The Scott Santens UBI Enterprise

It’s Time for Technology to Serve all Humankind with Unconditional Basic Income

An episode of The Scott Santens UBI Enterprise

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By Scott Santens
Author, public speaker, and Unconditional Basic Income advocate. Explorer of all things UBI. Here you will find audio versions of my many articles and blog posts, narrated by me.
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Why Should We Support the Idea of an Unconditional Basic Income?
In 2014, I self-published my first article on Medium that to this day I think remains a solid introduction to UBI. Up until this article, I'd been reading a lot about UBI and engaging in a lot of discussion on Reddit about UBI, but this was my first attempt at "giving back" to the discussion with my own thoughts. It did quite well, getting over 100,000 views and because of its success, I was inspired to keep writing new articles, following it up next with my article about UBI and inflation which was even more widely read and shared. In this first article though you can see a lot of Andrew Yang's UBI: $1,000 per month basic income, 10% VAT, financial transaction taxes, carbon taxes, but most historically, it was this article where I first coined that basic income is not left or right, it's forward. It's because of that I think this particular article may just make it into the history books, seeing that it has gone on to become a central message of Andrew Yang's presidential campaign that is strongly resonating with a growing number of people. Read my article on Medium: https://medium.com/working-life/why-should-we-support-the-idea-of-an-unconditional-basic-income-8a2680c73dd3 For more info about UBI, please refer to my UBI FAQ: http://scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: https://patreon.com/scottsantens
19:48
September 26, 2019
Tyranny of Kindness: Chapter 1
The horror show that is our conditional welfare system remains unknown to most everyone. In 1993, Theresa Funiciello wrote a Pulitzer-nominated book to try to help change that by laying bare the details she learned as a welfare mother herself, and as someone who worked at an organization devoted to helping people in the welfare system, and as someone who even became Special Assistant to the Commissioner of New York State's Department of Social Services. Her book is considered to be one of the most important books on welfare and poverty in America to ever be published, and it concludes with a call for unconditional basic income as the only solution to fix what's broken. This episode I devote the hour to reading the first chapter in the hope listeners will better understand why it's so important to replace welfare as we know it with UBI. Read Tyranny of Kindness by Theresa Funiciello: https://amzn.to/2Zfo75s For more info about UBI, please refer to my UBI FAQ: http://scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: https://patreon.com/scottsantens
1:05:21
August 24, 2019
How We Can Transform America’s Broken Economic System to Work for Everyone
Originally published in 2015, this article was written as an introduction to systems thinking, and how if we look at the United States as a system, we can reform it in systemic ways to function better, not just for some citizens, but for every citizen. I think fellow Andrew Yang supporters will appreciate how almost everything I proposed as a fix made it into Yang's campaign platform, from universal basic income and universal health care, to ranked-choice voting and measuring our success using things that matter to us instead of GDP. Read the article: https://medium.com/basic-income/how-we-can-transform-americas-broken-economic-system-to-work-for-everyone-ddba38fc328a For more info about UBI, please refer to my UBI FAQ: http://scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: https://patreon.com/scottsantens 
50:39
August 7, 2019
There is No Policy Proposal More Progressive than Andrew Yang’s Freedom Dividend
In this podcast I make the case that there's no policy being proposed by any 2020 Presidential candidate that's as progressive as Andrew Yang’s Freedom Dividend. This is for all the progressives who think otherwise. Read the article: https://medium.com/basic-income/there-is-no-policy-proposal-more-progressive-than-andrew-yangs-freedom-dividend-72d3850a6245 For more info about UBI, please refer to my UBI FAQ: http://scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: https://patreon.com/scottsantens 
28:46
July 23, 2019
Sam Seder and Scott Santens: The Lost UBI Interview
On January 19th, 2017, I recorded an interview with Sam Seder as his guest on his Ring of Fire podcast to talk about UBI. Until yesterday, I was under the impression the episode had never been posted, because I was never told about it, never saw it shared anywhere, and could never find it anywhere when I searched for it. Turns out, the interview was behind a paywall this whole time. Sam has now graciously made the full episode available without a paywall, and for those only interested in my 20-minute segment, here it is. Listen to the full Ring of Fire episode 369: https://fans.fm/p/289 Read my post on Reddit about my interview with Sam and what I thought happened: https://www.reddit.com/r/YangForPresidentHQ/comments/cc1kd4/apparently_scott_santens_had_a_discussion_with/etjzs3u/ For more info about UBI, please refer to my UBI FAQ: http://scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: https://patreon.com/scottsantens 
