Issue #[[item.issue__number]] published [[timeFormat(item.date)]]

19 items in UBI

The relationship between public sentiment and public policy is approximately zero

The real danger to democracy are not cartoonish characters standing for election but the obvious dissonance between what people want and how that is translated into what politicians do. Andrew Yang on the problems with the system, how poverty fuels tribalism and how to be optimistic despite the conditions.
Issue #399 published 2 Jun 2024
‘AI will create more jobs’. The question is whether it will create more than it will destroy, and what happens if it is the latter. The economic system requires humans to be both producers and consumers, and if we cannot be the former, how can we become the latter? Decent overview of the ideas we need to be discussing, though decays into ‘it’ll be alright on the night’ happy talk in the end.
Issue #363 published 24 Sep 2023

While people will still have jobs, many of those jobs won’t be ones that create a lot of economic value in the way we think of value today

So said Sam Altman, CEO of Open AI, in a blog post in 2021. He’s almost certainly correct, and we need to match the technological innovation lead by his company, with the social innovation that enables human beings to have success even as our collective ability to offer economic value decreases. We could simply reduce the amount of work everyone is required to do and buffer everyone’s income with a survival base line. What was radical 5 years ago maybe necessary tomorrow.
Issue #344 published 14 May 2023
Universal Basic Income (UBI) has taken somewhat of a backseat in the cultural discourse in the Covid era but with Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) breaking through to the mainstream and clearly offering exponential productivity gains for knowledge workers, the concept really can’t come back soon enough, as what we gain in productivity, we lose in security. Not everyone is going to be able to reskill in the post-ChatGPT world, especially when it is not clear what the hell we are meant to reskilling towards. Great to hear from Scott Santens, one of the original evangelists for the radical rethink of H/T to brainfooder Garry Turner for the share
Issue #333 published 26 Feb 2023
12 month ago, Universal Basic Income was a left field (not left wing incidentally) political idea championed by a small minority of futurists and a single wannabe politician in Andrew Yang. Fast forward to today, and it’s seriously in play as the solution to the pandemic induced economic collapse. Paradoxically, it is in the US, where social safety is amongst weakest amongst WIERD countries, where it might be needed most, and so implemented first. Evidence of its efficacy so far comes from regional experiments, like this one from Stockton, California. H/T brainfooder Bas van de Haterd for the share
Issue #231 published 15 Mar 2021
2020 saw Universal Basic Income - the idea of giving money directly to the people - move from fringe (thanks Andrew Yang!) to mainstream (thanks Covid!). With the Biden administration under pressure to make stimulus cheques recurring rather than one off, it is worth reviewing this 2020 paper from the University of Virginia which reports the linear progression of ‘experienced well-being’ regardless of level of income. Money - and consistently having cashflow - is basically is a universal de-stressor.
Issue #225 published 31 Jan 2021
Scott Santens is one of the most prominent advocates of Universal Basic Income. He is loud on twitter, but perhaps even better in long form essays such as this. The moment for some sort of basic income as surely arrived - and people like Santens have a great deal to do with shifting the Overton window so that it has a chance to happen.
Issue #220 published 27 Dec 2020
More regional experiments on UBI, this time from South Korea. Great to see trialling of UBI - we need to be bold here. Have a watch
Issue #210 published 18 Oct 2020
I’m including this because basically I’m all in on whatever Andrew Yang says, but also because UBI is clearly going to seriously explored at some point. The visualisation is also interesting - not sure it entirely works but a reasonable attempt to connect the dots of a complicated topic in a non-linear way.
Issue #209 published 11 Oct 2020
Excoriating essay on the inherent tensions of subordinating society to the market economy, now laid bare by the prospect of our imminent return from lockdown. Do you have a child? You may no longer be able to do your job. Putting this under UBI, because as Andrew Yang says, the only way to go, is forward.
Issue #195 published 5 Jul 2020
There is no guaranteed outcome for the policy of guaranteed minimum income but it feels like past time to give it a shot. Now looking like Spain could be first out of gate with something close to universal, unconditional income. Particularly important, as any economic ‘recovery’ is unlikely to be measured in gainful and dignified employment, as brainfooder Kevin Wheeler succinctly observed in the fb group earlier this week.
Issue #190 published 31 May 2020
A basic income could provide the demand for basic goods and services the economy will need, and give people and their communities the resilience we need.
With a very good argument on why UBI should not be means tested. Have a read if you want to get abreast of this argument - it has huge implications for the future of the work we do
Issue #185 published 26 Apr 2020
It’s astonishing how quickly a left field idea has not only become mainstream but effectively rolled out as government policy in varying flavours in many places in the world. Put cash directly into the hands of the people? You’re totally crazy Mr Yang. But it turns out it might be the only way to avert collapse of the whole system
Issue #180 published 23 Apr 2020
Not only is UBI a relevant topic for everyone on this newsletter community, this is also a fabulous website for a structured exploration of arguments. A graphical and multi-user way to increase your knowledge of complex ideas by adding claims and counter claims. We should probably all sign up and start using this.
Issue #171 published 23 Apr 2020
Well argued case for the raising the floor for everybody. First time I’ve heard the term ‘Unconditional’ with Basic Income, but it makes more sense the 'Universal’. We need to get on with this. 
Issue #16 published 23 Apr 2020
..“A UBI could very well evolve into a mechanism of central control that works in the service of ends that run counter to your values…”. Dark prophecy on an idea which is increasingly seen as a panacea to tech unemployment. Must read. 
Issue #72 published 23 Apr 2020
Not quite UBI but it feels like we’ve crossed the rubicon these last few weeks as government after government loosens the purse strings and makes payments which more directly to the people. Scott Santens essay from 2016 lays out in accessible terms what the argument for it is really is - have a read
Issue #181 published 23 Apr 2020
“…Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Wait, scratch that, he won’t eat for a lifetime. Automation took over and fished the metaphorical seas…” So starts this astonishing essay by Simon Sarris, who makes the case against UBI as the panacea for tech unemployment. PtII is what he suggests as an alternative…I’m persuaded. 
Issue #82 published 23 Apr 2020
Scott Santens has been a long time vocal advocate of a once radical idea - that the citizens of a country should be considered stakeholders and therefore entitled to regular dividends from the profits. He’s an excellent communicator with a new essay that is as good an exposition of the argument that you’ll find.
Issue #183 published 23 Apr 2020