The cash stimulus payments issued by many governments during the Covid-19 pandemic have given new life to calls for a universal basic income (UBI) — unconditional, sustained cash payments.

Does UBI have a home in Taiwan? Since Taiwan has avoided calamity from Covid-19, major stimulus wasn’t seen as necessary. But economic stability could be all the more reason to think big about addressing social inequality. In our latest feature, we evaluate the possibility of launching a UBI program in Taiwan.

The first essay by Dr. Chieh-Chi Hsieh discusses in detail what a UBI would mean for Taiwan economically. Hsieh argues that implementing UBI would entail dramatic changes to Taiwan’s growth model, and spur a shift to consumption-based economy.

Hsieh is joined in follow-up piece by Luke Harrington in considering the social and political desirability of universal basic income proposal, who argue that the program can be likened to a voucher in that it “does not offer any possibility to alter the public’s everyday experience beyond whatever the market offers.”

Drawing the series to a close, Tyler Prochazka of UBI Taiwan counters that a basic income is both feasible and desirable as an investment in “Taiwan’s most critical and valuable resource: its people.”