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Podcast: Talk Policy To Me

Episode 211: Talking UBI, part 3


How can we fix the stigma around welfare?

Welfare is deeply politicized and often stigmatized. Social support programs are strongly centered around beneficiaries working. Has it always been this way? Are we destined to be stuck with these political perspectives?

In today’s episode, UC Berkeley MPP student Sarah Edwards wraps up the three-part series around Universal Basic Income and the Social Safety Net. She examines a crossroads moment in our nation’s history when the  Social Safety Net conversation began to talk about the “deserving” vs “undeserving” poor.

She then speaks with the California Budget and Policy Center’s Sara Kimberlin to explore California’s new policies driving the future of our safety net—and how we might not be as far from a UBI as it seems.

Special thanks to James Hawkins (MPP '18) for research support on this episode.

Interested in more on the UBI, social safety nets, and the complicated history of welfare policy? We recommend you try out the following:

  1. Listen to part 1 and 2 of this series—Part 1 features Goldman Professor Hilary Hoynes and Part 2 features Lori Ospina, the former director of the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (the first basic income demonstration in the United States).
  2. Read Brian Steensland’s book, The Failed Welfare Revolution: America’s Struggle Over Guaranteed Income Policy, that dives into the historic attempts to guarantee Americans basic economic security.
  3. Explore the California Budget and Policy Center’s reports on the impact of the CalEITC.