Facebook (Maybe Trump, Too) Is Making ‘Universal Basic Income’ a Reality in Covid-19

Facebook is giving a $1,000 bonus to full-time employees, who earned a median income of $228,651 in 2018.

The Trump administration is considering a plan to give $1,000 to every American household to get through the coronavirus pandemic. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Who would have thought that former presidential candidate Andrew Yang‘s far-fetched proposal to hand every American a monthly universal basic income of $1,000 would become a reality in some corners of the country in the time of a pandemic?

On Tuesday, Facebook (META) said it will give a $1,000 bonus to its 45,000 employees worldwide to help them get through the coronavirus outbreak. The news was first reported by The Information, citing an internal memo sent by CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

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Facebook said the bonus is meant to cover extra expenses incurred by employees who are working remotely, such as setting up home offices and childcare spending.

However, those who most need the emergency fund will be left out of the program. Facebook said the bonus will only be available to full-time employees, not contractors. The company explained that contractor workers will keep receiving hourly wages despite reduced work hours, “which as you can imagine is much more meaningful than a one off payment,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Intercept.

Facebook’s full-time employees were paid a median annual salary $228,651 in 2018, according to the company’s latest SEC filing.

Outside Facebook’s exceptionally well paid workforce, the White House is mulling a similar move to give $1,000 to some Americans to ease the economic shock of Covid-19. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he is in talks with congressional leaders to put together an enforceable plan.

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is proposing giving $2,000 per household every month. “We need to provide a direct $2,000 cash payment to every household in America for the duration of the crisis to provide them with the assistance they need to pay their bills and take care of their families,” Sanders said during a livestream event on Tuesday.

Facebook (Maybe Trump, Too) Is Making ‘Universal Basic Income’ a Reality in Covid-19