How much would a basic income in the United States actually cost? What are the most common mistakes people make when calculating a basic income? To answer these questions, we spoke with Karl Widerquist, who has been studying and writing about basic income for three decades. Widerquist recently published a “back of the envelope” calculation on basic income which produced some surprising results.
As basic income becomes more of a topic in the media, it is finding its way into electoral politics as well. Owen and Jim speak with Detroit mayoral candidate Ingrid LaFleur, who included basic income as a key plank in her platform. LaFleur offers advice on how to approach a race as a basic income candidate, and shares some surprising reactions she got on the campaign trail.
Three years ago, few people had even heard of universal basic income. Now interest is growing across the country, and the idea is getting more exposure and support. What led to this shift? Owen and Jim delve into many of the factors at play, and discuss how we can take advantage of this moment.
One of the most popular stepping-stone policies towards universal basic income is the carbon dividend, which takes revenue from a cap-and-trade system and distributes it equally to everyone. Peter Barnes, pioneer of the carbon dividend, joins the Basic Income Podcast to discuss his inspiration for the policy and how it could move us closer to basic income.
When considering the impact of basic income, we usually think of it as a standalone policy — but there’s nothing stopping us from imagining UBI as one piece of a larger policy framework. In this episode, Marina Gorbis, Executive Director of Institute for the Future, shares her perspective on a comprehensive framework for the future: Universal Basic Assets.
California may be poised to take the next big step towards universal basic income, by establishing a universal dividend fund through a proposed reform of the state’s cap-and-trade system. State Senator Bob Wieckowski, author of the bill, spoke to Owen and Jim about the motivation behind the legislation and what it’ll take to get it passed.
We are watching the economy change before our eyes, and Zipcar Cofounder Robin Chase has been at the forefront of that change. She gives her observations on the platform economy, automation, self-driving cars, and how a basic income could be what smoothes the transition as we move to a different type of relationship between people and their work.
Last week, Hawaii became the first state to pass legislation on universal basic income, declaring that everyone in the state deserves basic financial security. The bill’s author, Representative Chris Lee, joined the Basic Income Podcast to discuss the legislation and his views on basic income.
We often talk about what effect a universal basic income would have on financial stability, but what about our mental state? Jim and Owen delve into the research around poverty and cognition, and explore the differences between an abundance mindset and a scarcity mindset.
With so many universal programs designed to fight poverty, why do poverty rates still skew along racial lines? And how might a universal basic income solve some of these problems? Dorian Warren, President of the Center for Community Change Action, a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and Co-chair of the Economic Security Project, joins Jim and Owen to discuss these issues and his UBI+ proposal.
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.
We talk with Conrad Shaw and Deia Schlosberg, co-creators of an ambitious film, Bootstraps, that will crowdfund and donate a basic income to multiple people and then follow the recipients to see how it changes their lives. Hear what inspired them to embark on this multi-faceted project and donate to their crowdfunding campaign here:
Canada’s basic income trials in trials in the 70s–the “Mincome” experiments–were largely forgotten until Dr. Evelyn Forget found records of the Mincome trials and individuals who had received a basic income. She discusses what she found, and the implications for Canada’s upcoming trials in Ontario.
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.
We spoke with Senator Art Eggleton of Ontario on the upcoming pilot program, which will supply a basic income to 4,000 people in three cities across the province of Ontario. Eggleton described the rationale for the trial and where we might see future basic income experiments across Canada.
Annie Lowrey, writer for the Atlantic, discusses her trip to Kenya to cover GiveDirectly’s village-wide basic income trial for the New York Times Magazine. Lowrey explains the move in the aid community toward cash transfers and away from tangible items, such as cows, medicine or sports equipment. She also describes the moment when the village learned that they will be receiving an unconditional basic income, and the visual transformation that happens to villages where at least some citizens have received cash transfers.
From March 24-26th, the Universal Income Project hosted a Basic Income Create-a-thon. This is a dedicated time for artists, activists, coders, writers, politicians and many more to work on projects that advance the basic income movement. Projects ranged from a giant sign hung outside a busy train station to a software platform that allows small groups to establish their own basic income.
We talk a lot about hypotheticals when it comes to the universal basic income, but with Finland, we don’t have to. Finland is instituting a basic income on a trial basis in place of unemployment benefits for certain citizens. Roope Mokka, Cofounder of Demos Helsinki, explains why this move will encourage recipients to find work, and what is next for the basic income in Finland.
Enno Schmidt, co-founder of the Swiss campaign to enact a countrywide basic income, joined us in San Francisco for a live event about his groundbreaking campaign. Schmidt spoke about the unique design of the Swiss campaign, and why they chose to invest in stunning, eye-catching images. He was interviewed by Co-Director of the Universal Income Project Sandhya Anantharaman.
“Two people is all it takes to start a revolution.”
Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Co-