(Natural News) The Hawaii legislature recently passed a bill to explore the concept of implementing a universal basic income, or UBI, for its residents. The purpose, as its name implies, is to offer people who are seeking job retraining or who are only able to work part-time the opportunity to maintain a basic standard of living without going into poverty. But will it work? And more importantly, who will pay for it?
Known as House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 89, the bill tasks Hawaii with establishing a working group to focus on establishing basic economic security for the state's residents. This means addressing the growing income gap in Hawaii, as well as the ever-increasing costs of living throughout the state that are making it more difficult for average people to survive.
The text of the legislation establishes that its goal is to simply provide social security – or a working social safety net – to cover the basic needs of every Hawaiian resident. However, its backers say it accomplishes something much different, and in a way that many people probably wouldn't expect.
"Government is not collecting money and holding it in a trust at all," stated Representative Chris Lee, a Democrat, and the legislator who introduced HCR. 89. "Everything is on the table," he added, noting that the system could be funded in a variety of ways, including by expanding the earned income tax credit, for instance, or by monetizing public resources and offering new incentives for productivity.
While the generalized goals of UBI are to end poverty and homelessness, and offer hope to people who are stuck having to settle for part-time jobs that don't pay the bills – and from an ever-dwindling pool of part-time jobs, it's important to note – how UBI is implemented can vary in different contexts. Different experimental programs are being implemented all throughout the world, but they all seem to have one thing in common: They don't tend to work, and are more pipe dreams than they are workable solutions.
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