Los Angeles UBI stunt to generate more headlines than results – Daily News


Ever since Governor Gavin Newsom’s March 4, 2020 declaration of emergency plunged the state of California, its 58 counties and 400+ cities into a pandemic pandemonium, the government has been operating like a demented game show.

First, people are drawn into incredibly difficult, sometimes slimy, circumstances. Then the government reads the rules of the game, which nobody understands. Then the money is given to the winners. Losers get a nice farewell gift, like a fine of several thousand dollars, a fabulous lawsuit, or an all-expense paid trip to the pharmacy to get prescription antidepressants.

It has become normalized, this idea that the government has to roam the landscape by fining people who are bold enough to be in business (what were they thinking?)

Now we have a new game in the city of Los Angeles called BIG: LEAP. It is the acronym for Basic Income Guaranteed: Los Angeles Economic Assistance Pilot.

No television network would take over this pilot. Not when they saw the budget.

This just announced city program will randomly select “approximately” 3,000 winners from eligible applicants who complete the entry form. Lucky players will receive $ 1,000 per month for 12 months, spread over debit cards that can be reloaded monthly. Just like a lottery, the program will not ask any questions or impose any requirements on how the money can be spent.

No-questions-asked politics are new to Los Angeles. If you’re a business owner, you can’t even set up a table outside without having a bureaucratic colonoscopy.

But that’s another spectacle.

To be eligible for the BIG: LEAP, you must complete a form indicating that you reside in LA, are 18 years of age or older, have at least one dependent child, or are currently a pregnant person, that your income is at or below the federal poverty line and you have experienced economic or medical hardship related to COVID-19.

How it will all be verified is open to question. Maybe EDD has a user manual that can help you.

Either way, “approximately” 3,000 lucky winners will each receive $ 12,000 from the City of Los Angeles treasury.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is still there despite a free trip to India, said the BIG: LEAP “describes perfectly what we are doing here in Los Angeles because we are ending poverty and breaking our addiction to poverty here. in the USA. Because we have taken a big step in the battle between the generations.

Are we ending poverty?

Let’s all do the math together. The population of the city of Los Angeles is approximately 4 million and the poverty rate, according to the US Census Bureau, is approximately 20%. This represents approximately 800,000 people living in poverty in Los Angeles.

BIG: LEAP will not end poverty. He’s going to spend about $ 40 million to temporarily alleviate poverty in 3,000 households, but the money comes from Los Angeles taxpayers, who have their own bills to pay. Even if all the academics, sociologists and politicians who “study” this pilot program come to the studious and grotesque conclusion that giving people money makes them less poor, there will never be enough other people’s money to expand. this program and “end poverty”.

The eligibility rules for BIG: LEAP define income as “your family’s annual income (including pre-tax income and cash benefits, such as labor income, Calworks, child support, security income). social, disability, pension, unemployment, general relief, veterans benefits, etc. Do NOT include section 8, CalFresh or WIC). You can see that the list includes a number of past efforts to end poverty.

But social protection programs do not end poverty. They help people who are in bad circumstances, and that is extremely important. But what is it that puts an end to bad circumstances?

The answers will vary depending on the circumstances, but one way to end poverty is to increase opportunities for good paying jobs.

Yet Los Angeles is doing nothing to encourage businesses to locate within city limits. Instead, it pushes back and chases businesses with its gross revenue tax and other harassment.

At this rate, the city might run out of cute farewell gifts.

Write to Susan Shelley: [email protected] and follow her on Twitter: @Susan_Shelley.

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