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Widerquist: Appearance on Al Jazeera

Mohammed Jamjoom (host), “Will the midterm results affect Trump’s foreign policy?” Panel Discussion with Karl Widerquist, Eli Clifton, and Rami G. Khouri, Inside Story on the Al Jazeera Network, 8 Nov 2018

Al Jazeera invited me to participate in a panel discussion (on of all things) U.S. foreign policy. It didn’t give me the chance to talk about basic income or about “indepentarianism” specifically, but I think I made some good points. I said the campaign donors aren’t trying to get candidates elected, but to buy influence. I wish I’d said that this fact makes campaign contributions a form of legalized bribery. I said that when Trump says “America First,” he really means “Me First,” and that most of his foreign policy is to find some leader he can bully to make himself look like a tough guy. I wished I’d said that like he strokes White American’s egos, but delivers for himself not for them—much like most nationalist leaders around the world today and throughout history. I said that America is still acting like it’s 1945 when America was the only in-tact industrial economy. It’s overplaying its influence trying to impose unilateral sanctions on Iran and other places, and overplaying its hand like this will ultimately weaken not strengthen American influence in the world.

Next time I hope they put me on a panel where I can bring up basic income.

About Karl Widerquist

Karl Widerquist has written 944 articles.

Karl Widerquist is an Associate Professor of political philosophy at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University, specializing in distributive justice—the ethics of who has what. Much of his work involves Universal Basic Income (UBI). He is a co-founder of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG). He served as co-chair of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) for 7 years, and now serves as vice-chair. He was the Editor of the USBIG NewsFlash for 15 years and of the BIEN NewsFlash for 4 years. He is a cofounder of BIEN’s news website, Basic Income News, the main source of just-the-facts reporting on UBI worldwide. He is a cofounder and editor of the journal Basic Income Studies, the only academic journal devoted to research on UBI. Widerquist has published several books and many articles on UBI both in academic journals and in the popular media. He has appeared on or been quoted by many major media outlets, such as NPR’s On Point, NPR’s Marketplace, PRI’s the World, CNBC, Al-Jazeera, 538, Vice, Dissent, the New York Times, Forbes, the Financial Times, and the Atlantic Monthly, which called him “a leader of the worldwide basic income movement.” Widerquist holds two doctorates—one in Political Theory form Oxford University (2006) and one in Economics from the City University of New York (1996). He has published seven books, including Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press 2017, coauthored by Grant S. McCall) and Independence, Propertylessness, and Basic Income: A Theory of Freedom as the Power to Say No (Palgrave Macmillan 2013). He has published more than a twenty scholarly articles and book chapters. Most Karl Widerquist’s writing is available on his “Selected Works” website (works.bepress.com/widerquist/). More information about him is available on his BIEN profile and on Wikipedia. He writes the blog "the Indepentarian" for Basic Income News.

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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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