Sunday, January 15, 2017

Is UBI An Answer To Inequity?

Can workers today make more than their parents? At this time it is 50/50, but people born in 1940, the chance of children making more than their parents was at 92 percent—why? One reason for this is economic growth has slowed from 4 to 5 percent in the past decades to just 2 to 3 percent today; and almost all of the benefits of the 2 to 3 percent growth goes to the top with people in the lower income bracket are stuck with stagnant wages. The Americans at the bottom 50 percent are making an average of just $16,000 a year while the top 1 percent makes $1.3 million, and send their children to elite schools so the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Part of the attack on the 1.7 million poor workers are employed by temporary agencies. Of these 1.7 million workers, 900,000 are on zero hour contracts. This problem is worldwide. Workers in the UK are facing the same problem, some 20 percent of the workers do not know if they will get a full week’s work. The people who are and have been speaking out here in the U.S. is Bernie Sanders, and in the UK, it is Jeremy Corbyn. Ninety-four percent of the 10 million net new jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were contract-based and not traditional 9-to-5 jobs. This job and wage inequality has spread drug use in 2015, 12,000 people died of overdoses in 10 states here in the U.S., drugs, alcoholism and suicide, which is looked at as diseases of despair. One way to counter this lack of jobs with a living wage could very well be a UBI (universal basic income) pay. Now, we are even ruining the lives of children not even born yet fueled by opioid use among women. This now affects about one out of 130 babies in rural areas nationwide. This condition is known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, drug withdrawal after birth. It has gone from 1.2 per 1,000 to 7.5 per 1,000 births. Then there is an increase in foster care, the number of foster care cases has risen by 24 percent in West Virginia; in Vermont this number rose to 40 percent. The HaveNots have little left and the UsedtoHaves have lost all hope and no one seems to know what to do. So, again, how about the government issuing UBI pay and building up our unions for better jobs. Still, we must keep up the fight for a living minimum wage of $15 to $24 an hour or a UBI income of $2,000 a month. It is up to us, we either sink or swim.