Universal basic income to get another test, in Kenya

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Universal basic income will get another test, this time in Kenya.

GiveDirectly will provide 6,000 rural Kenyans with $0.75 per day for the next dozen years.

That’s about half the adult income in Kenyan villages, according to Omidyar Network, which provided almost $500,000 towards the $30 million pilot.

The premise of universal basic income — that money to meet basic needs reduces the stress of poverty or under- and unstable employment — is being tested from Finland to San Francisco.

Tesla’s Elon Musk last week said such support is necessary because, “There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better.”

In Kenya, basic income addresses not only poverty but “premature deindustrialization” in a region where globalization and automation mean manufacturing jobs may never come.

Photo credit: Amit Dave/Reuters