Give People Money

How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World
Narrated by: Annie Lowrey
Length: 7 hrs and 11 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (256 ratings)

Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.50

Buy for $24.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

Short-listed for the 2018 FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

A brilliantly reported, global look at universal basic income - a stipend given to every citizen - and why it might be necessary in an age of rising inequality, persistent poverty, and dazzling technology.

Imagine if every month the government deposited $1,000 into your bank account, with nothing expected in return. It sounds crazy. But it has become one of the most influential and hotly debated policy ideas of our time. Futurists, radicals, libertarians, socialists, union representatives, feminists, conservatives, Bernie supporters, development economists, childcare workers, welfare recipients, and politicians from India to Finland to Canada to Mexico - all are talking about UBI.

In this sparkling and provocative book, economics writer Annie Lowrey examines the UBI movement from many angles. She travels to Kenya to see how a UBI is lifting the poorest people on earth out of destitution, India to see how inefficient government programs are failing the poor, South Korea to interrogate UBI’s intellectual pedigree, and Silicon Valley to meet the tech titans financing UBI pilots in expectation of a world with advanced artificial intelligence and little need for human labor.

Lowrey explores the potential of such a sweeping policy and the challenges the movement faces, among them contradictory aims, uncomfortable costs, and, most powerfully, the entrenched belief that no one should get something for nothing. In the end, she shows how this arcane policy has the potential to solve some of our most intractable economic problems while offering a new vision of citizenship and a firmer foundation for our society in this age of turbulence and marvels.

©2018 Annie Lowrey (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Lowrey, a journalist who covers economic policy for The Atlantic, musters considerable research to make the case for a universal basic income - a government-funded cash handout for all.” (New York Times Book Review

“Lowrey is a policy person. She is interested in working from the concept down.... Her conscientiously reported book assesses the widespread effects that money and a bit of hope could buy.” (The New Yorker

“Like UBI, the book is ambitious, and it presents a strong case for cash aid.” (Financial Times)

Editorial Review

Minimum income for all

Universal Basic Income ("UBI") will probably be a hot topic in the next election cycle. Annie Lowrey’s audiobook—she’s a proponent of UBI, as the title implies—feels less like a political argument and more like a "what if" conversation with a well-informed friend. Lowrey surveys places where UBI is working or has been tried, and takes into account possible objections to a minimum income plan for the US She invites listeners to contemplate an "ethos" of UBI, a society that is inclusive, simple, and humane. How would $1,000 each month, no strings attached, change your life? —Christina H., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Give People Money

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    143
  • 4 Stars
    67
  • 3 Stars
    29
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    6
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    130
  • 4 Stars
    50
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    7
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    122
  • 4 Stars
    53
  • 3 Stars
    28
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    9

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Eye Opening. Not perfect, but happy with it

As someone who has been generally opposed to the idea of the UBI, I read this book to broaden my perspective and understand what evidence and arguments support it. I was impressed by how much time and effort the author clearly put into writing this book. I also enjoy having the author narrate their own book. One thing that separates this book from others I have read is that Lowrey dedicates sections to the arguments against a UBI and how a UBI could be faulty. There were potentially too many anecdotes for some readers. While the firsthand interviews with people affected by poverty are valuable, a few less would have sufficed. Additionally, it would have been interesting if Lowrey reached out not to consumers and citizens, but to small businesses and corporations alike to see how a UBI would affect them. What would stop companies from simply raising their prices to match the increased income of their consumers?

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A pinch of Ethos, add Logos for flavor

The author does a superb job at voicing her written work, which itself is a great, and (imo) fair look at the concepts, arguments for and against, and real evidences related to UBI. My favorite thing about her wiring style inherent is the adept use of universal (worldwide) anecdote combined with simple, but not simplified, explanations of the research that currently exists. I would even like to pick up a physical copy for the bibliography section!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

An intriguing idea

I first heard of the Universal Basic Income (UBI) about a year ago and wished there was a book that discussed it. And here it is. The studies the author cites are quite interesting, though they are generally not studies from Western countries. I did read about a study in Canada in another book. Oh, if only we could have such a thing. It seems unrealistic, but maybe one day. Talking about it, writing about it is the first step to getting the idea out there.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Tecnicaly is not communism but heavily inspired by

the author does not understand the destructive consequences of a UBI and sadly does not care. why give money to everybody instead of just the poor... the answer "to make everybody guilty of the crime, stilling". in another chapter the author played with the idea of printing money without caring the inflation it will cause!! just because we (the USA) can!. If you think UBI is a good Idea look at my country Venezuela with inflation of 1,000,000% in 2018. the one that gives you the money will CONTROL YOU!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Give People Money

Tip of the iceberg. I am so happy this knowledge came to me. The future is faster than you think, by Steve Kotler tells me the paradigm shift Lowrey explains beautifully is here. Human bodies across America are Owners, not renters. It is what it is.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well written and orated.

I agree with the author and feel that it should be implemented. Of course it's not enough for the wealthy to rise above. They are not satisfied unless the other 98% are held back. They will fight this tooth and nail to maintain the status quo.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Mind blown!

Mind has been blown! Well done, Annie! A very thorough trip through the annals of UBI theory.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great ideas, good book, okay reading.

Author is obviously intelligent and the book is well-researched. She writes with passion on the subject but spends a great deal of time waxing poetic about the human stories. I get the relevance but she goes on. Her reading of the book reflects this. Her upward inflections and tired droning sometimes drag the material down. Contrast that with the actual philosophic parts of the book and she is excited and reading as much from her own personal philosophy as from the page.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, terrible reader.

The author has done a wonderful job humanizing the face of poverty around the world and how people have tried to fight it. She's also done a bang-up job laying out how simply giving people money instead of patronizingly giving them stuff they "need" decided by faceless bureaucrats and finger-wagging donors is a mich better way of alleviating poverty while preserving human dignity, and all of this on the cheap. But the reader's speaking style has this grating, false conversational affectation that makes listening to the book a chore, rather than a joy. When the reader stops doing that, and just reads the effing book, you can see the contrast most starkly. Annie, you have a great book, but let someone else read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good ideas, buy lacks statistical support

The book is a good frame for a new way of government. It lacks statistical and economics support to actually make it believable.

5 people found this helpful