Weighing the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Universal Basic Income (VIDEO)

By and ·November 9, 2018
Reed College and University of California, Berkeley

Excerpt from webinar with Hilary Hoynes (University of California, Berkeley), Kimberly Clausing (Reed College), and Eduardo Porter (New York Times), October 16, 2018. A collaboration between EconoFact and The Hamilton Project, Brookings.

The Issue:

The idea of universal basic income, a fixed income that every adult receives from the government, has been garnering interest as a response to wage stagnation and automation. Hilary Hoynes at the University of California, Berkley, Kimberly Clausing at Reed College, and Eduardo Porter of The New York Times give their views on its feasibility and offer alternatives.

Wage stagnation and the threat of automation displacing an increasing number of workers have revived discussions about policies to ensure people can meet basic needs.

What this Means:

Universal basic income (UBI) addresses a future without work. Our current problem isn’t the lack of work. Rather, it is that much of the work does not pay well. To address this, expanding current social safety net programs like the earned income tax credit (EITC) might prove more helpful than instituting a UBI, which would require significantly higher tax sacrifices or spending cuts.


Safety Net / Social Safety Net / Video
Written by The EconoFact Network. To contact with any questions or comments, please email [email protected].
More from Econofact