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