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. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 20 Mar 2015 @ 8:40am

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

    It's not enough to live on by itself, so you're screwed if you can't get a job or other form of income

    Um, but that's the point. For it to work it DOES need to be enough to live on. You've taken away the most basic premise of Basic Income Guarantee and then said it's no good. But that's only because what you're describing is not Basic Income Guarantee.

    Experiment > Basic Income 1000 Euro/month
    http://www.9ijanews.com/news/experiment-basic-income-1000-euromonth-for-everyone-always
    give every adult £72 a week
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/green-party/11383801/Greens-ditch-citizens-income-from-elec tion-manifesto.html

    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?


    Not all rich people pay tax - That's a different problem, which can be addressed.

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

    There are ways to make this perfectly affordable.

    I've not heard the podcast yet, I'm reading this during breaks at work. Unlike the UBI supporters I've clashed with over this you seem to have some answers that don't consist of spamming with talking points so I'll take the time to listen to the podcast then let you know what I think. I've been arguing this with UBI supporters from all over the world and they haven't convinced me with their arguments, the most specious of which is, "We need to give this to everyone or the needy will feel bad about receiving it." Having been on the dole, that doesn't make sense to me.

    Apparently for whom?

    On the Pirate Party's subreddit, enthusiasts said it was for anyone with a UK passport. Mine is Irish. I've been living here for 25 years, paying tax into the system. They scrabbled for a bit and gave up when I told them that.

    You seem to think that there are set in place official rules for BIG that can't be changed. That's wrong.

    I was told by other enthusiasts I've spoken to about this that the terms are non-negotiable. It's for everyone, it's for citizens of the nation, the idea is to push you into work by leaving you with *just* enough to scrape by with on a VERY tight budget (after firing welfare workers from their jobs), and it will be funded by taxing everyone at 50% of their wage if it's over £10k (okay, that was one guy, who then resorted to pro-UBI spamming instead of answering my questions).

    Who has said anything about pensions?

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

    You seem to be fighting against a strawman, or some other program that you don't like and assumed that's what we're talking about.

    No, I'm pointing out the flaws I've mentioned to other enthusiasts and not had proper answers to. As I said, they resorted to spamming my Twitter timeline with pro-UBI spam and I ended up having to mute them for it. Thank you for responding to my questions; please note, my concerns are genuine and there seem to be a lot of versions of this proposed program.

    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.

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