Are pandemic relief checks making UBI inevitable?

Major crises can effect rapid changes in public opinion that otherwise would have required years or even decades to develop. Among the permanent opinion shifts of the COVID-19 pandemic, I expect to see a new — and perhaps even bipartisan — move toward universal basic income (UBI) or something like it, an evolution influenced by Americans’ experience with pandemic relief checks, both the fact of them and the drawn-out political fights surrounding their passage.

UBI is exactly what it sounds like: a government income program which is not tied to recipients’ employment (like unemployment insurance), age (like Social Security), income (like TANF),


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