Silicon Valley’s Unchecked Arrogance
Ross Baird

UBI is being increasingly recognized throughout the world as the most efficient system for getting the poor out of the poverty trap and making sure they have food, clothing, and shelter. Just because it’s coming out of Silicon Valley doesn’t make it any less valid. Finland and Switzerland are proposing and voting on it this year in that order.

How about evaluating an idea on its merits? There are a lot of messy social projects out there, and getting people ownership and additional motivation is important. But making sure they can eat is the FIRST concern. Although Maslow’s hierarchy is useful ONLY as a qualitative, relative model, the point that all the basic human needs (food, shelter, clothing) have to be satisfied FIRST before dealing with the larger issues.

The most important secondary issue is affordable housing in urban areas.

It’s the freaking height of arrogance to criticize UBI because it has nothing to do with Silicon Valley, and frankly nothing to do with throwing crumbs to the poor and prevent them from storming the castle. Fixing messy social problems START with ensuring people have access to food and a place to sleep. The research and social policies of the Bush administration CLEARLY proved the importance of Housing First policies in successfully provisioning mental health care and substance abuse treatment, and UBI goes a long way to starting that process