Free Money at the Edge of the Tech Boom - The Atlantic
a strain of African American thought expressed by no less a leader than Martin Luther King Jr. “The solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income,” King argued in 1967. Though Tubbs didn’t mention them, the previous year, the Black Panthers came out with their famous 10-Point Program. And there it is in point number two: “We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every man employment or a guaranteed income.”
Perhaps it’s not surprising that different black thinkers in the 1960s came to the conclusion that a guaranteed income would be an effective way to fight the poverty that resulted from structural racism. They’d just seen a generation of federal programs make white Americans much, much wealthier, while also seeing how those same policies discriminated against them. The big programs that were created during the New Deal were boxed in by what historian Ira Katznelson calls “the Southern cage.” In exchange for creating socialistic Federal programs, the then-Democrats of the south required policies that would reinforce the racial hierarchy of the country.