The Basic Income Podcast

The Basic Income Podcast
Interviews with leading figures in the Basic Income movement.
An inside look at the UK Opportunity Fund, featuring Anthony Painter
Feb 21 • 24 min
Basic income made headlines last week with a proposal by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) to create a United Kingdom Opportunity Fund, which would pay unconditional cash to all British residents under 55. Anthony Painter, Director of the RSA Action and…
Basic Income Speculative Fiction, featuring Sandra Haynes
Feb 16 • 18 min
Jim interviews Sandra Haynes, winner of “Into the Black”, a speculative fiction contest on basic income, held by the Economic Security Project. Sandra’s story imagines an Artificial Intelligence created to study emotions of people using bank ATMs, which…
What Basic Income Will and Won’t Solve
Feb 7 • 16 min
Basic income advocates often talk about what a transformative impact universal basic income could have on society — but what issues and challenges will it actually solve? Jim and Owen share their thoughts on whether basic income is the solution to…
Y Combinator’s Basic Income Study, featuring Elizabeth Rhodes
Feb 1 • 22 min
What’s the latest with the basic income study piloted by Y Combinator Research? Jim and Owen sat down with Research Director Elizabeth Rhodes to find out. Rhodes shares insights from the initial pilot in Oakland and the much larger upcoming experiment.…
Basic Income Q&A: Inflation, Predatory Lending, and the Meaning of Work
Jan 24 • 16 min
Jim and Owen take listener questions on some of the most common topics that come up around basic income. Will inflation eat away many of the benefits? Will we need to regulate predatory lending? How will labor rights change? And what does basic income…
Basic Income and the Disabled Community, feat. Annie Harper
Dec 7, 2017 • 20 min
How would a basic income impact the disabled community? We delved into this question with social anthropologist Annie Harper of the Program for Recovery and Community Health, Yale School of Medicine. Harper, who works with mentally disabled people,…
Human Profiles of Economic Insecurity, featuring Rachel Schneider
Nov 9, 2017 • 21 min
We often talk about economic insecurity at the statistical level, but how does it impact people’s lives day to day and month to month? Rachel Schneider and Jonathan Morduch examined this question by getting to know families who struggle with financial…
Basic Income at the City Level, Featuring Mark MacKinnon
Oct 31, 2017 • 24 min
How would a basic income within a city affect how that city operates? To delve into this question, Jim and Owen spoke to Mark MacKinnon, City Councillor in Guelph, Ontario. The conversation ranges from the effects a basic income could have on local…
Basic Income Q&A: How to Pay for It, Which Country Will Go First, and More
Oct 26, 2017 • 20 min
Jim and Owen answer listener questions from how to pay for basic income, which country will implement a basic income first and how we will get there. You can send your questions to the Universal Income Project on Facebook or Twitter, or tweet to Owen…
Malcolm Torry on Christianity and basic income
Oct 21, 2017 • 27 min
We often hear about the economic and social motivations for universal basic income — but what about the moral and spiritual ones? Owen and Jim spoke to Dr. Malcolm Torry, author of Citizens Basic Income: A Christian Social Policy, about how providing a…
A New Wave of Basic Income Projects, featuring the Economic Security Project
Oct 10, 2017 • 35 min
What new initiatives are starting in the basic income space? The Economic Security Project has funded a variety of exciting basic income projects and launched a few of its own. The project’s Co-Chair Natalie Foster and Special Initiatives Director Cara…
Basic Income, Jobs, and Joe Biden
Sep 28, 2017 • 28 min
Owen and Jim discuss Vice President Joe Biden’s recent objections to basic income, and the practical and philosophical points that come up around basic income and employment. They delve into why a basic income could be good for workers and how automation…
Organizing & Building the Basic Income Movement, featuring Reetu Mody
Sep 20, 2017 • 20 min
How do we turn the excitement around basic income into political pressure and policy victories? Reetu Mody, Campaign Manager at, joins Owen and Jim to discuss what a good organizing strategy around basic income would look like, and the groups…
How Much Basic Income Would Really Cost, featuring Karl Widerquist
Sep 15, 2017 • 26 min
How much would a basic income in the United States actually cost? What are the most common mistakes people make when calculating a basic income? To answer these questions, we spoke with Karl Widerquist, who has been studying and writing about basic income…
Running for Office on Basic Income, featuring Ingrid LaFleur
Sep 7, 2017 • 17 min
As basic income becomes more of a topic in the media, it is finding its way into electoral politics as well. Owen and Jim speak with Detroit mayoral candidate Ingrid LaFleur, who included basic income as a key plank in her platform. LaFleur offers advice…
Why is Interest in Universal Basic Income Surging?
