In this episode, which initially aired last October, Jim and Owen answer listener questions from how to pay for basic income, which country will implement a basic income first and how we will get there. You can send your questions to the Universal Income Project on Facebook or Twitter, or tweet at Owen (@owenpoindexter) or Jim (@dr_pugh).
Jim continues the discussion started on the Intelligence Squared debate over basic income with Jared Bernstein, who argued against the basic income. Bernstein explains various concerns he has with the concept, focusing on existing social programs, and a similarly radical proposal: a jobs guarantee. Bernstein is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and served as Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden from 2009-2011.
Most arguments against the basic income can be summed up in two words: “status quo.” Owen and Jim explore the thinking behind some of the most common objections to the basic income and why these arguments are understandable but ultimately shortsighted.
Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Co-director of Caring Across Generations, and MacArthur Genius Award recipient discusses the challenges faced by domestic workers in the U.S. and how a basic income could dramatically change things in that space.
Momentum is building in Scotland to explore basic income as a policy that can be a centerpiece of the modern social contract. While automation is often mentioned as a catalyzing force in the basic income discussion, Scotland is looking at the policy more from a social justice angle. In this episode, Owen interviews the Head of RSA Scotland and Board Member of Citizens Basic Income Network Scotland, Jamie Cooke.
A universal basic income would have myriad interactions with existing markets, and one that is worth thorough consideration is the housing market. Laurie Macfarlane, Senior Economist at the New Economics Foundation, recent speaker at TEDxTotnes, and co-author of the book ‘Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing’ joined the podcast to discuss the various factors within the housing market and what they could mean for basic income. Macfarlane proposes a method to share wealth from rising land values, based on the Alaska Permanent Fund.
An exciting new experiment, led by Greg Duncan of UC Irvine, is launching to explore how cash transfers affect early childhood on biological, cognitive, and social metrics. Duncan joined the podcast to discuss the motivation for the experiment, what it will study, and the research to date on poverty and children.
Recently, there have been a lot of media reports on Finland’s basic income trial, some stating that it is ending, that it failed, or something along those lines. The reality is much different. To get an understanding of what’s actually going on, and what caused all those news stories, Owen spoke with Aleksi Neuvonen, cofounder of Demos Helsinki.
The basic income conversation is alive and well in India, particularly in the wake of an analysis conducted by the The Indian Ministry of Finance’s 2016–17 Economic Survey. Saksham Khosla, a Research Analyst at Carnegie India in New Delhi, discusses the Ministry of Finance’s proposal, and the various issues to be tackled in considering a basic income program for India. Khosla describes the unique challenges of creating a social safety net for a country of over 1.3 billion people.
While basic income is often described as a revolutionary proposal, we do have programs in the federal government and some U.S. states that contain elements of a basic income, namely the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The California Budget & Policy Center (CBPC) has studied the effects of the EITC, and what it might look like to expand the program to something resembling a basic income. Jim and Owen are joined by Senior Policy Analysts at the CBPC, Alissa Anderson and Sara Kimberlin.
With a recent proposal for universal basic income by Australia’s Green Party, the debate over the policy is alive and well down under. Owen and Jim spoke with Emma Dawson, Executive Director of Per Capita, a progressive think tank in Australia. Dawson is a strong supporter of Australia’s social programs but is skeptical that universal basic income is right for her country.
What would it take to truly prepare the U.S. for the potential of widespread technological unemployment and invest in people in a way that allows them to really reach their potential? These questions and some novel answers inspired Venture for America founder Andrew Yang to run for president: he is a declared candidate for the 2020 election. Jim interviewed Yang at an event in San Francisco on his candidacy, vision, and the political path forward for basic income.
To understand our current anti-poverty measures and the full impact of a basic income, we need to understand the values and assumptions embedded in the safety net right now. In this episode, Owen discusses these issues with Almaz Zelleke, Associate Professor of Political Science at NYU Shanghai, who is working on a book on the ethics of basic income in the U.S.
We hear a lot about basic income having bipartisan support, with Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. and Milton Friedman frequently cited together as supporters on opposite sides of the aisle. However, there is also a counter narrative that suggests the progressive and libertarian visions of basic income are too different to be reconciled. In this episode, Owen and Jim delve into how basic income appeals to a politically diverse coalition and how it doesn’t.
The District of Columbia recently commissioned a study on various ways to address poverty, including a negative income tax and a minimum guaranteed income. Jim and Owen spoke with DC Councilmember David Grosso, Council Budget Director Jen Budoff, and the two primary authors of the study, Susanna Groves and John MacNeil, to discuss the findings of the study and its implications.
This week’s guest is Chris Hughes, cofounder of Facebook and the Economic Security Project, and author of the recently released book Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn. Chris discusses how he came to recognize the power of cash transfers, and his experience going from growing up in a low-income family to becoming very wealthy through Facebook. He also lays out his plan to provide financial security to every working American.
How would universal basic income impact the economy? The Roosevelt Institute has done numerous analyses on how unconditional cash transfers could affect the economy at various levels and program designs. Rakeen Mabud, Program Director of the Roosevelt Institute, joins the podcast to discuss these analyses and what they mean for the wider basic income conversation.
Two weeks ago at the annual California Democratic Convention, the party adopted a new platform that includes universal basic income as a policy it supports. Rocky Fernandez, Region 5 Director for the CA Democratic Party, joins the Basic Income Podcast to discuss how this happened and what it means for basic income in California.
Jess Bartholow of the Western Center on Law & Poverty joins the podcast to discuss the Trump Administration’s proposal to cut SNAP (aka food stamps) and replace some cash benefits with a food delivery program. Bartholow discusses the research on SNAP and why basic income advocates should oppose these changes.
Basic income made headlines last week with a proposal by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) to create a United Kingdom Opportunity Fund, which would pay unconditional cash to all British residents under 55. Anthony Painter, Director of the RSA Action and Research Center, joined Jim and Owen to discuss the proposal and the state of politics around basic income in the UK.