Momentum for basic income builds as pandemic drags on

WASHINGTON — When the idyllic upstate city of Hudson, New York, launches its basic-income pilot program in late September, it will become one of the smallest U.S. cities to embrace a policy once seen as far-fetched or radical.“Basic-income” programs — designed to dole out direct cash payments to large swaths of people, no strings attached — were, until earlier this year, largely the realm of Washington, D.C., policy wonks and West Coast futurists.But amid the pandemic and a global recession, both basic income and a basket of related policies have gained unprecedented momentum, surfacing everyw…

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