23:51
July 17, 2019
It’s Time We Take a Closer Look at America’s Three Favorite Words: Freedom, Liberty, and Democracy
Freedom, liberty, democracy… these words are used so often that we give them little real thought, rarely holding them up to the realities of what we see around us. What do these words really mean? Do they currently exist for us to celebrate as we appear to think they do? And if not, is there anything we can do about it? Let’s take a closer look. Read the article on Medium: https://medium.com/basic-income/its-time-we-take-a-closer-look-at-americas-three-favorite-words-f512f8a1ad6f For more info about UBI, please refer to my UBI FAQ: http://scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: https://patreon.com/scottsantens 
31:28
July 4, 2019
Agrarian Justice by Thomas Paine
In the Winter of 1795 and 1796, one of the the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, Thomas Paine, wrote an essay that to this day over two centuries later, remains perhaps the greatest justification of all justifications for unconditional basic income. His argument is founded on the principles of justice, where all human beings are owed their natural inheritance, and the injustice of a civilization that makes some people worse off than what nature would otherwise provide is an injustice that must be rectified. In his words, UBI is a right, not a charity, that will give currency to the principles of revolutions. Read the essay: https://fermatslibrary.com/s/agrarian-justice For more info about UBI, please refer to my UBI FAQ: http://scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: https://patreon.com/scottsantens 
39:41
June 26, 2019
‘Universal Basic Income Doesn’t Work’ Says New Prime Example of Fake News
In April 2019, a report titled “Universal Basic Income: A Union Perspective” was paid for and published by Public Services International (PSI), a global trade union representing 20 million workers employed around the world providing public services. This report was authored by Anna Coote and Edanur Yazici of the New Economics Foundation (NEF), a British left-leaning think-tank. They concluded that providing services to all is better than providing income to all. In this episode, I explain how this report, and how it was rolled out, is a prime example of a disinformation campaign designed to manipulate public opinion against the idea of universal basic income, and in doing so, I hope to increase the critical-thinking skills of readers to better spot this kind of shameless propaganda in the future about anything, not just  UBI. Read the essay: https://medium.com/basic-income/universal-basic-income-doesnt-work-says-new-prime-example-of-fake-news-60ea1983b6c4 For more info about UBI, please refer to my UBI FAQ: scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: patreon.com/scottsantens 
38:56
June 3, 2019
In Praise of Idleness by Bertrand Russell
In 1932, Bertrand Russell wrote one of my all-time favorite essays. In Praise of Idleness focuses on humanity's infatuation with work, and how if we divided the work more evenly instead of relegating some to poverty and others to overwork, we could all work four hours a day without anyone being unemployed, and with more leisure for all. And this was about 100 years ago, so how many hours would make the most sense to Bertrand now? If you've never read this essay before, you're in for a treat.   Read the essay: http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html For more info about UBI, please refer to my UBI FAQ: scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: patreon.com/scottsantens 
35:39
May 28, 2019
The Progressive Case for Replacing the Welfare State with Universal Basic Income
Back in 2016, I pitched an article to TechCrunch about explaining the progressive case for replacing welfare programs with unconditional basic income. This is the article I wrote which continues to be widely shared by readers as one of their favorites of mine, especially now that Andrew Yang is running for president on a UBI design that offers people the choice of basic income or welfare. TechCrunch link: https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/09/the-progressive-case-for-replacing-the-welfare-state-with-basic-income/ Medium link: https://medium.com/basic-income/the-progressive-case-for-replacing-the-welfare-state-with-basic-income-e8bd02c5875e For more info about UBI, please refer to my UBI FAQ: scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: patreon.com/scottsantens 
20:22
May 17, 2019
What if you had a monthly basic income floor of $1,000? I decided to find out.
