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Johann Hari describes UBI as anti-depressant

Johann Hari, a successful non-fiction writer, has used his latest book, Lost Connections, to explore the topic of depression, looking at certain possible solutions to the debilitating condition.

Although most traditional solutions for depression are individual and aimed at the depressed person, Hari, who suffers from the illness himself, suggests that solutions for depression could include radical social change in order to avoid bringing about the conditions under which people tend to become depressed.

In the final chapter of the book, Hari explores the concept of universal basic income (UBI), including interviews with Rutger Bregman, the Dutch historian and author who wrote Utopia for Realists (by giving people money to meet their everyday needs, Bregman argues, we can improve their well-being, free them from pointless jobs, and allow everyone to engage in meaningful activity again), and Dr Evelyn Forget, the Canadian economist. In an interview about Lost Connections, Hari referred to UBI as “a really potent anti-depressant”. Research, though limited, seems to back up this idea, which includes the large basic income trial which happened in Manitoba, Canada, in the 1970s.

 

Edited by: Patrick Hoare

About Claire Bott

Claire Bott has written 29 articles.

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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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