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“Uplift” Program By Harris County To Be Implemented As Its Universal Basic Income Pilot Program

“Uplift” Program By Harris County To Be Implemented As Its Universal Basic Income Pilot Program (Photo: ABC13)

A universal basic income pilot program called the “Uplift” program would be implemented in Harris County.

Harris County (Photo: Community Impact)

“Uplift” Program To Be Implemented In Harris County

A program similar to the UBI pilot programs being implemented in Democratic-run cities throughout the country is being advanced by Harris County as its “Uplift” program. However, the 18-month Uplift program sends certain people a $500 stipend every month with no conditions attached using $20.5 million of a $915 million COVID-19 federal assistance fund. These payments won’t have anything to do with the coronavirus, despite the government relief fund‘s requirement that money be used for coronavirus-related projects.

Sylvester Turner, the outgoing Democratic mayor of Houston, was one of the MGI (Mayors for A Guaranteed Income) group that vowed to look for ways to address poverty for lower-income class families. For more than two years, Turner has pushed for such a strategy. A similar strategy would be the Uplift program by Harris County.

Universal basic income pilot programs like the Uplift program have been sought by multiple states across the country last year. By December of last year, several economists came forward to argue that programs like the Uplift program should replace the subsidies that are already offered by the federal government in the near future. 

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Reason Behind The Implementation Of the Uplift Program

Since the county pilot program only covers those who dwell in the 10 most impoverished zip codes in Harris County and live at or below the poverty line by 200%, it is probable that the 1,500 persons getting the $500 payments are already recipients of other welfare programs. With that in mind, implementing the Uplift program would be added help to various families within the state.

In its annual report from last year, the Texas Public Policy Foundation noted that “during the previous ten years, local government budgets in the city of Houston and in Harris County expanded faster than the typical taxpayer‘s capacity to pay for them as measured by the rate of population growth plus inflation. This needless expansion of government has cost families, businesses, workers, and job seekers. With this in mind, a universal basic income pilot program like the Uplift program would be a huge help to the residents of Harris County, especially to low-income class families.

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