Most Americans oppose universal basic income, Pew Research poll shows

Aug. 20 (UPI) — Most Americans do not favor the notion of a universal basic income in the United States — an idea that’s gained more popularity amid post-COVID-19 economic challenges, a new survey shows.

Pew Research Center said its survey showed that 54% of respondents said they would oppose a universal income payment of $1,000 per month to U.S. adults, while 45% favored the idea.

The poll showed, however, that young Americans support the idea by a two-to-one margin.

Universal basic income was part of former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s campaign.

Yang argued that a universal income would protect American workers and provide more employment options and allow earners to return to school without entirely sacrificing a paycheck. Critics argue that a base payment would discourage some from looking for work.

Pew’s survey saw significant differences in support across age, racial and political groups.

About two-thirds of respondents aged 18-29 “strongly” or “somewhat” favor a universal income. More than half of all other age groups opposed the idea, including nearly three-quarters of the 65-and-older group.

Sixty-four percent of White Americans said they oppose basic income, while 73% of Black Americans and 63% of Hispanics favor the concept.

Politically, nearly 80% of Republicans oppose basic income and 66% of Democrats approve.

Pew Research polled more than 11,000 U.S. adults for the survey, which has a margin of error of 1.5 points.

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