On the Record: Bernie Sanders on Basic Income
There’s an increasing number of people asking Bernie Sanders if he supports the idea of universal basic income. You may be surprised to learn that he has in fact directly responded to these questions on multiple occasions, once even to a question posed to him myself.
This first exchange took place during his Reddit AMA on December 16, 2013:
Scott Santens: First of all, thank you for taking the time to do this IAMA, Senator Sanders.
Back in May of this year, you asked the question of us, “What Can We Learn From Denmark?”, and in that piece you mentioned their basic income guarantee. I’m sure you are also familiar, (though many reading this might not be), that we did actually pass a basic income guarantee of our own that passed the House but died in the Senate in 1970, back when we as a country thought poverty was systemic and not the fault of individuals.
Now in 2013, especially within the past few months since Switzerland made headlines with their gathering the necessary signatures required to vote on the implementation there of their own monthly income for all Swiss citizens regardless of employment, there have been a flurry of articles, from both the rightand the left, discussing the implementation of a truly unconditional basic income (UBI) here in the U.S. as well.