Even Republicans have toyed with a guaranteed income concept. Senator Mitt Romney co-sponsored a bill in December with Democrat Michael Bennet that would offer parents $1,000 for every child they have under 18 and $1,500 for children younger than seven.

"I love all of these approaches I think they're all pushing us in the right direction," Yang said Wednesday. “I obviously prefer a dividend for the simplicity and impact."

The longer that UBI remains a part of the political discussion, the greater the likelihood that related ideas like these will continue to emerge, said Foster. “A whole lot of people are thinking about what an income floor could mean in America today thanks to the fact that he's running for president,” she argued. “That means that we have to take our policy differences even more seriously as the idea gets bigger. And that is what primaries are for.”

(Disclaimer: Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. He is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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