Can you imagine if we rebuilt rural America? Can you imagine all those shuttered up small towns coming back to life after countless decades of decline? Can you imagine people (maybe even you) being able to live in places far from job centers while maintaining a high quality of life?
These utopian ideas kept popping up in my head as I was reading the below Twitter thread from Andrew Yang supporter Hailey Kelly who is an artist and educator based in rural New Mexico. It’s a great read and demonstrates just how transformative Universal Basic Income could be for those choosing to live lives removed from big city life:
One of the biggest problems facing #ruralamerica is brain drain. Young people cannot afford to stay in the rural communities where they are born and raised, and as such leave for bigger cities that have available jobs.— Hailey Kelly (@nounnumber) June 16, 2019
A #UBI, even if small, is one of the first good steps towards stopping the youth drain from small towns, especially farming and ranching communities. Urban Democrats have suggested a guaranteed jobs package which does not address this problem.— Hailey Kelly (@nounnumber) June 16, 2019
There is not shortage of jobs in #ruralamerica. As of this moment I can think of no less than 50 things that I have to help my community get done. The problem is that there is not enough money to pay for labor, so most of the work that I do is done on a steep discount.— Hailey Kelly (@nounnumber) June 16, 2019
A #UBI would allow me to hire assistants and pay them, while allowing other people in my community to reach out for services.— Hailey Kelly (@nounnumber) June 16, 2019
My #ruralcommunity is on the road to a tourist destination but tourists don't stop here unless they are fueling up their cars. From the roadside you cannot see that my community is rich in culture. That my community works hard.— Hailey Kelly (@nounnumber) June 16, 2019
Since tourists aren't stopping there isn't much in the way of outside income reaching our town. We don't even have a grocery store. The extra money that a #UBI would bring in would allow for us to have a grocery store, for us to buy the produce that we grow.— Hailey Kelly (@nounnumber) June 16, 2019
Many families are on welfare, but that doesn't help them. You can't buy eggs from your neighbor with food stamps. You can't buy a head of cattle with food stamps. #ruralamerica can be self sufficient with a #UBI.— Hailey Kelly (@nounnumber) June 16, 2019
But we don't have things like #publictransportation. 600 people like in my canyon alone-- if we didn't have to drive 2 hours round trip to buy groceries we would cut down on emissions. If we could shop at our farmers market we wouldn't have to go to #walmart.— Hailey Kelly (@nounnumber) June 16, 2019
@andrewyang needs the voices of #ruralamerica to tell their stories. No other candidate understands why our economic situation is what it is, and that's why we need to talk to our friends and neighbors and get the word out about his campaign.— Hailey Kelly (@nounnumber) June 16, 2019
Andrew Yang took notice:
Thank you Hailey 👍🙏— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) June 18, 2019
Rural communities feed our country and countries across the world, it’s about time these most overlooked people get treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.
Andrew Yang’s Universal Basic Income policy called the Freedom Dividend and his other incredibly well thought out policies are the tide that will lift all boats in our country. It’s a future within reach, all we have to do now is take it.
Image Via Pixabay