In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State and Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream
(AEI Press, 2016) and (Public Affairs, 2016)
Across the political spectrum there is a growing recognition that our current welfare state is unable to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Among the alternatives being explored by scholars on both the right and left is the idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI), a simple cash payment from the government to every citizen, without other requirements or restrictions. Two new books look at this idea from very different, but overlapping directions. Charles Murray, envisions a UBI as an alternative to the current bloated and bureaucratic welfare state. Andy Stern worries about inequality and a future in which automation has reduced low-skilled employment. Along with Cato senior fellow Michael Tanner, they will discuss whether a UBI is a practical and affordable approach to poverty in a new economy and whether or not there really is an opportunity to build a cross-partisan consensus for a new approach to social welfare.