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Don't Believe in a Universal Basic Income?

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Don't Believe in a Universal Basic Income?

This Is Why It Would Work, and How We Can Pay for It

World Economic Forum,

5 min read
5 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

A universal basic income could wipe out poverty and save taxpayers money in the long run.

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Editorial Rating



  • Controversial
  • Eye Opening
  • Engaging


In this compelling article, financial journalist and historian Rutger Bregman assesses a universal basic income as a long-term economic tool. Arguing that a guaranteed government distribution could mitigate “poverty, unemployment and the bureaucratic behemoth of the modern welfare state,” Bregman focuses his attention on answering critics of the concept, who contend that the framework of such a massive undertaking is fraught with obstacles and difficulties. Whichever side you take, getAbstract recommends this intriguing text that introduces some new thinking about this highly controversial economic topic.


World leaders in both the advanced and emerging economies continue to grapple with income and wealth inequality, as well as with creating opportunity for all citizens. In Finland, Canada, Kenya and other countries, officials are reintroducing and re-examining a historical concept: that of a universal basic income.

The notion behind such a payment rests on a government infusion of cash to residents that would cover the fundamental needs of an individual: namely, food, shelter and essential services. Proponents of such a distribution argue...

About the Author

Rutger Bregman is a journalist and the author of Utopia for Realists.

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