Give People Money is a sparkling and unique book about this popular form of economics, which would involve everyone receiving £1000 into their bank account monthly, with any income earned on top added on. With no strings attached and nothing in return, it is actually a progressive policy backed by thinkers on the left and right. It would simplify the benefits system, eliminate fraud and tax evasion, ensure everyone had enough to eat and heat, and encourage people to volunteer and work a few hours of choice, without losing benefits.
It’s not ‘money for nothing’ because those to benefit most are the unpaid in society like carers, the disabled and volunteers and low-paid key workers. Those all debating some form of UBI are Obama’s chief economist, Finnish and Canadian governments and the founder of Facebook.
Economics writer Annie Lowrey looks at the global movement, and travels to Kenya, to see how it’s lifting the poorest people on earth out of destitution, and also to India to see how inefficiency is failing the poor.
She also looks at the arguments and the most powerful belief that people should not get something for nothing. But mostly this kind of thinking calls into question what we value most in society – someone who cares for a sick relative and receives a pittance, compared to someone who dodges tax and makes millions.