News

U.S.

Chicago Will Explore Universal Basic Income

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel during an interview at City Hall in Chicago, Ill., June 14, 2017. (Joshua Lott/Reuters)

Outgoing Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to create a task force to explore the implications of implementing a universal-basic-income program to counteract the city’s rising poverty rates, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday.

Universal basic income, which refers to a no-strings-attached monthly payment made to struggling families, has increasingly gained support among urban progressives in recent years as automation and the offshoring of manufacturing jobs reduce low-skill-employment opportunities.

North Side alderman Ameya Pawar introduced a resolution in June that would pay 1,000 Chicago families $500 per month to offset the cost of groceries and housing, absent any prerequisites.

“Chicago would be the largest city in the country to take this step,” said Pawar, who stipulated that the task force will examine all options rather than relying on her resolution as a framework. “I think the mayor sees this as a chance to lead the way as cities try to grapple with poverty and income inequality at a time the federal government is not addressing those things. This would be a legacy issue [for him].”

Pawar told the Tribune that she will chair the task force along with Service Employees International Union Local 1 president Tom Balanoff and Celena Roldan, the CEO of the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. It is set to issue a report on its findings in “a few months.”

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Making Sense of the Iran Chaos

One would prefer that correct decisions be made according to careful, deliberate plan. But a correct decision made impulsively, through a troubling process, is still nonetheless correct, and so it is with Donald Trump’s decision to refrain from military action against Iran. The proposed strike would represent a ... Read More
Film & TV

Murder Mystery: An Old Comedy Genre Gets Polished Up

I  like Adam Sandler, and yet you may share the sense of trepidation I get when I see that another of his movies is out. He made some very funny manboy comedies (Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy) followed by some not-so-funny manboy comedies, and when he went dark, in Reign over Me and Funny People, ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Pro-Abortion Nonsense from John Irving

The novelist has put up a lot of easy targets in his New York Times op-ed. I am going to take aim at six of his points, starting with his strongest one. First: Irving asserts that abortion was legal in our country from Puritan times until the 1840s, at least before “quickening.” That’s an overstatement. ... Read More