This is the Newsletter of USBIG, ( a network promoting the basic income guarantee (BIG) in the United States. If you'd like to be added to or removed from this list please email:
















The First Congress of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network:

Fundamental Insecurity or Basic Income Guarantee


March 8-9, 2002

The CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York City



The Center for Social Justice, School of Social Welfare, Stony Brook University

The Center for the Study of Culture, Technology, and Work at the CUNY Graduate Center

Continuing Education and Public Programs at the CUNY Graduate Center

The Citizen Policies Institute


The preliminary program of the First USBIG Congress is now up on the web at .The conference will begin at 8am, Friday March 8, 2002, and will run until 5:30pm, Saturday, March 9. Confirmed speakers include Stanley Aronowitz, professor of Sociology at CUNY and coauthor of The Jobless Future; Guy Standing, director of the Socio-Economic Security Programme of the International Labour Organisation and author of Global Labour Flexibility: Seeking Distributive Justice; Brazillian Senator Eduardo Suplicy, author of Citizen's Income—The Exit is through the Door, and sponsor of a bill for a national referendum on BIG in Brazil; Anne Alstott, Yale University, coauthor of The Stakeholder Society; Harold Watts, Columbia University, coeditor of The New Jersey Income Maintenance Experiment, Volumes II and III; Alice O’Connor, associate professor of history at UC Santa Barbara, and author of Poverty Knowledge: Social Science, Social Policy and the Poor in Twentieth Century U.S. History, and many more are still being confirmed.


The agenda includes two speakers, four panel discussions, thirty-six paper presentations, a reception, and a screening of the film “A Day’s Work, A Day’s Pay,” and an organization meeting for USBIG. At the organizational meeting we will discuss the creation of USBIG as an official nonprofit organization, the strategy of USBIG over the next two years, and the Second USBIG Congress. Funded proposals for a location for the second conference are invited. More information on the Congress is available on the web at




To register for the USBIG Congress, send your name, address, telephone number, email address, affiliation (if applicable), and the registration fee of $25 ($15 for students, the unemployed, and anyone on public assistance) to:


Edith Lundgren

The SUNY School of Social Welfare at Stony Brook

Health Sciences Center Level 2

Stony Brook, NY 11794


Please note that the registration fee announced earlier was incorrect. There is no penalty for late registration, but registration is limited so please reserve your space early.


Those coming from other countries (who are unable to pay an advanced fee in U.S. dollars) can reserve their place at the conference by emailing Michael Lewis The registration fee will be due on arrival. This option is limited to people from outside the U.S., those in the U.S. are asked to register as early as possible.




CONFERENCE HOTELS: Three New York Hotels have agreed to hold discounted rooms for this conference.


THE COMFORT INN MANHATTAN is at 42 West 35th Street (between 5th at 6th Avenues (right around the corner from the conference). Reservations call (212) 947-0200. Speak with in-house reservations tell them that you are here for the USBIG conference to receive the discounted rate of $125 per night (including continental breakfast). Must make reservations by February 15th to guarantee the rate.


HOLIDAY INN MARTINIQUE, 49 West 32nd Street at the corner of Broadway (3 blocks from the conference). Reservations call, 212-736-3800 and mention that the USBIG conference to get the discounted rate of $129 per night.


THE CARLTON ARMS HOTEL is cheap (for NY) and clean but a very funky hotel. Their motto is “It Ain’t No Holiday Inn,” because every room is painted by a different artist. At 160 E 25th Street (near Lexington Avenue), it’s about a 10-minute walk from the conference. Regular rates including taxes are:

One person: $60 with shared bathroom, $75 with private bath.

Two people: $80 shared bath, $95 private bath.

Reservations: call (212) 679-0680 and speak to Ty and mention the USBIG conference to get a 10% discount below these rates. Hotel website:




APPLE CORE HOTELS (1-800-567-7720) makes reservations for a number of area hotels, three of which are within a 5-minute walk from the conference. Rates subject to change based on availability: QUALITY HOTEL EAST SIDE: 161 Lexington Avenue (near 30th St.), $119 for a room with a one queen-sized bed, $139 for two double beds. BEST WESTERN MANHATTAN: 17 West 32nd St. (off 5th Avenue), $139 queen or two twin beds, $149 two queen beds. RED ROOF INN: 6 West 32nd St. (off 5th Avenue), $139.99 room with king-sized bed, $149.99 room with two double beds.


YOUTH HOSTEL: THE BOWERY’S WHITEHOUSE at 340 Bowery (near Houston St.) is about 20 minutes from the conference by subway. Rates are $30 a night for a single cubicle and $57 for a double cubicle (walls do not go all the way to the ceiling).

