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Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  316 ratings  ·  42 reviews
'Basic Income is an idea whose time has come, and Guy Standing has pioneered our understanding of it... Standing's analysis is vital' Paul Mason

'Guy Standing has been at the forefront of the movement for nearly 4 decades, and in this superb and thorough survey he explains how it works and why it has the potential to revitalise life and democracy in our societies. This is a
Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 4th 2017 by Pelican
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Hussam Al Husseini
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I would give a five-star rating without second thoughts. It is amazingly organized covering all aspects of UBI (Universal Basic Income). Looking at the objections and alternatives, there is no excuse for not applying UBI in any country, including developing countries. According to Guy Standing, applying a UBI in developing countries is easier than developed ones.
Nothing happens over night!
The level of the basic income would obviously be set in relation to resources available and could be gradua
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not a believer of Basic Income at first but this book gave me interesting perspectives.
May 20, 2020 rated it liked it
interesting! I was really skeptical, but i'm a lot more convinced than i thought i would be !
He addressed well some of my former questions abt affordability and inflation by talking about some economics stuff that i mostly understood (basically UBI needs to come with huge changes to tax and subsidies). also critised work and talked about the importance of reproductive labour which is a sexy thing to do (fuck work!).
however, written in such a dry style that i thought he was a tory for a bit of i
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fairly exhaustive rundown of the arguments for universal basic income and the issues surrounding it, by one its leading promoters. Definitely worth a read if you're interested in the topic. ...more
Herve Tunga
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Eye opening and mind blowing. The book seems fair and balance presenting the subjects, its counter arguments and the weaknesses or challenges brought by both. They won an advocate for the cause.
Mat Davies
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have no idea whether this argument could be rolled out effectively - but what Guy Standing has done here is offer a readable, and well argued policy with action points. I first encountered the author through his book 'the precariat' that I thought was a timely analysis of modern 'class' or structures. This book is just practical and published at the right time. ...more
Charlotte Dann
Great book covering the critiques, alternatives, and practicalities of UBI. I made a video summarising it and talking more personally about how it may be funded and how I feel about that. Lots of feels. Political feels. ...more
Jan 13, 2018 rated it liked it
okay, I'm a believer in basic income now =D a lot of waste goes into administrative costs to determine who gets what. by guaranteeing a basic income to everyone, we can spend more time having fun. this book is good, but a bit dry. ...more
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
A reasoned and informative look at a fascinating concept. Standing presents his arguments well and is very convincing on this subject.
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Everything you ever wanted to know about basic income, but were afraid to ask.
Mark Hebden
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
Guy Standing was one of the co-founders of the Basic Income Earth Network in the 1980s and has been a champion of his cause ever since. Thirty to Forty years of fighting this corner at times must have been arduous and thankless; moreso in recent years of right wing governments and global policies of austerity. However, he remains passionate and confident that the time is now for a universal basic income, and this reviewer happens to agree.
In terms of the book, it begins with a historical tour o
Nick Phillips
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
There is a danger when one reads a book dealing with a subject in which one already believes that the book itself will be unconvincing and make one question their own previously held position. This happened some years ago when I read Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion and I was worried that the same thing might happen here. Whether Standing makes for a more convincing argument than Dawkins or whether my own belief in the merits of a basic income is a more unshakable faith I finished this study ev ...more
Scott Taylor-Kent
Apr 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An informative book about Universal Basic Income.

