Feb 3, 2017

India considers a minimum income for all

Tsering Topgyal / AP

India's chief economics adviser, Arvind Subramanian, is floating the idea of a Universal Basic Income, which would cost roughly 5% of India's GDP, paying out $113 to every citizen on biometric ID cards called Aadhaar. Such a scheme would require vast changes to Indian welfare programs, and consume roughly half the government's budget.

Don't get too worked up just yet: India won't be rolling out a UBI any time soon. As the Economist notes, Subramanian concedes that a UBI is "a powerful idea whose time even if not ripe for implementation is ripe for serious discussion."

Why this matters: There is a small but growing number of US economists, mainly liberals, who think some version of this might one day be needed here because so many jobs will be displaced by automation.

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Experimental coronavirus vaccine to be tested on humans

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The vaccine that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and drugmaker Moderna have been developing to combat the coronavirus is ready to be tested on humans, NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Wall Street Journal.

The state of play: The rapidly developed vaccine will be tested on 20–25 healthy volunteers in April to determine whether two doses will be safe and generate an immune response to protect against infection. Results will be available in July or August, Fauci told WSJ.

#MeToo gets Weinstein

A man carries out Weinstein's walker. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein is now a convicted rapist, two years and four months after accusations against him helped ignite the #MeToo movement.

Why it matters: To date, #MeToo has resulted in hundreds of powerful men losing their jobs. Seven have been criminally convicted, with four others still facing charges.