The Possibility Club

The future of income


Richard Freeman talks to Professor Guy Standing.

They explore  the fallout of globalism and the rise of the precariat – the new social class defined by its insecurity – as well as the idea of a basic universal income, once mocked for being an unworkable socialist pipe-dream but now fast becoming a mainstream social policy idea.

Richard and Guy discuss whether we are entering a post-capitalist economics, and if the fact that wealth is created by owning things rather than making things means what we have can never truly be described as free market. They chat about Guy’s 30-year campaign for a basic universal income and why something for which he was previously derided is now being taken very seriously across the world. But this controversial policy – challenged by thinkers and politicians on both the left and right surely has massive risks – is this not an incentive for worklessness, to spend money on more insecurity and for landlords to exploit these new sources of payments?

Guy Standing is one of the world’s leading social economists, working on issues of distributive justice, social security and citizenship for over 40 years. He is Professor of Development Studies at the School of African & Oriental Studies at the University of London and the co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network.

His most well-known books include ‘The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class’, ‘The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay’ and 2017’s ‘Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen’.


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