Although the book is written by an advocate of UBI, it does cover some of the criticisms commonly made against Basic Income and shows a fair amount of nuance in parts. Standing concedes that UBI will not be a "panacea" leading to some sort of utopia. He also rejects the libertarian view that UBI could replace all other forms of welfare. However, he gives a staunch evidence based defence against detractors of basic income, particularly on affordabi
Christos Papadimitriou
An good and thorough presentation of the basic arguments in favor of a basic income, neither too brief nor too exhaustive. An analytic exploration of what the basic income really is, what its goals are or should be, why it is needed, what the alternatives are, what the relevant research and the pilots have shown so far, and what the main counter-arguments are, with a focus on the two most prominent ones: affordability and impact on labor. Interestingly, the author makes a solid argumentation on ...more
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Guy Standing has written a brilliant book about Basic Income and how we can make it happen. Standing begins by explaining what Basic Income is, “a modest amount of money paid unconditionally to all individuals on a regular basis”. He then proceeds to examine the arguments for introducing such a scheme (Social Justice, Freedom, Reducing poverty, inequality & insecurity). Standing then moves onto argue that a Basic Income makes good economic sense. He claims that a Basic Income would lead to highe ...more
Peter O'Brien
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
The current coronavirus is arguing the case for a basic income and the job retention furlough scheme is only proving the case for one. This is a policy and a much needed basic human right that is inevitable and actually quite easy to afford in a number of different ways, it's only a question of when it will happen, not if...

"Unlike means-tested benefits, the universality of a basic income could attract broad political support. It would still be radical in the best tradition of the word - aiming
Mark Vernon
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First three chapters are a little convoluted to set up some complex ideas as a background but then with the reader prepared the book takes off. It raises issues the main one being a press owned by people that would be disadvantaged by not receiving a heavy tax break at the expense of the common man.

We're all aware by now that wealth transfer is in only one way and that has historically and in contemporary times borne out a violence to readdress. Only those that want the violence imagining that t
Bruno Santos
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The author deals with issues starting to become more serious as we pave the way to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The old Welfare State is increasingly obsolete in tackling the gap between rich and poor. Our rentier economy will thrive and there's no need to avoid that growth, if we start a basic income that will provide social justice, freedom and security for the most vulnerable.
This book is very convincing. Basic income will take an important role in the near future, if technology and the
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essais
Guy Standing is at the forefront of the basic income movement and you will understand why reading this book. Very well written, Standing goes into every details of every aspect of basic income. From its justification to its financing, he will present arguments and counter arguments and explore the many experiences done on the planet.

Whistle being very detailed and complete the essay never feel heavy and is a fast read. It's clearly a must for anybody who wants to know more about basic income and
I Read, Therefore I Blog
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Guy Standing co-founded the Basic Income Earth Network and is a long-standing proponent of it and in this fascinating and informative book that anyone interested in the subject should read, he sets out what basic income is, the arguments for and against it (although I think his bias shows when assessing objections and he downplays them) and what information has come from those trials that have already been held on it in various countries.
Jie Ying
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Standing offers a solid introduction to Universal Basic Income (UBI) on the ground of social justice (i.e. the concept of a social dividend). While certain areas require more backing or elaboration (notably and most practically, how do we rope in the richer/rich portions of society to agree to further taxes?) and more dissident views should be entertained, in all this is a book that provides a strong argument for UBI against the ubiquitous means-test approach to social assistance.
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A really informative and comprehensive introduction to universal basic income. Perhaps some further reading would be needed to get a completely rounded assessment of all the different rationales and approaches to UBI - those looking fo a completely unbiased assessment may be disappointed - but this book clearly explains the main concepts and provides a very good understanding.
Jan 03, 2021 rated it liked it
EU Citizens are currently collecting signatures to bring the request for UBI in front of the European Parliament.
English Language link:
German Link:
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Spanish Link:
Italian Link:
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very interesting introduction on the concept of universal basic income - UBI, the conditions for it to be properly called UBI, some experiences showing that it works, and what are the positive impacts, and how to know more about the international network promoting it - BIEN.
Adam Wilson
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great primer on the subject.
Victoria Collins
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: economics
Fantastic break down of this topic.
Amir Hassan
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good, easy read on the philosophy and the necessity of providing a universal basic income.
Lucas Coelho
Jul 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Good book. Solid well organized thoughts and arguments. Recommend as a start of discussion or if you don’t know much about basic income.
Emil Vinterhav
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A sluggish read. Good for updating your argumentation on UBI.
Yoong Kheong
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A comprehensive argument for Universal Basic Income, which details the disadvantages of various existing welfare schemes.
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Guy Standing is a British professor of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN).

Standing has written widely in the areas of labour economics, labour market policy, unemployment, labour market flexibility, structural adjustment policies and social protection. His recent work has concerned

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