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Half of Americans like universal basic income—and they want AI companies to pay for it

February 1, 2018

A recent Gallup poll found that 48 percent of Americans see guaranteed income as a solution for helping workers displaced by automation.

Partisan divide: Support for the issue varies greatly between political parties—while 65 percent of Democrats support it, only 28 percent of Republicans are on board (not exactly a shocker).

Show me the money: Still, of those in favor, only 45 percent were willing to pay higher taxes to fund such a program. Most people expected businesses that have adopted AI—and, presumably profited from that adoption—to provide the money.

But: Asking businesses to foot the bill for their own innovation is going to be a hard sell. As for whether universal basic income even works, a new 12-year study started by MIT Sloan will give us a good clue. As we have said before, when you look closely, there are some major flaws in the idea.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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