- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A San Francisco-based group will pay a man $1,250 per month for doing nothing as a means of showing lawmakers the potential of “basic income.”

My Basic Income held a $15,000 raffle May 31 that a man named Edwin from Sarasota, Fla., won. He is the first recipient of the grant, which was spearheaded by co-founders Cameron Ottens and Gregory Tippett.

“Our mission is to create a world of universal prosperity and innovation, by ensuring basic economic security. No one should be held back from their aspirations, passions, and dreams,” the advocacy group says on its website. “We believe that advocating for, and experimenting with Basic Income is the best way to practically tackle the problem of economic insecurity and advance our mission.”

Messrs. Ottens and Tippett were able to raise the first year’s allocation of basic income through a successful crowd-funded Indiegogo campaign. The experiment is based on similar efforts in Germany (Mein Grundeinkommen), which have been underway since 2014.

“This is an unconditional grant for Edwin,” Mr. Ottens said in a statement, Tech Insider reported Tuesday. “He gets it whether or not he wants to talk to press, support our cause, or become an activist himself.”

Edwin declined to speak to the press about his participation in the program, the website reported.

My Basic Income’s official website and its Indiegogo campaign did not specifically address the economics of implementing such a policy on a national level. The U.S. debt as a June 2016 totals over $19 trillion.

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