio believes that UBI “overlooks the intrinsic value of a job, believing the financial life support of a monthly check can substitute for meaningful employment”. He thinks, therefore, that UBI will prevent people from working, rather than the opposite (despite the evidence). That also equates to thinking that people need to be forced to work, which translates into believing that some sort of fundamental laziness afflicts the human species.

In order to engineer his vision of a “work-filled future”, de Blasio proposes a Robot Tax, applicable to large companies able to automate jobs and not inclined to compensate their displaced workers with new jobs. This new tax would be conjured and managed by a newly created organism called FAWPA (Federal Automation and Worker Protection Agency), which would, in practice, act as deterrent companies’ initiatives, turning it harder to invest on automation. Specifically, the Robot Tax would be collected by the state into a special fund. That fund would finance, in practice, an effective Federal Jobs Guarantee scheme, such as the one defended by Bernie Sanders.

More information at:

Adi Robertson, “New York City mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Bill de Blasio wants a robot tax”, Basic Income Today, September 9th 2019

André Coelho, “United States: Joe Biden believes that jobs are the future, rather than basic income”, Basic Income News, September 23rd 2017

About Andre Coelho

André Coelho has written 365 articles.

Activist. Engineer. Musician. For the more beautiful world our hearts know it's possible.

The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.


  • Douglas Meyer

    Mr. Bill the best way to help all the people and it might do more good than you think in many ways is to cut back on pollution that effects everything that lives!

    • DH Fabian

      People haven’t been surviving very well without adequate food and shelter, regardless of air quality. “Climate change” is a GLOBAL issue. The US already slashed it’s to contribution climate change in recent decades as we’ve lost multi-millions of our mfg. jobs. Unfortunately, we have no Plan B today to address the consequences — our poverty crisis.

  • Diamante Swift

    Federal taxes are deleted upon receipt and never pay for anything! Taxing Robot using companies would therefore be redundant. The federal government is Monetarily sovereign with a Free floating non convertible Fiat currency and can never go broke! Congress can just as easily fund the federal jobs guarantee as they do the obscene military budgets. They just don’t want to, because they’re corrupt. And yes,a ubi is beyond stupid,and Yang is a libertarian disguised as a Progressive.

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