There has been a recent trend of technology titans sharing a common interest in giving Americans cash handouts.
Stewart Butterfield, the CEO and co-founder of the workplace chat program Slack, is the newest member of the trend. The self-made multi-millionaire is reportedly seeking to raise $500 million at a $5 billion valuation.
Butterfield co-founded Flickr which sold to Yahoo for an impressive $35 million. He joins Tesla’s Elon Musk, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Y-Combinator’s Sam Altman who all say “society will both need and benefit from universal basic income (UBI), a guaranteed cash payment given to every resident irrespective of employment status.”
Butterfield tweeted that it “doesn’t have to be much, but giving people even a very small safety net would unlock a huge amount of entrepreneurialism… If you can’t afford to take any risks, you generally won’t take any risks. Also, not just new billion dollar cos: a 100k co is huge for most.”
Others like Mark Zuckerberg have expressed their opinions on the matter. Zuckerberg made the following statement about the importance of having a financial cushion and noted the state-wide cash handout program in Alaska:
“If I had to support my family growing up instead of having time to code, if I didn’t know I’d be fine if Facebook didn’t work out, I wouldn’t be standing here today. Now it’s our time to define a new social contract for our generation. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to give everyone a cushion to try new things… Seeing how Alaska put this dividend in place reminded me of a lesson I learned early at Facebook: organizations think profoundly differently when they’re profitable than when they’re in debt. When you’re losing money, your mentality is largely about survival.”
Although they are already wealthy individuals, these tech leaders have showed a similar interest in helping the general public with the idea of cash handouts. And one doesn’t have to look far to know that there are many Americans who could use the help.