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AUDIO: Sociologist Erik Olin Wright on Basic Income

Erik Olin Wright is a Professor in the prestigious Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison — and a staunch advocate of a universal basic income.

Wright was interviewed on the April 5th edition of the Berkeley-based radio show Against the Grain. In a broadcast of approximately 50 minutes, the distinguished sociologist explains why a basic income would not be a “disincentive” to work (unlike means-tested anti-poverty programs), argues that basic income does not “subsidize low wages” in a morally problematic way, discusses the potential impact of basic income on unions and progressive politics, and differentiates his preferred version of a basic income from that of Charles Murray and others on the right — and more.

Overall, Wright presents a persuasive and compelling case that the radical left must take basic income seriously, while allaying worries that the policy could hurt workers and rebutting objections to its unconditionality.

Against the Grain describes itself as providing “in-depth analysis and commentary on a variety of matters — political, economic, social, and cultural — important to progressive and radical thinking and activism.”

The broadcast can be heard in its entirety here.

A partial transcript is available here.

Photo: Erik Olin Wright presenting in Luxemburg (May 2011), Rosa Luxemburg-Stiftung

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 512 articles.

Former lead writer and editor of Basic Income News.

The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.

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