The California Democratic Party has sort of endorsed the idea of basic income. The concept is now mentioned in the party’s platform.
“We support efforts to enact programs, such as a guaranteed government jobs program and a universal basic income/rent or housing to eliminate poverty while improving prospects to secure good jobs that help people climb the economic ladder,” the Economic Justice section of the California Democratic Party’s platform now reads.
This means little because party platforms in the United States are little more than shallow propaganda. Both major national political parties have had the idea of Puerto Rican statehood in their platforms for decades and done nothing about. It is doubtful if most elected officials in the United States know what their party’s platform says.
Still, it is interesting to note that the dominant political party in America’s largest state at least recognizes the concept of basic income. The California Democrats control the state legislature, the Golden State’s congressional delegation, and the governor’s mansion.
Several party leaders including Rocky Fernandez the organization’s Region Five Director pushed for basic income, Recode reported. Recode believes the platform is a nod to deep-pocketed basic income fans in Silicon Valley, who are among the Democratic Party’s biggest donors.
Facebook Cofounder Backs Basic Income
Whether this will lead to action or legislation is anybody’s guess. The Democratic Party has long endorsed a kind of basic income (Social Security) for seniors and the disabled. Yet there is strong opposition to the concept from some of its key constituencies including unions for social-services bureaucrats.
“California has always been at the forefront of big bold ideas like a basic income. Now it’s up to leaders and other states to follow suit,” Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) co-founder Chris Hughes said. “I don’t see any reason why this shouldn’t be on the national party platform.”
Hughes is funding a basic income test project in Stockton. He has also written a book advocating a national basic income for every working person in the United States. Hughes would like to see the government give $500 a month to every American that makes less than $50,000 a year, CNBC reported. He thinks the wealthiest 1% should pay for the program.
Hughs’ book is called Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn
It remains to be seen if the national Democratic or Republican Parties will pick up on the idea of basic income.