Chicago may soon become the largest municipality in the U.S. to test a universal basic income program.
Chicago alderman Ameya Pawar recently proposed legislation that would provide 1,000 families with a $500 monthly stipend — no questions asked. The bill already has the backing of the majority of city lawmakers, and Pawar hopes to soon work with Mayor Rahm Emanuel to implement the pilot program, The Intercept reported.
“Nearly 70 percent of Americans don’t have $1,000 in the bank for an emergency,” Pawar told the outlet. “UBI could be an incredible benefit for people who are working and are having a tough time making ends meet or putting food on the table at the end of the month.”
He took his idea to Twitter and was almost immediately flamed by people with functioning brains.
My legislation calling for the creation of a Chicago #UniversalBasicIncome pilot has 36 co-sponsors! On to the Commitee on Workforce Development and Audit. Committee chair @40thWard is also a sponsor. More soon! #UBI pic.twitter.com/W7D5Hbx31E
— Ameya Pawar (@Ameya_Pawar_IL) June 27, 2018
— overpasses4America (@o4america) July 17, 2018
What a horrible idea!!!! you should take the $500 x 1000=$500K and put that towards fighting the crime that is terrorizing your city. Socialism does not work.
— Rob Bell (@RSBase) July 17, 2018
We already have universal basic income – its called welfare and its an abysmal failure at reducing poverty
— Brian Wilson (@criticalmach) July 17, 2018
Uh…yeah…much better than cleaning up your city and making it attractive to businesses so people who want to work can find work. #FailedLiberalPolicies
— NoHopeWithoutChange 🇺🇸 (@without_change) July 17, 2018
Things like this create an "entitlement mentality" which attracts the necessity to create more entitlement programs!
— RandoCommando (@ChasinHolly) July 17, 2018
It goes on and on and on…
Pawar campaigned to earn a slot on the ballot for Illinois governor, but withdrew his name from contention after being outspent by his opponents, the outlet reported.
In addition to the $500, the bill would adjust the Earned Income Tax Credit program to allow the families to put their tax credit toward their monthly mortgage payment, according to the outlet.
Pawar cited automation, with companies such as Amazon, Tesla and other car manufacturers investing in the technology as having the potential to disrupt millions of jobs, that in turn would lead to more political destabilization, according to the outlet.
Chicago wouldn’t be the only city testing the waters to give residents free money.
Stockton, California has also proposed a universal basic income program with the backing of wealthy Silicon Valley moguls that will pay 100 residents $500 a month without any conditions. The program’s purpose is to eventually ensure that no one in Stockton, with a population of 300,000, lives in poverty.
The program, which allows the 100 lucky residents to use the money for anything they want, will launch in 2019 and last 18 months before officials decide whether to roll out the program citywide.
Meanwhile, for the last 15 years, Democrats have attempted to build a school in the city’s Dunning neighborhood.
It is finally underway with an unusual complication: Construction workers are taking careful steps to avoid disturbing human remains that may lie beneath the soil.
The $70 million school is to be built on the grounds of a former Cook County Poor House where an estimated 38,000 people were buried in unmarked graves. Among the graveyard dead are residents who were too poor to afford funeral costs, unclaimed bodies and patients from the county’s insane asylum.
“There can be and there have been bodies found all over the place,” said Barry Fleig, a genealogist and cemetery researcher who began investigating the site in 1989. “It’s a spooky, scary place.”
Workers have until April 27 to excavate and clear the graveyard site, remediate the soil and relocate an existing sewer line.
The soon to be haunted school is scheduled to open in time for the 2019-20 academic year, though a spokesperson for Chicago Public Schools would not say what type of school it will be.
A sign on the northeast corner of Oak Park Avenue and Irving Park Road reads “Building a New Chicago” to announce the upcoming Read Dunning School at 4071 N. Oak Park Ave.
While the site contracts indicate it will be a middle school, Ald. Nicholas Sposato, 38th, said he is confident the campus will be either a new four-year high school for the Dunning neighborhood or a freshman academy for Taft High School, reports the Chicago Tribune.
“I’m sure they’re gonna be on top of some graves, but this is progress,” Sposato said. “It’s an economic boom for the community.”
A CPS spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment, but the district is expected to announce plans for the school in the fall.
Fleig said he’s “nearly certain” there are no intact caskets buried in the graveyard that is the proposed school grounds — bodies were primarily buried in two formal cemeteries, though scattered human remains have been discovered during previous construction projects near the campus.
Children, patients from an infirmary and a tuberculosis hospital, victims of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and Civil War veterans were laid to rest in what is known as the Dunning grounds, a 320-acre stretch on the city’s Northwest Side.
In 1854, the county opened a poorhouse and farm and gradually added an insane asylum, infirmary and tuberculosis hospital to the property. At its peak, a thousand people were buried on the grounds each year.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
July 17th, 2018