Basic Income on BBC Newshour Extra

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Basic Income was the focus of the March 5 episode of BBC’s Newshour Extra, a weekly podcast hosted by British journalist Owen Bennett Jones.

The episode, entitled “Money For Nothing?”, features a distinguished panel of four experts on the topic: Guy Standing, professor at the University of London and founder of the Basic Income Earth Network; Rutger Bregman, Dutch reporter and author on Basic Income; Francine Mestrum, consultant and researcher at the Université Libre de Bruxelles; and Linda Yueh, former BBC correspondent and current professor of economics at Oxford and the London Business School.

During the panel discussion, Bregman and Standing deliver arguments for a universal basic income (UBI), while Mestrum and Yueh pose critical questions. For example, Mestrum charges that, due to its universality, a UBI would perpetuate inequality rather than promote equality, and Yueh broaches the practical issue of whether a UBI is affordable. This leads to valuable exchanges concerning the financing of a UBI, as well as the question of whether a UBI would replace the welfare state or supplement it – with Standing and Bregman defending the affordability and effectiveness of a UBI.

Other topics of discussion include the recent BI initiatives in Finland and Canada, automation, and the nature of work. The broadcast ends on what seems to be a point of agreement between the four panelists: people are motivated to contribute usefully to society, whether or not they rely on a job for money; thus, if there is any worry about a Basic Income, it is not that it would undermine the incentive to work.

Listen to the entire 50 minute episode here:

BBC World Service, “Money for Nothing?”, Newshour Extra, May 5 2016

Kate McFarland

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 280 articles.

A gig laborer by choice, Kate's most steady present "job" is her work for BIEN (as an Editor of Basic Income News and member of the Executive Committee) and its US affiliate, the US Basic Income Guarantee Network (as Secretary). This work is unpaid, but she accepts support via Patreon. From 2002 to 2015, Kate was a professional student at the Ohio State University, where she earned a BS in mathematics, MS in statistics, and PhD in philosophy. She taught philosophy for a year before quitting to pursue voluntary underemployment and volunteer work for BIEN.

2 comments

  • Christopher Eddie

    People are motivated to contribute usefully to society, whether or not they rely on a job for money. Therefore #BasicIncome would enable people to become productive citizens rather than profit vs loss making work units..

  • Tony Ängeslevä

    Great progress!

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