Plants growing on piles of money.
Credit: Nattanan Kanchanaprat, Canva

The Panel:

Amir Farokhi – Atlanta City Councilmember

Kyle Wingfield – CEO and President, Georgia Public Policy Foundation

Tamar Hallerman – Senior Reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 


The Breakdown: 

1. Where does Georgia stand in terms of income inequality?

  • After the passage of the Civil Rights Act, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began to advocate for a guaranteed annual income. He wrote about the matter in his 1967 book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
  • Georgia is among the top 15 states with the highest economic racial inequality when looking at income
  • The city of Atlanta leads the nation in income inequality and lack of economic mobility.

2. Keisha Lance Bottoms started a guaranteed basic income program before leaving her post as Atlanta Mayor. 


3. Another program will launch in Georgia and include residents of Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward neighborhood.

  • Councilman Amir Farokhi announced the "In Her Hands" program late last year.
  •  $13 million pilot is privately funded and one of the largest of its kind.

    •  For two years, $850 per month will supplement the income of 650 women who are at or below the federal poverty line. 

    • The program will also include locations in suburban Atlanta and Southwest Georgia.  

Farokhi responded to claims by critics of guaranteed basic income that recipients are unincentivized to find work.

4. Critics of the guaranteed income programs say recipients lose eligibility to other benefits.

  • They argue, the structure of our entire welfare system is predicated on the idea that recipients aren't working full time; if they were, they wouldn't qualify for many benefits in many cases.

Wingfield outlined some of the problems some welfare recipients face with their benefits.

Tomorrow on Political Rewind: 

The Atlanta Journal Constitution's politics reporter Greg Bluestein joins our panel.