“Freedom Dividend” — not “UBI”
As Andrew Yang’s campaign for the 2020 Democratic candidate gained momentum, he stopped referring to his plan to give every American $1000 each month as “Universal Basic Income”, and began calling it the Freedom Dividend.
This is a much better moniker, for two reasons: it says what it is intended to do, and why we’d be getting it.
$1000 isn’t a lot, but it’s not intended to provide a living. It is enough to give you wiggle room, freedom, to pursue higher callings. Personally, when I was scraping to get my first successful business going, I had several friends step up and offer help (and I enrolled for food stamps). I did the math, and the amount of support I received for about 6 months was right around…you guessed it: $1000. And it enabled me to throw myself into an endeavor that continues to benefit many people 7 years later. A monthly Cleveland will empower a lot of people to take the steps they need to better their lives.
Handouts aren’t healthy. Consider this, though: in the 21st century, you can live anywhere and do business everywhere. Nations should, and will be, competing for citizens. Also, there are many amazing people who contribute positively to society, but their work is not recognized by the marketplace. A dividend is a reward to shareholders from a successful enterprise they’re invested in. A country is the sum of its citizens — they are in fact its labor force, investors, customers, stakeholders, everything — and should directly benefit the nations’ success.
Please, let’s stop calling it UBI. Yang did well with the branding on this one.