Pope Francis wants Free Cash for Coronavirus Hard Knocks

Pope Francis wants Free Cash for Coronavirus Hard Knocks

Pope Francis showed empathy to those whose lives have been adversely affected amid the economic disruption sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I know that you have been excluded from the benefits of globalization... The ills that afflict everyone hit you twice as hard,” Pope Francis wrote in a letter. “Street vendors, recyclers, carnies, small farmers, construction workers, dressmakers, the different kinds of caregivers: you who are informal, working on your own or in the grassroots economy, you have no steady income to get you through this hard time... and the lockdowns are becoming unbearable.”

 

Andrew Yang, who spent much of his failed campaign for the presidency pushing universal basic income duffed his hat at the Pope’s idea:

Yang supports the idea echoed in the letter that free cash for everyone would go a long way in helping to solve economic inequality by providing a financial safety net for all, including those, like stay-at-home moms and caregivers, who aren’t getting adequately compensated.

Beyond the call for considering a universal basic income, the pope also made the case for a lasting change in the global culture in post-coronavirus world.

“Our civilization — so competitive, so individualistic, with its frenetic rhythms of production and consumption, its extravagant luxuries, its disproportionate profits for just a few needs to downshift, take stock, and renew itself,” he wrote.

Pope Francis on Sunday also delivered a speech for evening mass held at a mostly empty St. Peter’s Basilica, with Italy still on lockdown due to the coronavirus, which has now infected more than 1.8 million people around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Who else supports Universal Basic Income?

Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates agree. They argue that automation has fundamentally changed the structure of the U.S. economy. Sir Richard Branson said a guaranteed income is inevitable.

Artificial intelligence will take too many jobs from people. Elon Musk said robotics will take away most people’s jobs, so a universal income is the only solution

Who thinks UBI is a dead-end?

The economist is on the far right on Universal basic income because in their view if everyone suddenly received a basic income, it would create inflation. Most would immediately spend the extra cash, driving up demand. Retailers would order more, and manufacturers would try to produce more. But if they couldn't increase supply, they would raise prices. Higher prices would soon make the basics unaffordable to those at the bottom of the income pyramid. In the long run, a guaranteed income would not raise their standard of living.