Free Lunch Society: Komm Komm Grundeinkommen

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Even the most pointed documentaries occasionally need to show exactly what they’re jabbing at. The intriguingly wonky Free Lunch Society takes a distinctly favorable look at the concept of an Universal Basic Income, drawing copiously from the past—as well as a few ominous glimpses down the road—to make its case. The lack of any real opposing viewpoints, though, make it tough to dispel the aura of propaganda. Framed as a report from the distant future (complete with a vaguely Siri-sounding narrator), director Christian Tod’s film explores the idea of citizens receiving a living wage from the government, referencing examples such as the ongoing oil payments to Alaskan residents, economic experiments conducted in Namibia and Switzerland, and the White House’s scuttled attempt at redefining welfare in the 70’s. Fascinating as all the number-crunching is, however, it becomes apparent as Free Lunch Society progresses at how just firmly it stacks its chosen deck, with the voices against limited to a couple of quickly dismissed sound bites. That said, when viewed against the current backdrop of growing economic inequality and ever-more-apocalyptic tax plans, the information compiled here still makes for a pretty compelling argument, no matter how one-sided the delivery may be. by Andrew Wright
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