Back in 2016, I was asked by Vox.com if I'd like to write an article for them about what it's like having a basic income. What have I learned about UBI through having it? Do I look differently at UBI thanks to my own personal experience? This is the article I wrote.   Read the article: https://medium.com/basic-income/what-if-you-got-1-000-a-month-just-for-being-alive-i-decided-to-find-out-9e8591976c37   For more info about UBI, please refer to my UBI FAQ: scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq   You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: patreon.com/scottsantens 
17:53
May 10, 2019
Full Unemployment
In this episode I read one of my all-time favorite essays about universal basic income and how our goal as a society should be full unemployment, not full employment. This essay was written by John Bentley back in 2005, and was one of the earlier things I ever read about UBI that I've read over and over again since, and as a result has greatly influenced my own thinking. By sharing it with all of you now, I hope it will influence your own thinking as well.  Read the essay: https://www.philorum.org/speech/20051207JohnBentley.html For more info about UBI, please refer to my UBI FAQ: scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: patreon.com/scottsantens
49:59
April 24, 2019
My Q&A Interview with Forbes About Universal Basic Income
Back in September of 2016, I did an interview for Forbes about a fully universal unconditional basic income and to this day I think it remains one of my better summaries of UBI for those new to the idea, and even those familiar with the idea. It succinctly covers most of the main points and I think can be a useful way of introducing people to UBI, so I've recorded the interview as a podcast and hopefully more people will find it by listening to it.  Read the full interview in Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kaviguppta/2016/09/22/basic-income-might-be-the-answer-to-societys-productivity-crisis/ For more info about UBI, please refer to my UBI FAQ: scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: patreon.com/scottsantens
17:39
April 20, 2019
UBI Nordic 2019 Panel on the Future of Work
On April 6th, 2019 I was part of a panel in Oslo, Norway about the Future of Work alongside fellow panelists Guy Standing, Becca Kirkpatrick, and James Bloodworth. The panel was chaired by Basic Income UK's Barb Jacobsen and was part of UBI Nordic 2019. Panel description: The nature of work continues to change drastically. Experts predict that automation and AI will lead to massive job losses, and the growth of the “gig” economy is creating unstable jobs, with increased demands on flexibility and efficiency. Temporary positions create income  insecurity for workers, and there will be a need to update skills and knowledge continuously. In such a situation, basic income may become a  critical element of future work life. Video of the panel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cs-HTLSNIaE More about the event: https://ubi-nordic.org/ For more info about UBI, please refer to my UBI FAQ: scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: patreon.com/scottsantens
1:26:32
April 12, 2019
Think Like a Martian About Money and UBI
This was the opening keynote speech I gave at the Imagine Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics in Northern Ireland on March 26, 2019. From the perspective of beings not from this world, what is money? Why do some humans have so much of it while most have so little? And what message would it convey if human civilization trusted every human being with a minimum amount of access to resources by way of UBI? Full test of the speech: https://medium.com/basic-income/think-like-a-martian-about-money-and-universal-basic-income-ubi-d543922f06d3 More about the event: https://imaginebelfast.com/events/basic-income-in-northern-ireland-what-cant-it-do/ For more info about UBI, please refer to my UBI FAQ: scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: patreon.com/scottsantens
23:19
March 27, 2019
Would Universal Basic Income (UBI) Just Cause Massive Inflation?
By far, one of the the most common concerns, if not the most common concern, in regards to the idea of Universal Basic Income (UBI) is that all prices will inevitably go up as a result, immediately reducing the value of each dollar, and essentially creating a new zero. Let’s call it the “New Zero Argument” against UBI. This episode dives deep into that argument and reveals just how baseless such an argument actually is, given all the variables in the inflation equation, and all the evidence we have to plug into it. Read the article: https://medium.com/basic-income/wouldnt-unconditional-basic-income-just-cause-massive-inflation-fe71d69f15e7 For more info about UBI, please refer to my UBI FAQ: scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: patreon.com/scottsantens
36:16
March 22, 2019
My Reddit AMA in the /r/YangForPresidentHQ Subreddit
On March 1st, 2019 I did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) in the /r/YangForPresidentHQ subreddit the day after Andrew Yang did his AMA in the /r/politics subreddit. For about three to four hours I answered questions from people new to the idea of UBI as well as those who've known about it for years. In this episode I read those questions and my answers to them. Link to my AMA: https://www.reddit.com/r/YangForPresidentHQ/comments/aw8ld7/hi_im_scott_santens_basic_income_advocate_and_mod/ Link to Andrew Yang's AMA: https://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/avuqn8/i_am_andrew_yang_us_2020_democratic_presidential/ For more info about UBI, please refer to my FAQ: scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: patreon.com/scottsantens
48:55
March 13, 2019
My Unconditional Basic Income Testimony for Maryland's House Ways and Means Committee
