Hawaii may become the first US state to adopt basic income

An unprecedented bill supporting the idea of universal basic income (UBI) has been introduced in the American state of Hawaii.

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An unprecedented bill supporting the idea of universal basic income (UBI) has been introduced in the American state of Hawaii.

The bill, titled House Concurrent Resolution 89, was brought by Hawaii State Representative Chris Lee and was passed by both houses of the state legislature in a unanimous vote.

The resolution declares that all the islanders “deserve basic financial security.”

It also orders government offices to weigh the state’s economy and find ways to ensure all families have basic financial security, including an evaluation of different forms of a full or partial universal basic income.

“As innovation and automation and inequality disrupt our economy, we want to make sure that everybody benefits and nobody is left behind. 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,”

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4 thoughts on “Hawaii may become the first US state to adopt basic income

  1. I think Hawaii sees the writing on the wall – the large pool of unemployed young people is the largest threat industrialized capitalism has ever faced. Growing “establishment” support for a UBI suggests the ruling elite believes they can be bought off by bringing them into the “welfare” system – as Roosevelt did during the New Deal. In my view, it’s too little too late.


  2. This is a wonderful idea, but who will pay for it?
    If they do pass this legislation, will other states clamor for the same entitlement?
    There’s also talk that prior to the western financial collapse from the debt bubble, banksters (Fed Reserve) will try to redirect blame from themselves toward the current administration by offering UBI to the public as a “safety net”. However like all “free entitlement” programs, eventually someone has to pay. The Feds unchecked printing is leading to global instability as all Western nations’ central bank “rebalance” their money supply by inflating as well. So all currencies seemingly trade in a controlled range, with inflation in check, but that also is an illusion b/c the overall (global) money supply has increased to unsustainable levels.
    It doesn’t help that short term interest rates are at near zero since the last financial crisis in ’08. This has the short term affect of penalizing savers into redistributing their assets from bank account into the stock and real estate bubbles.

    When they burst this time around, it’s game over!


    • Interesting question. Although getting rid of the welfare bureaucracy would result in some savings – there needs to be a change in spending priorities at all levels of government. Ending the War on Terror and the War on Drugs and closing down the prison industrial complex would release more than enough money to fund a UBI for all Americans. Ideally, though, we need to remove banks from all government funding – by banning banks from creating money out of thin air and restoring this function to government as the Constitutional framers intended.

      At the moment the only way to increase the amount of money in the economy is to borrow it (as government or private individuals) from banks. This means borrowing and debt creation is essential to keeping enough money in the economy to prevent recessions.

      At present the US (and most of the industrial world) are in recession because banks aren’t creating enough money. I say take that function away from banks and allow a publicly accountable institution to issue the money by spending it into the economy – via a UBI, infrastructure repair and other socially beneficial projects.


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