Does a democracy have a vested interest in ensuring that none of its citizens live in poverty? That a permanent underclass not form? Would not a people free from worry about food and rent, for instance, be more available to the work of remaining informed and politically active?
For more than five centuries, people have not only debated these questions, but have sought to create a response for them. One such enduring idea is that of a government-ensured payment–given at varying timeframes depending upon proposal, in different amounts, with differing criteria.
Joining host Peter Bermudes to discuss a plan being increasingly discussed today is Michael Howard, professor of Philosophy at the University of Maine and the coordinator of the US Basic Income Guarantee Network. He is co-editor of the book, Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend: Examining Its Suitability as a Model, and currently co-edits Basic Income Studies: The International Journal of Basic Income Research.