In mid-February I was contacted by the legislative aide for Delegate Gabriel Acevero of Maryland who has introduced a bill to create a social wealth fund intended to eventually pay out a cash dividend to every resident of Maryland. As a prominent advocate for UBI, I was asked to provide a couple pages of written testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee about why such a bill is so important. The following is my prepared testimony as submitted for the hearing on March 1, 2019. The full text is available on my blog: scottsantens.com/my-unconditional-basic-income-ubi-testimony-for-maryland For more info about UBI, please refer to my FAQ: scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq  You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: patreon.com/scottsantens
12:52
March 6, 2019
This Idea Can Literally Change the World: Partial Basic Income through Universal Carbon Dividends
A Bipartisan Free Market Solution to Climate Change Through Atmospheric Justice In the past year since I originally wrote this article, over 3,300 economists have now signed onto a statement in support of carbon dividends, recommending that the most cost-effective way to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed necessary to act sufficiently on climate change is to implement an annually rising carbon tax where the revenue is returned directly to U.S. citizens through equal lump-sum rebates. This policy recommendation is thus officially now the largest public declaration in the history of economics. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividends Act also now exists in both the U.S. House and Senate, and Canada has in 2019 become the first country in the world to implement carbon dividends nationwide.   Text: https://medium.com/basic-income/this-idea-can-literally-change-our-world-107cbc94057a   For more info about UBI, please refer to my FAQ: scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq   You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: patreon.com/scottsantens 
20:10
February 20, 2019
If You Think Basic Income is “Free Money” or Socialism, Think Again
A common first reaction to hearing about a fully unconditional and universal basic income is that it's socialism or that it's free money and nothing is free. Both reflexes are wrong, and this episode gets into why. Text: https://medium.com/basic-income/if-you-think-basic-income-is-free-money-or-socialism-think-again-4a17e8d15b1 For more info about UBI, please refer to my FAQ: scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support these podcasts through Anchor or Patreon: patreon.com/scottsantens
19:34
February 19, 2019
What is There to Learn From Finland's Basic Income Experiment? Did It Succeed or Fail?
After two years of experimentation within a two-year experimental design, Finland released on February 8, 2019, preliminary results of their basic income experiment. For anyone who reads the full report, it can be considered nothing short of both promising and fascinating, but what it can’t be called is complete, because the results are still preliminary and based on only the first half of the experiment. With that said, as is also true of the experiments in the U.S. and Canada in the 1970s, there are certainly some conclusions that can and can’t be drawn within the proper context of the experiment’s design. But to reach these conclusions, we’ll first need to go over some of the nitty-gritty details of how the experiment was designed, and what it didn’t even try to measure... Text: https://medium.com/basic-income/what-is-there-to-learn-from-finlands-basic-income-experiment-did-it-succeed-or-fail-54b8e5051f60 For more info about UBI, please refer to my FAQ: scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support my work through Anchor or Patreon: patreon.com/scottsantens
24:35
February 14, 2019
From Rats in Cages to Primates in Paradise — The Scientific Story of Stress in Society
Is the technological automation of human labor the greatest justification for unconditional basic income? In this episode, I dive deep into how our problems are very much in the present by going beyond technology and economics, and into human biology itself. I cover what we as humans have learned from animals in the lab and in the wild, and then apply it to the UBI discussion. Text: https://medium.com/basic-income/human-park-a-mammals-guide-to-stress-free-living-17f6cab007b3 For more info about UBI, please refer to my FAQ: scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support my work through Anchor or Patreon: patreon.com/scottsantens
40:13
February 6, 2019
Basic Income is now a dominant discussion in India's 2019 general election
Basic income is now a dominant discussion in India's 2019 general election. Here I explain the difference between what's being discussed and how actual UBI works. I also get into some of the details that are commonly misunderstood.  Text: http://www.scottsantens.com/basic-income-is-now-a-dominant-discussion-in-india-2019-ubi For more info about UBI, please refer to my FAQ: scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support my work through Anchor or Patreon: patreon.com/scottsantens
10:25
January 31, 2019
Trickle-Down Economics Must Die, Long Live Grow-Up Economics
This is an audio version of my article which you can read on Medium:   medium.com/basic-income/trickle-down-economics-must-die-long-live-grow-up-economics-5b8334a0db76   For more info about UBI, please refer to my FAQ:   scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq   You can support my work through Anchor or Patreon:   patreon.com/scottsantens
26:57
January 29, 2019
UK Talk Radio Appearance, January 12, 2019
Here's my January 12th, 2019 appearance on talkRADIO's The Saturday Show with Alexis Conran to talk with him about basic income and why it should replace Universal Credit in the UK.
