West revealed a 2018 conversation he had with Trump where the former president said: “Ye, my friend, my Black approval rating went up 40 per cent when you came to the White House.”
On the show, where the hosts and participants drink while shooting the breeze, West also branded himself “the king of culture.”
Universal Basic Income has been trialled before. In 2017, Finland gave 2,000 residents £490 a month for two years. West’s mooted scheme would dwarf the parsimonious Finns, with – and this is really trusting his numbers – an annual sum over 12 times greater.
People who participated in the Finnish trial said the money helped them have less mental strain, depression, and loneliness, and boosted their concentration. Imagine what 100 bags would do for you.
Subscribe to The Big Issue
Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work.
West’s idea of selling shares in himself is also not without precedent. A ‘human capital contract’, first proposed by economist Milton Friedman, is the idea that individuals can sell stocks in themselves to investors, to later repay dividends as they earn more and more.
However, West’s idea appears to be based more on the fact that he thinks he’s cool. “The richest man on the planet is Bernard Arnault. His last two employees used to work for me, so we have the biggest brand,” he told the podcast, adding that Gap’s stock jumped by 40 per cent soon after his 10-year partnership with the brand was announced.
In the UK, parliament’s Work and Pensions Committee poured cold water on the idea of a Universal Basic Income, saying it would be “extremely expensive.”