The Debate Over Unconditional Basic Income

Income inequality
Duncan Wallace drives a golf cart from his house to his golf club as a group of landscape workers take a break in Vista, Calif in May 2016. Income inequality has surged near levels last seen before the Great Depression. The average income for the top 1 percent of households climbed 7.7 percent last year to $1.36 million, according to tax data. That privileged sliver of the population saw pay climb at almost twice the rate of income growth for the other 99 percent, whose pay averaged $48,768. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Income inequality
Duncan Wallace drives a golf cart from his house to his golf club as a group of landscape workers take a break in Vista, Calif in May 2016. Income inequality has surged near levels last seen before the Great Depression. The average income for the top 1 percent of households climbed 7.7 percent last year to $1.36 million, according to tax data. That privileged sliver of the population saw pay climb at almost twice the rate of income growth for the other 99 percent, whose pay averaged $48,768. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The Debate Over Unconditional Basic Income

The idea of a guaranteed income for all citizens has been around since the days of Thomas Paine, but the idea has received recent consideration due to widening income inequality and technological elimination of jobs.

Swiss painter and activist Enno Schmidt thinks unconditional basic income would increase people’s freedom and quality of life. Swiss voters rejected the idea of a basic income in a referendum earlier this year. There’s an argument that a basic income would be cheaper than existing complex welfare systems.

Schmidt joins Worldview to discuss the arguments for and against an unconditional basic income.