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- Billionaire Oligarchs want to redistribute YOUR wealth and pay tax money to people for not working.
(CNBC) - Many of the richest of the rich to tout the benefits of giving cash handouts to all American citizens, in part as a way to end poverty. The idea, called universal basic income (UBI), is for every individual to be paid a regular sum of money regardless of employment status.
One of the tech elite who has an interest in universal basic income is self-made multimillionaire and Y Combinator President Sam Altman. "Eliminating poverty is such a moral imperative and something that I believe in so strongly," Altman tells CNBC Make It.
"There's so much research about how bad poverty is. There's so much research about the emotional and physical toll that it takes on people.
So under Altman's leadership, Y Combinator, a top start-up investment and mentorship program, is doing an experiment to better understand UBI — giving the residents of Oakland, Calif. cash handouts to see how the money affects individuals' behavior. Y Combinator has hired a program director and the study is underway, but but Altman declines to share any further updates.
In recent months, tech billionaires Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Richard Branson have all publicly talked about universal basic income as a possible solution to both poverty and impending mass of unemployment as a result of automation and artificial intelligence.
Some have taken umbrage with the idea that titans of industry, from their thrones of extreme wealth, are taking pity on those whom they may well have exploited to get to the pinnacle of capitalism.
Altman himself sold his first company, Loopt, for more than $43 million. Since 2014, he has been running Y Combinator, which has the likes of Aribnb, Dropbox and Stripe in its portfolio. The combined valuation of the start-ups Y Combinator has funded is north of $80 billion.
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