Aug 29, 2017 • 17 min
Three years ago, few people had even heard of universal basic income. Now interest is growing across the country, and the idea is getting more exposure and support. What led to this shift? Owen and Jim delve into many of the factors at play, and discuss…
Universal income through a carbon dividend, featuring Peter Barnes
Aug 22, 2017 • 26 min
One of the most popular stepping-stone policies towards universal basic income is the carbon dividend, which takes revenue from a cap-and-trade system and distributes it equally to everyone. Peter Barnes, pioneer of the carbon dividend, joins the Basic…
Universal Basic Assets, featuring Marina Gorbis
Jul 18, 2017 • 21 min
When considering the impact of basic income, we usually think of it as a standalone policy — but there’s nothing stopping us from imagining UBI as one piece of a larger policy framework. In this episode, Marina Gorbis, Executive Director of Institute for…
A California Climate Dividend Fund, featuring Senator Bob Wieckowski
Jul 5, 2017 • 27 min
California may be poised to take the next big step towards universal basic income, by establishing a universal dividend fund through a proposed reform of the state’s cap-and-trade system. State Senator Bob Wieckowski, author of the bill, spoke to Owen and…
Zipcar Cofounder Robin Chase on UBI and the Emerging Economy
Jun 29, 2017 • 21 min
We are watching the economy change before our eyes, and Zipcar Cofounder Robin Chase has been at the forefront of that change. She gives her observations on the platform economy, automation, self-driving cars, and how a basic income could be what smoothes…
Rep. Chris Lee on Basic Income Legislation in Hawaii
Jun 22, 2017 • 19 min
Last week, Hawaii became the first state to pass legislation on universal basic income, declaring that everyone in the state deserves basic financial security. The bill’s author, Representative Chris Lee, joined the Basic Income Podcast to discuss the…
Universal Basic Income & Peace of Mind
Jun 12, 2017 • 12 min
We often talk about what effect a universal basic income would have on financial stability, but what about our mental state? Jim and Owen delve into the research around poverty and cognition, and explore the differences between an abundance mindset and a…
Dorian Warren on Basic Income and Racial Justice
Jun 6, 2017 • 26 min
With so many universal programs designed to fight poverty, why do poverty rates still skew along racial lines? And how might a universal basic income solve some of these problems? Dorian Warren, President of the Center for Community Change Action, a…
Jared Bernstein on Basic Income vs. a Jobs Guarantee
May 31, 2017 • 28 min
Jim continues the discussion started on the Intelligence Squared debate over basic income with Jared Bernstein, who argued against the basic income. Bernstein explains various concerns he has with the concept, focusing on existing social programs, and a…
The Bootstraps Basic Income Documentary
May 23, 2017 • 17 min
We talk with Conrad Shaw and Deia Schlosberg, co-creators of an ambitious film, Bootstraps, that will crowdfund and donate a basic income to multiple people and then follow the recipients to see how it changes their lives. Hear what inspired them to…
Dr. Evelyn Forget on Mincome & Basic Income in Canada
May 16, 2017 • 19 min
Canada’s basic income trials in trials in the 70s–the “Mincome” experiments–were largely forgotten until Dr. Evelyn Forget found records of the Mincome trials and individuals who had received a basic income. She discusses what she found, and the…
Basic Income vs. The Status Quo
May 8, 2017 • 19 min
Most arguments against the basic income can be summed up in two words: “status quo.” Owen and Jim explore the thinking behind some of the most common objections to the basic income and why these arguments are understandable but ultimately shortsighted.
Senator Art Eggleton on the Ontario Basic Income Pilot
May 1, 2017 • 19 min
We spoke with Senator Art Eggleton of Ontario on the upcoming pilot program, which will supply a basic income to 4,000 people in three cities across the province of Ontario. Eggleton described the rationale for the trial and where we might see future…
Annie Lowrey on the Basic Income in Kenya & the Power of Cash Transfers
Apr 14, 2017 • 21 min
Annie Lowrey, writer for the Atlantic, discusses her trip to Kenya to cover GiveDirectly’s village-wide basic income trial for the New York Times Magazine. Lowrey explains the move in the aid community toward cash transfers and away from tangible items,…
The 2017 Basic Income Create-a-thon in San Francisco
Mar 30, 2017 • 33 min
From March 24-26th, the Universal Income Project hosted a Basic Income Create-a-thon. This is a dedicated time for artists, activists, coders, writers, politicians and many more to work on projects that advance the basic income movement. Projects ranged…
The Finland Basic Income Experiment with Roope Mokka
Mar 17, 2017 • 19 min
We talk a lot about hypotheticals when it comes to the universal basic income, but with Finland, we don’t have to. Finland is instituting a basic income on a trial basis in place of unemployment benefits for certain citizens. Roope Mokka, Cofounder of…
Enno Schmidt on the Swiss Basic Income Campaign
Feb 22, 2017 • 22 min
Enno Schmidt, co-founder of the Swiss campaign to enact a countrywide basic income, joined us in San Francisco for a live event about his groundbreaking campaign. Schmidt spoke about the unique design of the Swiss campaign, and why they chose to invest in…
MacArthur Genius Ai-jen Poo on what Basic Income would mean to Domestic Workers
Feb 3, 2017 • 16 min
Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Co-director of the Caring Across Generations Campaign, and MacArthur Genius Award recipient discusses the challenges faced by domestic workers in the U.S. and how a basic income could…
Roy Bahat, Head of Bloomberg Beta, on Innovation and Basic Income
Jan 24, 2017 • 17 min
Roy Bahat, Head of Bloomberg Beta, discusses the future of employment and why a universal basic income could spur innovation. He also discusses the mental leaps it requires to wrap our minds around the basic income, and what we can do to help others to…
Steps to Making Basic Income a Reality in the U.S.
