Political Rewind: Can guaranteed basic income programs help Georgians get out of poverty?
Amir Farokhi – Atlanta City Councilmember
Kyle Wingfield – CEO and President, Georgia Public Policy Foundation
Tamar Hallerman – Senior Reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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.
- The city's 60th mayor launched the $2.5 million dollar program in her last week in office.
- The program is funded largely with money from the development of the Centennial Yards project downtown.
- The program will distribute $500 per month to 300 low-income recipients for a year.
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.
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.
Tomorrow on Political Rewind:
The Atlanta Journal Constitution's politics reporter Greg Bluestein joins our panel.