In brief

  • Two Democrats are proposing a bill that would provide each American with a $2,000 check.
  • The check would see Americans through the coronavirus pandemic.
  • It could set a precedent, argues the manager of a crypto VC fund.

Two Democrats have proposed a bill that, if passed, would send $2,000 each month to every American over 16 years old. 

Called the "Emergency Money for the People Act,” the bill, which was introduced on Tuesday by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) on Tuesday, would curb the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic that’s sweeping through the US. 

American adults have been given $1,200 checks. But Democrats argue this isn't enough. Image: Shutterstock.

The coronavirus relief money would be sent to Americans earning less than $130,000. Married couples earning less than $260,000 would receive at least $4,000, and families with up to three children would get an extra $500 per month per child. The unemployed would also be eligible. 

“The economic impact of this virus is unprecedented for our country. As millions of Americans file for unemployment week over week, we have to work quickly to patch the dam—and that means putting cash in the hands of hard-working families,” said Congressman Ryan.

The payments would end when national employment levels reach 60%. Over 20 million workers applied for unemployment benefits in the past month. March’s unemployment rate rose to 4.4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s an increase of 0.9%—the largest monthly increase since January 1975.

“A one-time, twelve hundred dollar check isn’t going to cut it,” added Congressman Khanna. Khanna’s comment is in reference to the CARES act, which provides each American with $1,200 to see them through the crisis.

Anthony Pompliano, co-founder and partner of crypto VC fund Morgan Creek Digital, commented, “Once they start, they’ll never stop.” 

Indeed, Spain’s plan to introduce universal basic income is not intended as a temporary measure. Its ambition is that it “stays forever, that becomes a structural instrument, a permanent instrument,” said Economy Minister Nadia Calvino in an interview with Spanish broadcaster La Sexta earlier this month. 

Will the US end up adopting universal basic income after all?