On Thursday, the Economic Security Project, a research alliance of technologists and activists, announced a $10 million fund to study universal basic income over the next two years, Quartz reported.
Universal basic income provides every citizen with a standard set of money no matter their employment status. Research on the topic is sparse and so it remains to be seen whether the system could be successful and sustainable.
That’s why Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes along with Sam Altman, president of the start-up accelerator Y Combinator, and more than 100 other organizers have started a fund and are collecting donations to “research, experiment, and inspire others to think through how best to design cash programs that empower Americans to live and work in the new economy,” the organization’s “statement of belief” reads.
“In 1970, 92% of American 30-year-olds earned more than their parents did at a similar age…In 2014, that number fell to 51%,” Altman tweeted Thursday, citing a Wall Street Journal report on stagnating middle class wages.
There’s a sense of urgency given the coming Trump administration. The announcement comes exactly one month after the election of Donald Trump.
We have more questions than answers, Hughes, who most recently ran The New Republic magazine, told Quartz. But we do know we can unite around the fact that financial security should be a human right and cash is an underutilized tool.
Recipients of the research grants include American Center, Center for Popular Democracy, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the Roosevelt Institute and the Niskanen Center.