12:01
January 22, 2019
Doug Ford Cancelled Ontario's Basic Income Pilot Experiment Because It Was Working
This is an audio version of my article which you can read on Medium:   https://medium.com/basic-income/doug-ford-cancelled-ontarios-basic-income-pilot-experiment-because-it-was-working-75dd504d5fe6   For more info about UBI, please refer to my FAQ:   scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq   You can support my work through Anchor or Patreon:   patreon.com/scottsantens
21:30
January 18, 2019
Deep Learning Is Going to Teach Us All the Lesson of Our Lives: Jobs Are for Machines
This is an audio version of my article which you can read on Medium:   https://medium.com/basic-income/deep-learning-is-going-to-teach-us-all-the-lesson-of-our-lives-jobs-are-for-machines-7c6442e37a49   For more info about UBI, please refer to my FAQ:   scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq   You can support my work on Patreon:   patreon.com/scottsantens  
22:16
December 22, 2018
The Real Story of Automation
Robots are hiding in plain sight. It’s time we stop ignoring them. This is an audio version of my article which you can read on Medium: https://medium.com/basic-income/the-real-story-of-automation-beginning-with-one-simple-chart-8b95f9bad71b For more info about UBI, please refer to my FAQ: scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support my work on Patreon: patreon.com/scottsantens
20:43
December 14, 2018
What People Get Most Wrong About Unconditional Basic Income
Prospect Magazine approached me to write an article for them about what people get most wrong about unconditional basic income. It was published on December 3, 2018. This is my narration of the pre-edited version of that article which I've posted to my blog: http://www.scottsantens.com/what-people-get-most-wrong-about-unconditional-basic-income For more info about UBI, please refer to my FAQ: www.scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq You can support my work on Patreon: www.patreon.com/scottsantens
07:17
December 8, 2018
The Monsters, Inc. Argument for Unconditional Basic Income
How to convert an economy based on fear to one based on joy. We discovered something monstrous that works, and we use it to drive our economy. We've done it for so long, we don't even question it, and we never even tested a far more powerful alternative - UBI. This is an audio version of my article which you can read on Medium: https://medium.com/basic-income/the-monsters-inc-argument-for-unconditional-basic-income-3b22b63eed3e For more info about UBI, please refer to my FAQ: www.scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq Support my work on Patreon: www.patreon.com/scottsantens
12:37
November 24, 2018
What We Need to Truly Thrive: Democracy and Unconditional Basic Income
This is the recorded audio of a keynote speech I wrote for my appearance on stage in Ireland at DemCon 2018. It's an argument for unconditional basic income as being a missing fundamental foundation for democracy, and how we need both working together if we're going to survive as a civilization. The text of this speech is available here: https://medium.com/basic-income/what-we-need-to-truly-thrive-democracy-and-unconditional-basic-income-ccdbe72cefa5 The slide deck I created for this presentation is available here: https://www.slideshare.net/ScottSantens/unconditional-basic-income-and-democracy For more info about UBI, please refer to my FAQ: www.scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq Support my work on Patreon: www.patreon.com/scottsantens
34:23
November 14, 2018
It’s Time for Technology to Serve all Humankind with Unconditional Basic Income
This is a keynote speech I wrote for my appearance on stage in Sweden at Oredev 2017 that I've since recorded in audiobook form. It's effectively an in-depth introductory summary to technological unemployment and the idea of unconditional basic income. Text available here: https://medium.com/basic-income/its-time-for-technology-to-serve-all-humankind-with-unconditional-basic-income-e46329764d28 Slide deck available here: https://www.slideshare.net/ScottSantens/cutting-the-gordian-knot-of-technological-unemployment For more info about UBI, please refer to my FAQ: www.scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq Support my work on Patreon: www.patreon.com/scottsantens
59:31
November 14, 2018
The Zombification of Intellectual Property and the Tool That Could Finally Reform It
How IP-Funded Basic Income Could Enrich the Public Domain. It's time we reduce the perceived need for intellectual property by guaranteeing everyone an unconditional basic income, and funding it as an IP dividend using royalty fees from patents and copyrights. This is an audio version of my essay which you can read on Medium: https://medium.com/basic-income/the-zombification-of-intellectual-property-and-the-tool-that-could-finally-reform-it-2ec037309837 For more info about UBI, please refer to my FAQ: http://www.scottsantens.com/basic-income-faq Support my work on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scottsantens
23:42
November 14, 2018
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