On Thursday, Jack Dorsey, the billionaire CEO of Twitter, announced he is working with 14 American mayors to fund universal basic income (UBI) trials in their cities.
The pilot programs will be run city by city and have not yet launched.
Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang helped bring the idea of universal basic income into the mainstream and is funding his own UBI pilot program.
Proponents say guaranteed incomes could help close America’s growing wealth gap, while others say they could compound America’s financial crisis by encouraging people to stop working.
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Billionaire Jack Dorsey, the cofounder of Twitter, is spending millions to experiment with universal basic income.
Dorsey’s experiment is part of a larger initiative called Mayors for a Guaranteed Income. On Thursday, the group announced the program could impact as many as 7 million Americans across 14 different cities, including Los Angeles; Atlanta; Newark, New Jersey; and Jackson, Mississippi. The involved mayors say they plan to launch guaranteed income pilot programs in their cities at an unspecified future date and lobby federal lawyers to consider a national one, too.
The coalition behind the experiment says giving people a guaranteed income could lift people out of poverty and cushion the economic and career blows of the coronavirus crisis.
Dorsey, who has built up a net worth of $7.5 billion, will sink $3 million from his nonprofit into the program, according to the announcement. The UBI program comes shortly after Dorsey’s widely publicized pledge to donate $1 billion to coronavirus relief efforts.