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Home » Rutger Bregman on Why We Should Give Everyone A Basic Income (Transcript)

Rutger Bregman on Why We Should Give Everyone A Basic Income (Transcript)

Rutger Bregman at TEDxMaastricht

Full text of Rutger Bregman on Why We Should Give Everyone A Basic Income @ TEDxMaastricht conference.

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TRANSCRIPT: 

Ladies and gentlemen, today I’d like to share a big idea with you. In fact, I believe it could be one of the biggest ideas of the 21st century. It’s an idea that could unite politicians from the left to the right in fixing our broken social security system. It’s an idea that could give dignity to millions and accomplish what we should have accomplished long ago especially in our rich and wealthy countries: eradicating poverty.

But first, I have to be honest with you: it’s actually not my idea.

Now, in fact it’s the idea of this man, Thomas Paine, who sadly wasn’t able to make it today because — well, he died 200 years ago.

But it was also the idea of these guys: some of history’s greatest thinkers.

Now I can hear you think: What kind of idea could unite men so different such as the civil rights campaigner, Martin Luther King, on the one hand, and the free market economist Milton Friedman, on the other hand? What idea could unite thinkers so different such as Thomas Paine, who thought that the government is the solution to most of our problems, and on the other hand, Friedrich von Hayek, the Austrian economist, who said that, well, the government is in fact the problem, most of the time.

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