Universal Basic Income: What Everyone Needs to Know®

The motivating idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) is radically simple: give people cash and let them do whatever they want with it. But does this simple idea have the potential to radically transform our society? Is a UBI the ultimate solution to the problem of poverty? Is it the solution to automation-induced unemployment? Can it help solve gender and racial inequality? This book provides the average citizen with all the information they need to understand current debates about the UBI. It recounts the history of the idea, from its origins in the writings of 18th-century radical intellectuals to contemporary discussions centered on unemployment caused by technological advances such as artificial intelligence. It discusses current pilot programs in the United States and around the world, including how much (or little) we can learn from such experiments about how a large-scale UBI would fare in the real world. It explores both the promises and pitfalls of a UBI, taking seriously the arguments of both supporters and detractors. It also explains why the UBI has attracted supporters from all across the ideological spectrum—from conservatives to liberals, libertarians to socialists—and what the implications of this fact are for its political future.

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