A New Experiment on Cash Transfers & Childhood Development, feat. Greg Duncan

An exciting new experiment, led by Greg Duncan of UC Irvine, is launching to explore how cash transfers affect early childhood on biological, cognitive, and social metrics. Duncan joined the podcast to discuss the motivation for the experiment, what it will study, and the research to date on poverty and children.

An Update on Finland’s Basic Income Trial, feat. Aleksi Neuvonen of Demos Helsinki

Recently, there have been a lot of media reports on Finland’s basic income trial, some stating that it is ending, that it failed, or something along those lines. The reality is much different. To get an understanding of what’s actually going on, and what caused all those news stories, Owen spoke with Aleksi Neuvonen, cofounder of Demos Helsinki.

Exploring the Potential of Basic Income in India, feat. Saksham Khosla

The basic income conversation is alive and well in India, particularly in the wake of an analysis conducted by the The Indian Ministry of Finance’s 2016–17 Economic Survey. Saksham Khosla, a Research Analyst at Carnegie India in New Delhi, discusses the Ministry of Finance’s proposal, and the various  issues to be tackled in considering a basic income program for India. Khosla describes the unique challenges of creating a social safety net for a country of over 1.3 billion people.

Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, feat. the California Budget & Policy Center

While basic income is often described as a revolutionary proposal, we do have programs in the federal government and some U.S. states that contain elements of a basic income, namely the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The California Budget & Policy Center (CBPC) has studied the effects of the EITC, and what it might look like to expand the program to something resembling a basic income. Jim and Owen are joined by Senior Policy Analysts at the CBPC, Alissa Anderson and Sara Kimberlin.

The Basic Income Debate in Australia, feat. Emma Dawson

With a recent proposal for universal basic income by Australia’s Green Party, the debate over the policy is alive and well down under. Owen and Jim spoke with Emma Dawson, Executive Director of Per Capita, a progressive think tank in Australia. Dawson is a strong supporter of Australia’s social programs but is skeptical that universal basic income is right for her country.

A Basic Income Presidency, feat. Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang

What would it take to truly prepare the U.S. for the potential of widespread technological unemployment and invest in people in a way that allows them to really reach their potential? These questions and some novel answers inspired Venture for America founder Andrew Yang to run for president: he is a declared candidate for the 2020 election. Jim interviewed Yang at an event in San Francisco on his candidacy, vision, and the political path forward for basic income.

UBI and the Values Embedded in our Social Safety Net, feat. Almaz Zelleke

To understand our current anti-poverty measures and the full impact of a basic income, we need to understand the values and assumptions embedded in the safety net right now. In this episode, Owen discusses these issues with Almaz Zelleke, Associate Professor of Political Science at NYU Shanghai, who is working on a book on the ethics of basic income in the U.S.

Is Basic Income a Bipartisan Policy?

We hear a lot about basic income having bipartisan support, with Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. and Milton Friedman frequently cited together as supporters on opposite sides of the aisle. However, there is also a counter narrative that suggests the progressive and libertarian visions of basic income are too different to be reconciled. In this episode, Owen and Jim delve into how basic income appeals to a politically diverse coalition and how it doesn’t.

Analyzing Basic Income Models in Washington DC

The District of Columbia recently commissioned a study on various ways to address poverty, including a negative income tax and a minimum guaranteed income. Jim and Owen spoke with DC Councilmember David Grosso, Council Budget Director Jen Budoff, and the two primary authors of the study, Susanna Groves and John MacNeil, to discuss the findings of the study and its implications.

Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn, featuring Chris Hughes

This week’s guest is Chris Hughes, cofounder of Facebook and the Economic Security Project, and author of the recently released book Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn. Chris discusses how he came to recognize the power of cash transfers, and his experience going from growing up in a low-income family to becoming very wealthy through Facebook. He also lays out his plan to provide financial security to every working American.

Economic Analyses of Basic Income, featuring Rakeen Mabud

How would universal basic income impact the economy? The Roosevelt Institute has done numerous analyses on how unconditional cash transfers could affect the economy at various levels and program designs. Rakeen Mabud, Program Director of the Roosevelt Institute, joins the podcast to discuss these analyses and what they mean for the wider basic income conversation.

How UBI Was Added to the California Democratic Party Platform, featuring Rocky Fernandez

Two weeks ago at the annual California Democratic Convention, the party adopted a new platform that includes universal basic income as a policy it supports. Rocky Fernandez, Region 5 Director for the CA Democratic Party, joins the Basic Income Podcast to discuss how this happened and what it means for basic income in California.

An inside look at the UK Opportunity Fund, featuring Anthony Painter

Basic income made headlines last week with a proposal by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) to create a United Kingdom Opportunity Fund, which would pay unconditional cash to all British residents under 55. Anthony Painter, Director of the RSA Action and Research Center, joined Jim and Owen to discuss the proposal and the state of politics around basic income in the UK.

Basic Income Speculative Fiction, featuring Sandra Haynes

Jim interviews Sandra Haynes, winner of “Into the Black”, a speculative fiction contest on basic income, held by the Economic Security Project. Sandra’s story imagines an Artificial Intelligence created to study emotions of people using bank ATMs, which becomes conscious while trying to determine why it keeps seeing people cry. We hear about what inspired […]

What Basic Income Will and Won’t Solve

Basic income advocates often talk about what a transformative impact universal basic income could have on society — but what issues and challenges will it actually solve? Jim and Owen share their thoughts on whether basic income is the solution to poverty, automation, wealth inequality, and more.

Y Combinator’s Basic Income Study, featuring Elizabeth Rhodes

What’s the latest with the basic income study piloted by Y Combinator Research? Jim and Owen sat down with Research Director Elizabeth Rhodes to find out. Rhodes shares insights from the initial pilot in Oakland and the much larger upcoming experiment. Rhodes details the goals and methods of these exciting, important studies.

Basic Income Q&A: Inflation, Predatory Lending, and the Meaning of Work

Jim and Owen take listener questions on some of the most common topics that come up around basic income. Will inflation eat away many of the benefits? Will we need to regulate predatory lending? How will labor rights change? And what does basic income mean for the future of labor and the identity we place […]

Basic Income and the Disabled Community, feat. Annie Harper

How would a basic income impact the disabled community? We delved into this question with social anthropologist Annie Harper of the Program for Recovery and Community Health, Yale School of Medicine. Harper, who works with mentally disabled people, describes the hopes and concerns a basic income offers.

Human Profiles of Economic Insecurity, featuring Rachel Schneider

We often talk about economic insecurity at the statistical level, but how does it impact people’s lives day to day and month to month? Rachel Schneider and Jonathan Morduch examined this question by getting to know families who struggle with financial security, and chronicled their findings in the eye opening book The Financial Diaries: How […]