Religion & Liberty Online

Acton Line podcast: Is it time for a universal basic income?

For over two years, former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang campaigned across the country, building a coalition along the political spectrum. The main promise driving Yang’s campaign was his “freedom dividend,” a guaranteed income of $1,000 per month for every American citizen. This “dividend” is a form of universal basic income, an idea that’s been around for centuries and one that’s gaining popularity, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. People who support versions of universal basic income say it would solve many problems, ranging from job loss brought on by developing technology to poverty. Has a universal basic income ever been tried before? What are the arguments for and against it? Rev. Ben Johnson, executive editor at the Acton Institute, joins the show to answer.

Study: Southern Ontario’s Basic Income Experience

Overview of the final report of of the Seattle-Denver income maintenance experiment 

“Marx vs. the universal basic income,” by Rev. Ben Johnson 

“Pope Francis endorses universal basic income on Easter Sunday?”

“An Old Idea, Wrong As Ever,” by Milton Ezrati 

“Nancy Pelosi says it’s ‘perhaps’ time to consider universal basic income pushed by Andrew Yang during his failed presidential campaign”

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Caroline Roberts

Caroline Roberts is a managing editor at the Acton Institute and produces Acton's weekly podcast, Acton Line.