Hawaii May Become First State With Guaranteed Income

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Above Photo: A bill was recently passed in Hawaii through both the houses of the legislature in a unanimous vote that declares that all Hawaiians ‘deserve basic financial security’ and prompts state agencies to look over ‘universal basic income’ along with other policy. Getty Images

Hawaii could become the first state to offer its citizens universal basic income after bill passes through both houses of state legislature

 

  • Hawaii is working to becoming the first state to offer guaranteed basic income
  • The state’s cost of living – the highest in the country – motivated the passing of the resolution in May
  • Next the state has to create a list of community leaders to determine whether universal basic income is feasible

It may have been the last state to join the United States, but Hawaii may trail blaze and become the first to offer guaranteed basic income.

A bill was recently passed through both the houses and state legislature in a unanimous vote that declares that all Hawaiians ‘deserve basic financial security’ and prompts state agencies to look over ‘universal basic income’ along with other policy.

‘As innovation and automation and inequality disrupt our economy, we want to make sure that everybody benefits and nobody is left behind,’ said state Representative Chris Lee of Kaliua to Mother Jones.

‘It’s past time that we had a serious talk about not just tweaking our economic policies but having a new discussion from the ground up about what our values and priorities are.’

‘As innovation and automation and inequality disrupt our economy, we want to make sure that everybody benefits and nobody is left behind,’ said state Representative Chris Lee of Kaliua

While Alaska has provided state residents a stipend funded by oil revenue since 1976, Hawaii is the first to consider the income to cover living expenses.

Hawaii’s cost of living – the highest in the country – motivated the passing of the resolution in May along with the states reliance on low-paid service industry jobs.

According to Lee, Hawaii has a very limited manufacturing and tech sector which puts the service-focused economy at risk.

The text of the measure mentions the impact of technological advancements which have helped kill jobs in the state.

‘There has been a discussion for a long time about how do we build an economy where everybody can afford to live here and survive,’ Lee said.

According to Lee, Hawaii has a very limited manufacturing and tech sector which puts the service-focused economy at risk. Next a collective of community leaders will need to come together to see if universal basic income is actually tangible.

Next, Hawaii has to gather a ‘basic economic security workshop group’ comprised of leaders from various sects of public life.

Silicon Valley in Northern California is also potentially looking into UBI with Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna (bottom right) proposing a $1 trillion earned income tax credit for working families

They will be tasked with assessing the state’s exposure to ‘disruptive innovation’ and submit studies on universal basic income (UBI).

Lee said: ‘There is definitely a recognition that beyond just talking about basic income that things need to change.

‘We need to take proactive action to chart a stable path forward for our economy and all of our residents.’

Other states have tossed about the idea of UBI for their residents. California’s Silicon Valley is looking to explore how working to address its displacement of blue-collar workers.

Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna proposed a $1 trillion earned income tax credit for working families. This is seen as a huge step for the movement of UBI.

 

  • Jon

    Attention! Common error few understand: “It may have been the last state to join the United States,” This is the historical illusion that permeates history books. The foundation of the alleged transfer of sovereignty to the US in 1898 was the passing of a Joint Resolution of Congress that MASQUERADED as a “treaty of annexation.” If the Chinese legislative body voted to annex the United States, would anyone take it seriously? But that is how the US “acquired” the independent country of Hawai’i, whose sovereign independence had been recognized for decades by dozens countries, INCLUDING the United States, since 1843!
    The proper designation of Hawai’i’s status, by international law, is “occupied country,” alleged “statehood” from 1959 notwithstanding. This is a fact unknown to even the vast majority of committed anti-imperialists, who continue to accept the propaganda line of the empire that it is all “a settled matter.” NOT! learn the full story with “Liberate Hawai’i! Renouncing and Defying the Continuing Fraudulent US Claim to the Sovereignty of Hawai’i.” Reviews on Amazon.

    There is currently a broad and deep movement in Hawai’i for the rejection of this dependent status and reaffirmation of genuine independence. Will you learn about it?

  • DHFabian

    Please think about something. We know that not everyone can work (health, etc.), and that there simple aren’t jobs for all. Knowing this, Americans applauded the end of actual welfare aid in the 1990s, and never looked back at the consequences. They agreed that regardless of the circumstances, it was not the role of government to address poverty. While the primary program, AFDC, used a mere 6% of the federal budget at its highest (1970s), they said that this expenditure was considered especially unacceptable. Over the past 20-some years, since actual welfare aid was ended, the overall life expectancy of the US poor has fallen below that of every developed nation. When was the last time you heard even liberals call for restoring the most basic human rights (UN’s UDHR) of food and shelter to our jobless poor?

    Welfare aid was ended, not out of necessity, but “for the principle of it.” We punish the poor as a “disincentive” to those who might “choose the poverty lifestyle” (to use Bill Clinton’s words). This ideology is so deeply rooted that the implementation of the basic income guarantee is not possible. Period. The closest we will come is to maintain minimum wage protections for those who are fortunate enough to have full-time jobs.

  • DHFabian

    Interesting. I don’t know anything about that, and will look into getting “Liberate Hawaii…” Thanks.

  • chetdude

    So you’re saying that Hawai’i shouldn’t try to fix that?

  • kevinzeese

    If people thought like you cave men would never have moved out of the caves!

    Political realities can change but not if they have the attitude you have — our job is to change the political climate, not give into it!

  • Patricia P. Tursi

    Informative post. Thanks! Liberating Hawaii would be very productive.

  • Jon

    Perhaps the first step in fracking the empire! I hope you will pursue finding my book, as referenced.