I was very pleased to see the Journal mention California's plan to fund a universal basic income pilot for all cities and counties that apply (NCJ Daily, July 22). Policies such as these are going to be increasingly necessary as human workers continue to be further outperformed by their automated counterparts, and consequently left without an income.
However, even if the wave of technologically induced unemployment isn't as catastrophic as futurists contend, a universal basic income would still be a worthwhile measure to implement. And while I applaud the state's action, the evidence to convince us of the efficacy of a guaranteed income already exists. In 2008, the town of Otjivero-Omitara, Namibia, saw 18 percent of the population rise above the lower bound national poverty line (which rested at $220 in 2008) after a monthly basic income of $100 was introduced. Additionally, the article even notes Stockton's monthly UBI pilot of $500, which reduced financial instability and improved overall well being for recipients. I could continue, but will stop for brevity's sake.
We shouldn't be asking whether or not a UBI would be successful. We already know.
Jack Hill, Eureka