Letters to the Editor

Universal Basic Income and COVID-19

Dear Editor: On Easter Sunday, The Pope called for a Universal Basic Income or UBI (his declaration was in Spanish as “salario universal”).

I am a social worker and have been an advocate of unconditional cash transfers for years. This method of income distribution, known as UBI or Universal Basic Income, can keep society from falling apart during COVID-19, and in normal times, too, it allows people to have the ability to say no to exploitation, oppressive work arrangements, and trafficking, to name a few terrible problems that have not been ended in society yet.

Our organization, Income Movement, is mobilizing people of all faiths and backgrounds to demand government cease to withhold the cash we all need to survive the economic blow we’ve taken.

Pope Francis wrote, “It (UBI) would ensure and concretely achieve the ideal, at once so human and so Christian, of no worker without rights.”

In the name of the 22 million Americans who have just filed for Unemployment due to COVID19, and in the name of the 140 million poor people in the U.S., will the leaders of the Church in our country stand with Our Holy Father in support of a Universal Basic Income for the United States?

Diane Pagen

Bedford-Stuyvesant

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