Government

Facebook CEO calls for a universal basic income

Founder and chief executive of social media giant Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has suggested there should be a universal basic income for all people. This would allow people in society to take more risks, he said, allowing people more freedom to execute new ideas and business ventures, with the confidence that they won’t go without basic things needed to live.

The idea of a universal basic income (UBI) has been regularly suggested by technologists and people working in Silicon Valley. UBI would allow for mote redistributive policies, and would be important when automation starts to take people’s jobs.

Zuckerberg made the UBI suggestion during a speech at Harvard University. He spoke of how a universal basic income would be part of a “new social contract for our generation.”

Some speculated that the Facebook founder is laying the groundwork for a potential presidential run in the future. Zuckerberg has been on a tour around parts of the United States sharing his policy recommendations for improving society, but he has denied the rumors.

“We should have a society that measures progress not just by economic metrics like GDP, but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful,” said Zuckerberg. “We should explore ideas like universal basic income to give everyone a cushion to try new things.”

He continued, “We’re going to change jobs many times, so we need affordable child care to get to work and healthcare that aren’t tied to one company. We’re all going to make mistakes, so we need a society that focuses less on locking us up or stigmatizing us. And as technology keeps changing, we need to focus on continuous education throughout our lives.”

“And yes, giving everyone the freedom to pursue purpose isn’t free. People like me should pay for it,” said Zuckerberg. “Many of you will do well and you should too.”