Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg pledged his support to universal basic income during his Harvard commencement speech on Thursday, saying that the rich should pay for it.
Zuckerberg discussed the basic income system in a speech to his former university, where he famously invented an early version of the social network that we now know as Facebook. Speaking to the crowd, he said: “We should have a society that measures progress not just by economic metrics like GDP, but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful.” He continued:”We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”
Universal basic income is a proposed system that would seek to eradicate material poverty, by way of providing a basic income to every member of society. It is believed that this would ensure that all citizens could contribute to society in a meaningful way, and that it would negate the effect of threats to the job market and limit the impact of unemployment.
With unemployment continuing to be a major issue in the modern day and conventional means to prevent it proving ineffectual, universal basic income is a system that is gaining major support from the tech world’s brightest minds. Zuckerberg made his opinion on the system clear during his speech: “We should have a society that measures progress not just by economic metrics like GDP, but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful,” he said. “We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”
Zuckerberg then explained that he would personally help make the basic income a reality, while encouraging Harvard students to do the same in the future. “Giving everyone the freedom to pursue purpose isn’t going to be free,” he said. “People like me should pay for it, and a lot of you are going to do really well, and you should, too.”
Watch the commencement address below, with Zuckerberg appearing at around the 1:38:00 mark: