Hawaii Is Opening The Way For Universal Basic Income

Hawaii Is Opening The Way For Universal Basic Income

Hawaii has recently shown that it might be the U.S.’s most forward-thinking state. In June, it became the first state to accept the provisions of the Paris Climate Accord officially, after US President Donald Trump withdrew the nation from it. Now, the state congress has passed a bill for the support of universal basic income.

Innovation and forward-thinking might be Hawaii’s two biggest exports for 2017. After being the first in the U.S. to officially accept the provisions of the Paris Climate Agreement, Hawaii is currently taking the lead in embracing one more innovative idea: universal basic income (UBI).

Hawaii state representative Chris Lee wrote a Reddit post about House Concurrent Resolution 89, a bill he says he introduced to “start a conversation about our future.” According to Lee, “after much work and with the help of a few key colleagues, it passed both houses of the State Legislature unanimously.”

Lee also posted on Twitter:

Hawaii first state to declare everyone deserves basic financial security; begins eval of universal basic income #UBI https://t.co/RsvM95tEFs

— Chris Lee (@chrisleeforhi) June 15, 2017

The bill is divided into two major provisions. First of all, it states that all families in Hawaii are entitled to basic financial security. As Lee wrote: “As far as I’m told, it’s the first time any state has made such a pronouncement”. The second provision establishes numerous government offices “to analyze our state’s economy and find ways to ensure all families have basic financial security, including an evaluation of different forms of a full or partial universal basic income.”

Under a UBI program, each citizen is granted a fixed income that doesn't depend on their status in life. Despite the current focus on the concept, it isn’t particularly new. In fact, former U.S. President Richard Nixon floated the idea back in 1969.

Nevertheless, the benefits of this program have become more appealing considering recent technological advances, as the adoption of automated systems that could lead to widespread unemployment.


Hawaii might be the first U.S. state to pass any kind of UBI-positive legislation. However, several countries around the world are already testing this system. Finland started its two-year UBI pilot in 2016, while Germany has one as well. Canada plans to begin trials in Prince Edward Island (PEI) and Ontario, and India is now debating the merits of UBI.

Reference: Futurism

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Hawaii Is Opening The Way For Universal Basic Income Hawaii Is Opening The Way For Universal Basic Income Reviewed by Κατερίνα Παπ on 3:14 PM Rating: 5

7 comments

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