What is universal basic income (UBI)? In this episode explore why people like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk are advocating for UBI while others argue against it.

What is It?

Universal Basic Income generally refers to a form of social security in which every resident of a country receives a check from their government regardless of their income or employment status. Though not new, we are seeing heightened interest in the idea over the last few years. In particular, interest hast been fueled by the advent of automation and the fear of how automation will affect the job market.

Opposition to Universal Basic Income

Prominent public figures like former US Vice President Joe Biden have argued against UBI articulating that such a program would be costly and disincentivize workers. The most common explanation of such arguments is that many would abuse the program and collect free paychecks instead of working.

How Popular is UBI?

UBI is gaining popularity in many countries, including among some high profile tech CEOs like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg. They have expressed public support for the controversial idea, arguing that it would improve the welfare of all residents and help prepare for the future of automation.

Dig Deeper

Check out some of our favorite articles that we came across while researching this topic:

About the Author
Kevin received his MA in international affairs from the George Washington University's Elliott School with a double focus on conflict resolution and transnational security. While he is interested in issues across the globe, he focuses regionally on the Middle East.