In a method sure to rock orthodox economic thinking, West said he’d do it by going public to raise $1 trillion.
“Imma go public, I have the biggest brand on the planet with Yeezy, with DONDA,” billionaire West told Revolt’s Drink Champs podcast.
A Universal Basic Income is a no-strings-attached income for all, given as a regular payment to ensure a minimum income in society.
“If everybody has $100,000 a year…it changes what we value,” West said. Some back-of-the-napkin maths reveals he hopes to provide for 10 million people.
Kanye West wants to go public for $1 trillion and create a UBI. pic.twitter.com/qDGir6dezd— UBI Works (@ubi_works) November 12, 2021
Along with his grand economic vision, West used his appearance on the show to share the fact Donald Trump apparently addresses him as “Ye”.
West revealed a 2018 conversation he had with Trump where the former president said: “Ye, my friend, my Black approval rating went up 40 per cent when you came to the White House.”
On the show, where the hosts and participants drink while shooting the breeze, West also branded himself “the king of culture.”
Universal Basic Income has been trialled before. In 2017, Finland gave 2,000 residents £490 a month for two years. West’s mooted scheme would dwarf the parsimonious Finns, with – and this is really trusting his numbers – an annual sum over 12 times greater.
People who participated in the Finnish trial said the money helped them have less mental strain, depression, and loneliness, and boosted their concentration. Imagine what 100 bags would do for you.
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West’s idea of selling shares in himself is also not without precedent. A ‘human capital contract’, first proposed by economist Milton Friedman, is the idea that individuals can sell stocks in themselves to investors, to later repay dividends as they earn more and more.
However, West’s idea appears to be based more on the fact that he thinks he’s cool. “The richest man on the planet is Bernard Arnault. His last two employees used to work for me, so we have the biggest brand,” he told the podcast, adding that Gap’s stock jumped by 40 per cent soon after his 10-year partnership with the brand was announced.
In the UK, parliament’s Work and Pensions Committee poured cold water on the idea of a Universal Basic Income, saying it would be “extremely expensive.”