The right-wing case for basic income

How does the largest welfare program imaginable have libertarian supporters?

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
  • The idea for a universal basic income, or UBI, is increasingly popular.
  • While it seems like a left-wing handout, many prominent right wing thinkers have endorsed the idea.
  • The libertarian version of UBI does have a few key differences from the more standard version.
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Politics & Current Affairs

The social brain: Culture, change and evolution | A Big Think Long Take

Bret Weinstein says that we're at the end of a massive technological and geographic boom, and that we should prepare for the next step in our societal evolution. Yet the future may not be optimistic for all. A cultural backlash to change, he says, is inevitable.

In this wide-ranging talk, controversial professor Bret Weinstein covers several topics: politics, technology, and tribalism, just to name a few. But ultimately the former Biology professor at Evergreen College talks with us about why this particular decade is so interesting. Given the explosive growth of the 20th century, he argues that we've come to the end of that particular boom and have just started searching frantically to keep the pace that we've come to expect. When that change doesn't come, Weinstein posits that we search for scapegoats, turn inwards, and start to attack ourselves. And that's paraphrasing just some of the half-hour talk we have for you.

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Seasteading 101: How to Build the World’s First Society-at-Sea

Who will live on the this brand-new floating nation in the South Pacific—and how?

Seasteading began as a thought experiment: imagine a sovereign Libertarian utopia in international waters, far from the reach of any government. Over the last decade, this dream has inched closer and closer to reality. But establishing a completely independent floating city in the ocean isn't simple--or cheap. The Seasteading Institute compromised a little on its independence and instead sought a partnership with an established nation that could support their project while having a very light hand on regulations. The idea grew out of and caused a stir in Silicon Valley, was widely reported in the media, and Marc Collins, a former government minister in French Polynesia, saw an opportunity for symbiosis. The Seasteading Institute needs internet connectivity, energy solutions, food, and government permission to establish themselves in the South Pacific Ocean, while Polynesians are very interested in the technology needed to build floating cities—a concern at the front of their minds as sea levels rise—and in economic growth. And so Collins co-founded Blue Frontiers, a world-first company that builds societies on the sea. But who will live on this brand-new floating nation in the South Pacific—and how? Marc Collins explains the feats of engineering that are making this vision a reality.

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Surprising Science

There's a Fundamental Lie That All Politics Is Based On

There's one whopper out there that people rarely acknowledge, but self-confessed "cynical libertarian" Dave Barry isn't shying away.

If you think lies are funny, you might be a cynic. If you’re a cynical libertarian, you might be Dave Barry. As a humorist at the Miami Herald for more than 20 years, Barry kept a close watch on state and national politics. What he saw, and continues to see, is a great lie perpetrated on the voting public: that politicians actually care about you (they don’t). But much like the lie of professional sports — that it truly matters which team wins (it doesn’t) — we depend on the lie so that we feel good about participating, whether in politics or in sports. Hilarious, right? Dave Barry is the co-author of For This We Left Egypt?.

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Videos

Draining the Swamp Chicago Style, Milton Friedman and When Government Is the Problem.

With President Trump appointing officials who want to abolish the departments they hope to lead, one might ask, "What is the rationale for this?". Milton Friedman offers us an answer. 

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Politics & Current Affairs