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Why (and where) Universal Basic Income is becoming more popular

Long before Andrew Yang launched his scrappy 2020 presidential campaign, Universal Basic Income (UBI), the idea that the government provides every adult citizen with a set amount of cash on a regular basis (no strings attached), has been growing in popularity. And it's not just "talk" at this point. A few countries like Kenya, Finland and even Iran have launched nationwide unconditional cash transfer programs, and many others have launched smaller-scale programs. 54% of Americans oppose a UBI program, according to a 2020 PEW study. Unsurprisingly, most Democrats support it and most Republicans oppose it…many saying a UBI would discourage people from looking for jobs. But worldwide, the coronavirus pandemic has only supercharged the UBI movement, as it further widened the chasm of global economic inequality.

Watch the episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: Is modern society broken?

Is modern society broken?

What does President Biden's "build back better" slogan really mean? If you asked him, he'd likely say that life after the pandemic shouldn't just be as good as it was before COVID hit…it should be better. Who would disagree with that? But beyond the sloganeering, the need to create a much improved "new normal" has never been greater. With global inequality on and extreme poverty on the rise, how do we patch up the many holes in the world's social safety nets? Renowned economist and London School of Economics director Minouche Shafik has some ideas, which she shared with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Podcast: The LSE’s Minouche Shafik on how to fix our broken society

Listen: It was an ongoing question before the pandemic, but coronavirus has made it all the more urgent. With global inequality and extreme poverty on the rise, how do we patch up the many holes in the world's social safety nets? The idea of governments providing all adults with a set amount of cash on a regular basis, no strings attached, is gaining attention worldwide — especially given the need to expand post-pandemic social safety nets. But for London School of Economics Director Minouche Shafik, universal basic income "is like giving up on people." Shafik speaks with Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World Podcast.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

One economist’s argument against universal basic income

The idea of governments providing all adults with a set amount of cash on a regular basis, no strings attached, is gaining attention worldwide — especially given the need to expand post-pandemic social safety nets. But for London School of Economics Director Minouche Shafik, universal basic income "is like giving up on people." Find out why on the latest episode of GZERO World, which begins airing on US public television Friday, May 28. Check local listings.

Guaranteed Income? Really?

Have you heard? The Republican president of the United States proposed a plan for "partial basic income" and his plan passed the House of Representatives. In 1969.

President's Nixon's plan, which he called "the most significant piece of social legislation in our nation's history," died in the Senate and never became law. It hasn't really made a comeback in the US. But the idea of "guaranteed basic income" is already back in the news in Europe, because income inequality — exacerbated by COVID-19 — will become increasingly hard for the world's political leaders to ignore.

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Andrew Yang: UBI is even more necessary now

In a new interview for a special digital edition of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer, former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang discusses the proposal that served as the cornerstone for his campaign—universal basic income—and why he believes the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the need for the policy.

Yang offers his thoughts on the Trump administration's relief check and stimulus plans, and why he feels the time has come for a more permanent income solution for Americans badly impacted by the sudden downturn in the economy.

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