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Newark, New Jersey Considers Universal Basic Income

Newark, New Jersey Considers Universal Basic Income

Roughly one third of Newark’s 280,000 residents live in poverty, and Mayor Ras Baraka wants to solve that problem by giving everyone free money. 

During his state of the city address last week, Baraka said:

“We believe in universal basic income, especially in a time where studies have shown that families that have a crisis of just $400 a month may experience a setback that may be difficult, even impossible to recover from.”

Baraka announced the creation of a task force to study universal basic income and determine whether a pilot program in the city is possible, but did not say how the program would be funded or when it would start. Chicago is considering a similar program. 

Baraka also welcomed Freedom Paper – a company owned and employed by former prisoners – and warned businesses to spend and hire locally. “If you have not hired Newark employees then you are missing the boat,” he said. “If you are not spending money with local businesses then your use in our town in waning.”

Baraka’s ideas are in line with ridiculous proposals introduced by New Jersey Senator and former Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D), who wants to give every child born in the United States a bank account with $1,000.

Universal basic income is a socialist program designed to eliminate poverty by providing income to all residents regardless of employment status. Recipients can spend the money on anything they want. The immature concept has failed in experiments throughout the world, but people get so excited about the prospect of “free money” that they ignore the facts.

Immediate problems I see with the idea include:

  • The program, by definition, is not sustainable.
  • The program will discourage people from working.
  • Recipients could decide to spend their money in ways that do not benefit themselves or the economy.

Despite the facts, universal basic income is an idea that has been championed by Millennials and by Progressive Democrats such as Andrew Yang, a presidential hopeful who last week said he would personally provide income for poor families in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The money would help people improve their health, pay their debts, and reduce stress, he said.

Editor’s note: I remember seeing a well-attended presentation at an  economic conference about 15 years ago. I couldn’t  believe I was sitting in a conference room of over a hundred purported economists, and can’t do enough math to realize the ridiculousness of this.

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  1. Mika

    Welfare and free stuff doesn’t work it creates even more poverty

    • Philip Simon

      To Mayor Ras Baracka, where will the money come from? Can your Sanctuary city of slums, poverty, unemployment, despair, no hope, would it be not better for people to just leave.

    • Nellie

      Illegals in CA get Welfare and Pelosi set up driving license and DMV has voting documents. Not allowed to ask if illegal
      Voting Fraud should be investigated in CA.

  2. Seb

    Fine let the Democrats pay for It . Socialism doesn’t work…only jobs work, giving people Free money is ludicrous! Some people are just plain lazy and will not work period ! So let them work! We could help all these people instead of all the illegals swarming I to our Country ! Who really are the priority for Democrats?

  3. Ginny Rocco

    Who is kidding who. The money will be spent on drugs, TV, gold teeth, tattoos and gold jewelry. The more you give people free stuff the more they take advantage. Enough with the high taxes for people who work. Let these people get a job and let the gov’t than help them. Do you ever see what happens in a low income housing. People get cheap rent and destroy the place. When you work for something you take care of it.

    • Teresa

      Spot on. Free stuffs encourage people not to work and who will support them? People wake up. They will raise your taxes to support the lazy bums.

    • General Bull Krapper

      You got it on the head. The only businesses that will book are strip clubs, beer distributors & liquor stores.


  4. Bill

    Championed by the lazy and stupid is more like it.

  5. Seb

    Demonic Democrats! So Stupid !

  6. Jim S.

    What do you expect coming from a RAT Negro?

    • S L

      That was just plain nasty and racist. I’m black and I don’t support this ridiculous program. If you don’t work, you don’t eat, plain and simple.

  7. Onofre M. Magpayo

    Free stuff. Welcome illegal immigrants to New Jersey. Are you allowing them to vote on your reelection?
    I heard lately on the news that the now generation is the “E” generation. They all want free stuff because they are entitled to it. The school admission scandal is one of their entitlement. They learned nothing in high school to pass SAT and ACT test to get admitted to attend college that is why their parents have searched for the means illegally so that their “E” generation child can surely go to college of their choice.
    If people won’t want to work hard for their future and future accompanying need, is USA going to be the future North Venezuela?

  8. ED M

    I’m really surprised this idea didn’t come from the land of fruits and nuts, California !!

  9. Nellie

    Look what Castro did to Cuba! He took everything from the working people and sent them to FL, only clothes on their back and ID.