COVID19: Is Basic Income the Answer to Financial and Physical Wellbeing After COVID? With Professor Guy Standing

22 Apr 2020

In this weeks podcast I speak with Professor Guy Standing. A professorial research associate and former professor at SOAS University of London and world expert on Universal basic Income.

He is also a co-founder and current co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), an international non-governmental organization that promotes basic income as a right.

In light of the evolving pandemic I wanted to shift the conversation from reacting to the current scenario, to considering what opportunities there are to grow from this.

In the same way the British public and government created a universal healthcare system in the wake of WWII, perhaps our current scenario provides the foundation for even more radical thinking.

Today we discuss Basic Income as a measure that could alleviate societal suffering that started years before the pandemic, but has been extenuated and magnified as a result of the virus.

What we understand more than ever is the inequality within our communities, the effects of which will last far beyond the closure of this health crisis and will continue unless we think more carefully and imaginatively about how we structure our society.

We talk through the following:

  • Basic constructs of what Universal Basic Income means
  • The ethical and economic arguments for Basic Income
  • Ideas and culture shifts in politics and society that need to be in place for basic income to work
  • Professor Standing's experiences with instituting Basic Income in communities across the world


I hope that this situation has made more of us think more compassionately and kindly toward our neighbours both internationally as well as nationally and that this podcast ignites a different way of thinking even if you do not agree with the notion of Basic income.

Please do be sure to check out Professor Standings book - Battling Eight Giants: Basic Income Now (Bloomsbury, 2020) - released this year and available through most good bookstores or online booksellers.


I do hope that you find this episode informative and useful at this time, and I would really love your feedback on the content that we are sharing here.

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We’re also going to be doing some more ‘Ask Me Anything’ episodes in the coming weeks too - so if you have any questions whatsoever - then again please do share these on my Instagram, Facebook & Twitter pages and the team will be collating all the questions and we’ll answer as many as we possibly can.

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" Its up to us, every single one of us - to not only be improving our behaviour towards each other.  But to be demanding a different sort of politics, a different sort of social structure.  And that I think can happen"

Professor Guy Standing

I really do hope that you enjoyed this episode, its a different topic for us here at The Doctors Kitchen but nonetheless an incredibly important one that I wanted to highlight and bring to the fore.
What a wonderful and incredibly humble guest, and a really super interesting conversation we had.   It was a delight to have Professor Standing on the podcast, especially right now in the midst of this pandemic that were all living through.
I do hope that you enjoyed the episode and please do give me your feedback on our social media pages - Id love to hear what you thought.

GUEST: Dr Guy Standing

Guy Standing is a professorial research associate and former professor at SOAS University of London. He is also a co-founder and current co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), an international non-governmental organization that promotes basic income as a right. Dr. Standing was previously Professor of Economic Security at the University of Bath, UK and Professor of Labour Economics at Monash University, Melbourne. From 1999 to 2006, he was the director of the Socio-Economic Security Program of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva. He has been a consultant for many international bodies, including the United Nations, the European Commission, the Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank. Dr. Standing has written and edited over thirty books on labor economics and policy, structural adjustment, social protection, the emerging precariat and the need for a new income distribution system anchored by a basic income. His publications include: Battling Eight Giants: Basic Income Now (2020), Plunder of the Commons: A Manifesto for Sharing Public Wealth (2019), Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen (2017), The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay (2016), Basic Income: A Transformative Policy for India (2015), A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens (2014), and The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (2011), which has been translated into twenty-three languages. A Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences, he holds a BA in economics from the University of Sussex, an MA in labor economics and industrial relations from the University of Illinois, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Cambridge.   Projects: Indian basic income pilot video   Books:  Battling Eight Giants: Basic Income Now (Bloomsbury, 2020); Plunder of the Commons: A Manifesto for Sharing Public Wealth (Penguin, 2019); Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen (Penguin, 2017); The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay (Biteback, 2016) 

with Dr Guy Standing

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