Experts and Laymen are asked about Universal Basic Income

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A new podcast is asking people ‘what would you do if you were given a basic income’, ie if you didn’t HAVE to work?  The project by upstreampodcast explores that question by asking people they find all over the bay area, including economic experts and basic income recipients.  In upstream’s words:

What if everybody was given a monthly check, just for being alive? No strings attached. Sounds crazy, right? Well, not as crazy as you might think. In fact, it’s already happened in some places. And it’s being experimented with in many more as we speak. The idea is called universal basic income. As you might imagine, it’s a pretty contentious topic. There is a lot of debate around how much it would be, who would get it, where the money would come from, and even whether it’s a good idea in the first place. 

We’ll tackle these questions in this episode, and we’ll also explore some of the bigger, deeper issues tied to this radical concept. What might be some of the unintended, systemic consequences of a universal basic income? What effect would it have on the future of work? Would civilization fall apart because everyone would just hang out on their couch all day? These are just a few of the themes we’ll get into in this first of our 2-part series on universal basic income. 

Listen Here

Juliana Bidadanure – Assistant Professor in Political Philosophy at Stanford University
Doug Henwood – Journalist, economic analyst, and writer whose work has been featured in Harper’s, Jacobin Magazine, The Nation, and more
Rutger Bregman – Journalist and author of ‘Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders and a 15-hour Workweek’
Kathi Weeks – Marxist feminist scholar, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at Duke University and author of ‘The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries’
Eric Richardson – A recipient of basic income
Evelyn Forget – Economist and professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba and Academic Director of the Manitoba Research Data Centre

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Harps (@harps-i)

Many thanks to Benjamin Henderson for the cover art.


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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

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