Panel debates Universal Basic Income
By Ted Cox
CHICAGO — What’s so wrong with giving money to people who need it?
That was the basic question to start off “The Big Bet: Investing in People to End Poverty,” a panel discussion held Wednesday evening at the Metropolitan Planning Council in downtown Chicago.
“If people don’t have enough money to pay their bills, the easiest way to solve that is to give them money,” said Ameya Pawar, former Chicago alderman, who acted as moderator in the discussion. “And yet we can’t have a rational conversation about that because we always devolve into what will they do with the money? Will they spend the money properly — or whatever.”
“It’s funny that people with money think that people without don’t know what to do with it,” said Lauren Burns-Coady, strategic director of the Jain Family Institute Guaranteed Income Initiative, “but people with money also don’t know what to do without money.”
“When you give people money, won’t they stop working?” Ebony Scott, Chicago director of the Family Independence Initiative, said. “What we find is the answer is absolutely not.”