Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US), a debate program moderated by ABC News correspondent John Donvan and broadcast on more than 200 public stations, will air an episode on basic income on Wednesday, March 22.

Four guests will debate the question “Is the universal basic income the safety net of the future?”


“For the Motion”

  • Charles Murray (W. H. Brady Scholar at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute). Murray supports a basic income of $10,000 per year to all Americans over age 21, which would replace all current welfare programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security (as laid out in his recently reissued book In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State). Murray’s right-wing approach to basic income has made him a controversial figure within the movement, with many progressive UBI supporters disavowing his proposals.


“Against the Motion”

  • Jared Bernstein (Senior Fellow of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; formerly Chief Economist to Vice President Joe Biden). In a previous debate with Murray, Bernstein maintained that replacing the social safety net with a universal basic income would undercut advances in fighting poverty and ultimately leave many of the poor worse off.
  • Jason Furman (Senior Fellow at the nonpartisan think tank Peterson Institute; formerly Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors to President Barack Obama). Furman voiced his opposition to basic income in a speech at a White House workshop in July 2016, viewing the policy as giving up on the possibility of job creation and full employment.  


The event will be staged live at the Kaufman Center in New York, NY, including an hour long reception before the debate (see details on the live event here). The debate will also be streamed live on the web.

For more information and to listen to the live stream on March 22, 6:45 pm Eastern Time, visit “The Universal Basic Income Is The Safety Net Of The Future.”

Reviewed by Danny Pearlberg

Photo of Kaufman Center (event venue), CC BY-SA 3.0 Kaufman Center

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 512 articles.

Former lead writer and editor of Basic Income News.