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The World & COVID-19

Exploring Basic Income in a Changing Economy Teach-Out

Luke Shaefer

School of Social Work

The United States social safety net is a complex system with many programs and often difficult eligibility requirements. Many of these programs only deliver in-kind aid (not cash) to people living in poverty, a lot of whom can fall through the cracks and can’t make ends meet.

Basic income, the idea of providing people with a minimal level of cash support on a consistent basis, remains a point of debate in the United States and beyond. In this Teach-Out, you will join leading experts to explore the emerging idea of basic income and other associated social safety net programs.

The Teach-Out will address the following questions:
What is basic income?
What is the difference between basic income and universal basic income?
Why is basic income generating so much interest now?
How does basic income work? What are the benefits and the challenges?
How might basic income help create an inclusive economy?
What is the social safety net? Who does it help and who does it leave out?
How do we currently measure poverty and determine who is eligible for safety net programs?
How do automation and a changing economy affect the basic income conversation?

Note: This Teach-Out originally launched in July 2018. Some of the examples, studies discussed, and perspectives may have changed since we recorded these conversation, but the core content of the Teach-Out remains extremely relevant today. Please enjoy this relaunched version of the Teach-Out, we encourage you to engage in the discussion forums with other learners.

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