Andrew Yang ran for president on the single issue of universal basic income (UBI), which then seemed like a reasonably fringe idea. Months later, the government sent out $1,200 checks to millions of Americans devastated by the economic downturn, in a move that vaguely resembled Yang’s concept of a “Freedom Dividend.”
In reaction to the pandemic-produced recession, a number of nongovernmental, philanthropic cash relief programs have sprung up, including The $1K Project which has just partnered with Yang. Started by venture capital investors Alex Iskold and Minda Brusse, the initiative is a direct-giving service that matches “trusted” cash donors to those in current economic distress—and whose needs were not met by the government’s paltry actions.
So, in April, Iskold thought: “What if, instead of waiting for the government to provide aid, we could just get Americans who have the means, to help families who are devastated by this pandemic?”