Los Angeles, CA

Heres Why Mayor Garcetti Wants to Guarantee Basic Income for Angelenos

Genius Turner


Pic: Flickr

The Mayor Hopes $1,000-a-Month Per Family Will Payoff in the Long Run

LOS ANGELES — When Jack Ewing called "the United States the richest country in the world," he just as well had added "richest country in history," too.

To put it simply: America is the modern-day Rome! And just as Ancient Rome was essentially divided into two classes, called the patricians and the plebians, at the moment America also "has the biggest wealth gap."

The patricians were wealthy and owned most of the land. They held political power. The plebians, on the other hand, were essentially the middle class. They lacked wealth. Ah, as the proverbial saying goes — the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Mayor Garcetti, who holds a degree in political science, firmly understands the above. Perhaps this explains why he's also striving to ensure that politics, like everything else, evolves.

Today's athletes are far stronger and faster than were the Roman gladiators. Whereas 95% of Rome's citizens were illiterate, most people today can read a text while holding a conversation. And so, seeing how much everything else has evolved, Mayor Garcetti is merely hinting at a dire need for covering basic necessities.

“When you give money to people who are poor, it creates better outcomes,” Mayor Garcetti said. “It covers child care. It puts food on the table. It leads to more high school graduations and better checkups.” Notice what the mayor is suggesting here.


Pic: screenshot provided by author, from Twitter

By awarding $1,000 a month with no strings attached, the mayor is hoping to make Los Angeles the largest city to try the universal basic income (UBI) program. Of course, critics have already lined up.

For centuries now, critics of basic income have argued along the following lines: by guaranteeing basic income the government is also guaranteeing laziness. But Mayor Garcetti, a student of political science — essentially a subfield of philosophy — understands why for ages philosophers have argued:

No change in circumstances can result in a change in character.

An individual's unwillingness to work towards a goal, better known as "laziness," reflects an individual's character, not the government's attempt to help struggling families. As for poverty itself, because time is money — the worst part of poverty is it wastes precious time.

For students, the best use of time is called "studying time." But, say, if after school there's no bread in the refrigerator, shall not that growing boy or girl find it difficult to hear themselves think? After all, a growling stomach sounds like an irritated pit bull.

Being creative or innovative merely calls for ignoring distractions. From turning off notifications to blocking off hours for work, such acts require sustained focus. But basic necessities are called "basic" for a reason: the instinct for survival overrides all other focuses.

The word "basic," then, whether it be basic income or basic necessities lies rooted in the same basic principle.


Pic: screenshot provided by author, from Twitter

“We’re betting that one small but a steady investment for Angeleno households will pay large dividends for health and stability across our city and light a fire across our nation,” the mayor tweeted on Monday.

He then announced the new plan by tipping a cap to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the very man who — a half-century ago — started calling for guaranteed basic income programs. “We’re showing what it takes to fulfill Dr. King’s call for a basic income once and for all,” appears to be the mayor's takeaway message.

And on that note, who better than MLK to end a piece on universal basic income?

I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income. —Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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My writing is popular in academia (biology, psychology, etc.) and on websites such as Quora (millions of views) and Medium. Also, I'm signed to the same literary agency as Eckhart Tolle. In short, my sole mission in life is to serve my brothers and sisters from all walks of life. http://finalspeciescode.com/

New York City, NY

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