American workers continue to work longer hours while their share of the nation’s wealth declines. The top 1% of income earners now control more wealth than everyone in the bottom 90%, and this issue becomes even more dire as automation continues to replace the manufacturing jobs upon which Americans have relied. Studies estimate that as many as 73 million Americans could lose their jobs to automation by 2030. Without drastic action, inequality will continue to increase, aggregate demand will decline, and Americans could be faced with another economic crisis.
Universal dividend–a policy making every citizen a shareholder in the returns of capital–offers us a chance to not only curb income inequality while improving quality of life, but also a means to stabilize our economy long-term. Providing all Americans a basic dividend to recycle back into the economy can help us face the challenges of automation and income inequality head-on, but we must put pressure on our elected officials to act. I urge you to contact the offices of Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman and U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan to ask them to introduce legislation to implement a national universal dividend program.