Martin Luther King Jr. seemed to be pretty good at looking at the big picture and tried to push others to do the same. He was often discussing systemic causes of inequality and injustice. As such I wonder if he would have been a supporter of a Universal Basic Income (UBI). It is a relatively new idea to me, and I am no expert on MLK so I can’t say, but I suspect he would have been.
Update: someone chimed in, he was
My own experience points to poverty being a root cause of a lot of social ills, and our current economic systems and social safety nets do a woefully poor job of alleviating the problems, while the targeted nature of welfare programs tends to perpetuate some of the inequality and injustices MLK was so opposed to.
On the surface just giving people money struck me as just a terrible idea, and I assume a lot of people will have a similar knee jerk reaction, but after reading about it and thinking through some of the details it seems to have a lot more merit. Some of the articles linked to from here ought to make for some thoughtful contemplation. Basic Income FAQ