We already have the tools to build a distribution system for an emergency world basic income. In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, a world basic income is more necessary than ever.
Universal basic income (UBI) is enough an alien concept that it still registers as “unthinkable” for most of the world, far outside the window of discourse. Although it dates as far back as the 1500s, its tacit implausibility (“free money?”) has stymied critical examination over the past few centuries. This creates an atmosphere in which governments are particularly resistant to UBI; the political machine is notoriously slow to adopt policies that suffer from poor comprehension in the public sphere. Nonetheless, in recent years a number of government-independent efforts have emerged attempting to bring these ideas to fruition.