Being that we live in one of the richest countries in the world, it's difficult to understand how there are so many people who live below the poverty line in America.
With rising costs due to inflation and people's ability to keep up with everyday expenses due to the lack of income increases over time, many communities have been searching for new ways to help individuals and families make ends meet.
What Is Universal Basic Income?
According to Stanford University, Universal Basic Income is a regular cash payment to all members of a community, without a work requirement of other conditions.
Policies that have been using excess funds from a governments general fund and providing it to residents as a way to help supplement their income has been gaining speed all over the world.
Countries like Finland, Namibia, India, and Canada, along with major cities in America like Los Angeles been experimenting with this concept.
These programs have become so popular lately it seems that there are a number of cities in the Empire State that are looking into doing this, including one Western New York City.
Rochester Is Experimenting With Universal Basic Income
It looks as if the Flower City is the latest municipality that is looking into providing its residents with a set income that is available to them.
According to a report by WHAM-TV, Rochester, Mayor Malik Evans announced this new pilot program that would begin with approximately 350 families.
Rochester’s GBI program has the potential to create significant opportunities for our residents to not only survive, but to thrive... We continue to work to take our city from a poverty mindset to a prosperity mindset, and to prioritize the well-being and economic stability of our community. GBI is one more program helping to do that.
-Malik Evans, Mayor of Rochester, New York
Program documents state that there are no strings attached, no work requirements, and no restrictions on how the funds would be used.
Rochester is using funds it received as part of the federal American Rescue Plan and will cost taxpayers approximately $2.2 million to run this program. If its successful, city officials have stated they would look to expand the program.
You can find more information about this program here on the RBGI website.
What's Happening In Buffalo?
Not too long ago, officials from the City of Buffalo announced they were considering a similar program that would provide funds to people for a 2 year period, but so far nothing has come from that proposal.