Techdirt Podcast Episode 16: Rethinking Work, Income & Leisure: Albert Wenger On Basic Income

from the BIG-ideas dept

Recently, there's been a growing discussion around the concept of a basic income guarantee and its potential to completely change how we think about work, income and leisure. Would it change the world for the better, or create more economic problems than it solves? Albert Wenger from Union Square Ventures joins us this week to discuss the potential of this revolutionary idea.

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Filed Under: albert wenger, basic income guarantee, economics, podcast


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  1. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 21 Mar 2015 @ 4:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm Offended, Mike

    All the European ones seem to want to give us an amount that's not enough to live on by itself. Please confirm: your basic income would effectively be the same amount as the living wage? How much were you thinking of?

    We weren't discussing any specific proposal, but the idea of how BIG should work, which would very much be a living wage.

    How? Jacking up taxes isn't enough, they find ways around that.


    You're really focused on this, as if it's a default that people will avoid taxes. That's a different issue.

    On the Pirate Party's subreddit, enthusiasts said it was for anyone with a UK passport.

    Again, we weren't discussing one particular proposal, but again, there's no reason why it need be limited to those with a particular passport. In fact, that seems counterproductive.

    I was told by other enthusiasts I've spoken to about this that the terms are non-negotiable.

    I've seen lots of discussions on BIG with a variety of different ideas. Considering it doesn't actually exist anywhere the idea that things are "non-negotiable" is clearly ridiculous.

    If it replaces all other welfare, bye bye pensions. Are they going to keep those after all and add UBI to them?


    I still don't see what pensions have to do with anything here, unless maybe I'm missing some sort of difference between the US and the UK. Pensions are private programs unrelated to welfare. Or are you discussing something else?

    I STILL don't see the value of giving it to the rich. "But the poor might feel bad about taking it" seems foolish to me.


    I don't see that as the reason at all. The reason to give it to everyone has a lot more to do with reducing the overhead issues. If you have to do any means-testing, you automatically introduce a large bureaucratic mess of figuring out who qualifies and who doesn't (and creates opportunities for gaming). If you just do it flat across the board then you reduce the costs of running the program.

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