Guaranteed Income

Direct Cash Payments in the Next Recession

12. 14. 2023

Monthly cash payments triggered by economic downturns until the national unemployment decreases, offering automatic relief during recessions.

This report was published by the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy at The New School.

Institute Senior Fellow Chris Hughes and co-authors Darrick Hamilton and Naomi Zewde propose a new, nationwide program of monthly cash payments that would automatically begin when economic indicators signal a recession and continue until the national unemployment rate begins to decrease. Building upon the successful pandemic direct cash payments which dramatically decreased poverty, this policy would provide automatic, monthly payments to working-class families at the first sign of recession, staving off unemployment and stabilizing families and the American economy. The report outlines key design features of a timely, effective, and anti-racist automatic cash payments policy and provides estimates of its benefits for families by race and income.