Biden rejects universal basic income idea popular in Silicon Valley

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Former Vice President Joe Biden is coming out against the universal basic income idea that is gaining traction in Silicon Valley and some European nations, arguing instead that the U.S. needs to “build a future that puts work first.”

“Our children and grandchildren deserve the promise we’ve had: the skills to get ahead, the chance to earn a paycheck, and a steady job that rewards hard work,” Biden wrote in a blog post for the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware.

Some prominent voices in the technology industry, such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff, have recently championed the idea of a universal basic income. Supporters of the idea have argued that a guaranteed income from the government could assist those who’ve lost their jobs due to technological advances.

But Biden said there’s a “better way forward,” calling for policymakers to prioritize employment.

{mosads}”While I appreciate concerns from Silicon Valley executives about what their innovations may do to American incomes, I believe they’re selling American workers short,” the former vice president wrote.

Biden, who has been floated as a possible 2020 presidential contender, is launching an initiative at his namesake institute at Delaware to come up with ideas to boost economic growth. He is speaking to CEOs in Washington, and he is also hosting a panel discussion in Delaware on Tuesday that will include Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

The Biden Institute plans to examine how to improve the education system to train and retrain people for jobs and how to ensure that workers continue to receive benefits and protections in an economy where the nature of work is different, the former vice president wrote.

“All of us together can make choices to shape a better future. Our workers, our businesses, our communities, and our nation deserves nothing less,” he wrote.

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