Jan 18, 2017 • 12 min
Jim Pugh, Sandhya Anantharaman and Owen Poindexter discuss the key stepping stones needed to bring the basic income from an idea to a reality. From media exposure, to pilot studies, to political pressure, they explore various ways to move the UBI movement…
Alexis Frasz on what the Basic Income would mean to the Arts Community
Jan 11, 2017 • 15 min
What would a basic income mean for artists? Jim and Alexis Frasz delve into this topic in this insightful interview. Alexis Frasz has worked as a researcher, creative strategist and consultant in the arts and cultural sector for over a decade. Since 2007…
Sean Kline, Director of the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment
Dec 29, 2016 • 16 min
Sean Kline is a public servant who is not afraid to speak openly about his support for the basic income. Hear about his work at the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment and his ideas about bringing a basic income to U.S. cities.
Basic Income vs Basic Capital with Juliana Bidadanure
Dec 18, 2016 • 11 min
An interview with Juliana Bidadanure, Assistant Professor in Philosophy, Stanford University, on basic income, basic capital and more.
Former SEIU President Andy Stern
Nov 10, 2016 • 23 min
Andy Stern, one of America’s most influential organizers and activists, describes his time as SEIU President, why he stepped down and eventually turned to the basic income as a policy solution for the new economy. Stern is the author of Raising the Floor:…
Milicent Johnson on Poverty, Philanthropy and UBI
Nov 3, 2016 • 19 min
Would a universal basic income solve poverty? Milicent Johnson offers her unique perspective on how these issues intersect as someone who works in philanthropy to alleviate poverty.
Rose Broome, CEO and Cofounder of HandUp
Oct 23, 2016 • 19 min
One cold evening in San Francisco, Rose Broome walked past a homeless woman sleeping on the street and decided in that moment to do something impactful to help the homeless. This eventually led to the creation of HandUp, an organization that facilitates…
An Overview of the Basic Income
Sep 29, 2016 • 25 min
Sandhya, Jim and Owen provide an overview of what the basic income is, its biggest benefits, most common objections, results of pilot studies and what’s driving the conversation today.
Drew Pilottos of Basic Income Australia
Sep 24, 2016 • 10 min
Jim spoke with Drew Pilottos of Basic Income Australia on the state of the UBI movement down under.
Amira Jehia of Mein Grundeinkommen
Sep 14, 2016 • 16 min
Sandhya and Jim spoke to Amira Jehia of Mein Grundeinkommen, a German organization that crowdfunds and raffles yearlong basic incomes to raise awareness around the issue.
Rutger Bregman, Author of Utopia for Realists
Sep 1, 2016 • 18 min
A conversation with Rutger Bregman, author of Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders and a 15-Hour Workweek. We discuss what brought him to the basic income movement, some historical basic income experiments, and how a…
The Universal Income Project
Aug 26, 2016 • 17 min
Jim Pugh and Sandhya Anantharaman, our new cohost, discuss the Universal Income Project and each host explains how they got into the basic income movement.
Scott Santens on Having a Basic Income
Aug 17, 2016 • 21 min
Scott Santens, who crowdfunds his own basic income, discusses the experience of having wage security, and where he sees the future of technology taking us.
Camila Thorndike on Cap & Dividend
Aug 10, 2016 • 18 min
Camila Thorndike of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network discusses campaigning for a cap and dividend at the state and national level.
Joe Huston of GiveDirectly
Aug 3, 2016 • 15 min
A conversation with Joe Huston on GiveDirectly’s upcoming experiments in which every resident of select villages in certain African countries will receive a long-term basic income. Joe discusses what he hopes to learn from these experiments, how the basic…
Che Wagner, Campaigner for the Swiss Basic Income Referendum
Jul 25, 2016 • 19 min
Our first episode! Jim Pugh caught up with Che Wagner, who campaigned for the basic income referendum in Switzerland. We also get an inside look at this year’s Basic Income Earth Action conference, held in Seoul earlier this year.