Utopia and the Critique of Political Economy
Down with neoliberalism . . . as a concept

Why we need a Universal Basic Income – Karl Widerquist Sydney Lecture

by Troy Henderson on July 7, 2017

Basic Income is an audacious idea – a regular, unconditional cash grant for everyone as a right of citizenship. Yet, growing numbers of people have come to support it, believing not only that welfare systems around the world are too stingy but also that they’re based on an entirely wrong approach. Join Karl Widerquist, whom The Atlantic calls “a leader of the worldwide basic income movement,” to discuss an idea which is increasingly viewed as the only viable way of reconciling poverty relief and full employment.

Karl will discuss how Basic Income removes the judgment and paternalism that pervade the world’s existing social welfare systems, and why doing so is so important not only for people at the bottom but also for the average worker. He will discuss how to craft a realistic Basic Income proposal, how much it costs, options for paying for it, and the evidence for what it can do.

Following the lecture Karl Widerquist will be joined for Q&A by Dr Elizabeth Hill, Chair of Department of Political Economy, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Sydney, and Professor Gabrielle Meagher, Department of Sociology, Macquarie University.

Hosted by Stephen Long, ABC TV business reporter

Introduction by Professor Simon Tormey, Head of the School of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

When: Wednesday 16 August, 6-7.30pm

Where: Charles Perkins Centre Auditorium, Johns Hopkins Drive, The University of Sydney, (Venue location)

About the speaker: Karl Widerquist is an Associate Professor at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University. He has published seven books, including Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy (coauthored) and Independence, Propertylessness, and Basic Income: A Theory of Freedom as the Power to Say No. He is a cofounder of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network. He served as co-chair of the Basic Income Earth Network for 7 years, and is cofounder of its news website, Basic Income News. He is a cofounder of the journal, Basic Income Studies, the only academic journal devoted to research on Basic Income. He has appeared on or been quoted by many major media outlets, including the New York Times, Forbes, the Financial Times, NPR’s On Point, NPR’s Marketplace, PRI’s the World, CNBC, Al-Jazeera, 538, Vice, Dissent, and others. Much of his writing is available on his Selected Works website. More information about him is available at his BIEN profile.

Presented by: the Department of Political Economy, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Sydney, the Department of Sociology, Macquarie University and Sydney Ideas

Free and open to all, register here




Troy Henderson
Troy Henderson is an economist with a particular interest in the past, present and future of work in Australia. He received a Bachelor of Economics and Social Sciences and a Master of Arts (Research) in Political Economy from the University of Sydney. He is completing his PhD in 2019. His Masters research focused on The Four-Day Workweek as a Policy Option for Australia, while his PhD thesis explores Basic Income as a Policy Option for Australia. He has published academic articles and book chapters on these and other work-related topics, and has undertaken economic consulting work for Public Services International. He has presented at national and international conferences, and is a regular media commentator. He is passionate about fair work, social justice, cricket and the NBA. Twitter: @TroyCHenderson

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