Universal Basic Income: what's wrong with free money?

Red Lion (Upstairs) 41 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6NH

In these two evening sessions we want to discuss what these different visions of a UBI share and why those with different politics can share an interest in the policy. We will do this by discussing how these different proponents of a UBI understand society and what these understandings fail to criticise.

Our claim is that, on the one hand, these proponents want to achieve opposing aims under the same name. On the other hand, despite these opposing aims they share more than just the name: they are not interested in why in this society productivity gains produce poverty and why the capitalist state attaches conditionality to its welfare regime. As a consequence, they put forward a wrong and idealised understanding of what it means to produce for the market and the role of the state.

We will spend some time discussing why the left puts such big hopes in a UBI and why we think this strategy is a bad way of dealing with capitalist produced poverty.