Reservations: (212) 477-5623,





The USBIG website now has an on line bibliography of more than 2,000 books and articles about or relating to the basic income guarantee. Hopefully in the future we’ll be able to make this into a searchable database, but for now it’s a simple alphabetical list (by author) in one 1.5-megabyte file (depending on your internet connection it may take a while to load up). But it is a useful resource for any paper on the topic. To find it go to, click “bibliography” and then click “BIG bibliography.”





NINTH CONGRESS OF THE BASIC INCOME EUROPEAN NETWORK: INCOME SECURITY AS A RIGHT will take place at the International Labour Office, Geneva, Switzerland, 12-14 September 2002. For information on the conference including the call for papers can be found on the web at


MULHEIM AN DER RUHR (DE), 1-4 February 2002

"Towards a new definition of work, income and life - Basic Income and the future of work" Consultation organised by the Evangelische Akademie Mülheim and the Work Economy Network in the European Churches (WEN). For further information: Dr Wolf-Dieter Just, Evangelische Akademie Mülheim, Uhlenhorstwag 29, D-45479 Mülheim an der Ruhr,





Recipients of this fellowship need not write about the basic income guarantee, but the Hoover Chaire at Universite catholique de Louvain has been instrumental in work on the basic income guarantee since its inception. I was a Hoover Fellow last year, and I recommend it highly.


Hoover Fellowship in Economic and Social Ethics

Universite catholique de Louvain (Belgium)


Thanks to the continued support of the Hoover Foundation for the Development of the Catholic University of Louvain, the Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics offers every year a postdoctoral fellowship.  The fellowhip is intended for scholars from outside Belgium, who hold a doctorate or possess equivalent qualifications and are active in the field of economic or social ethics.  At least some rudiments of French and an active knowledge of either English or French are required.  The fellowship provides a gross monthly stipend of Euros 1800, plus a contribution to travelling expenses, for a period of nine months.  It is likely to be divided among several applicants to enable each of them to come for a shorter period.  The length of a fellow's stay can also be extended beyond the tenure of her/his fellowship.  In the case of senior scholars on sabbatical leave, it can be combined with an income from another source. The fellow will be provided with office space, some secretarial assistance and help in finding accommodation, (s)he will be welcome to take an active part in the Chaire Hoover's activities and will have access to the University's seminars, lecture courses and libraries. Information about the research interests of those currently attached to the Hoover Chair and application information can be found on its web site ( Applicants with an interest in rethinking together the "social question" and the "national question" in the context of a globalised economy are particularly welcome. General information about the University and its Faculties can be found on





Al Sheahen, “America’s War on Poverty Never Won: Poor Worse off now than in 1980.” Sheahen points out that 1 in 6 American children live in poverty compared to 1 in 12 in France and 1 in 38 in Sweden, and the poverty is up despite the long period of economic growth that just ended. Among other things, Sheahen recommends shifting the goal of welfare reform to the reduction of poverty rather than simply reducing caseloads. He concludes that a guaranteed income would be the best way to achieve that goal.


Walter Williams, “Honest Numbers and Democracy: Social Policy Analysis in the White House, Congress, and the Federal Agencies.” Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1998. Williams is emeritus professor of public affairs, Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington. The book contains a historical chapter on the Negative Income Tax, 1965-1972, pp.92-119.




THE JOAN BARDINA STUDIES CENTER WEB SITE contains political and economic proposals against poverty and corruption, using a system called “basic revenue.” The website contains articles and books in seven languages including Catalan, Castilian Spanish, English, French, Italian, German and Esperanto. It can be found at:


JASPER’S BOX presents a plan for a basic income guarantee financed by a steady increase in the money supply, and a downloadable novel about the basic income guarantee:


LETTER FROM CSDS. Robley George, director of the Center for the Study of Democratic societies sends his regrets and encouragement for the USBIG conference. It can be found at





THE BASIC INCOME EUROPEAN NETWORK (BIEN) maintains a website, publishes a newsletter, and organizes conferences promoting basic income in Europe and around the world. The Coordinator is Philippe Van Parijs and the Conference Coordinator is Guy Standing. The BIEN website can be found at either:




BASIC INCOME/CANADA (BI/Canada) maintains a web site and an email discussion group. Their Coordinator is Sally Lerner. To be included on the BI/Canada email list to receive periodic newsletters email <>. BI/Canada’s website (maintained by Tim Rourke) features essays and commentary on basic income in a Canadian context. It can be found at:

Also affiliated with BI/Canada is FUTUREWORK: an international e-mail forum for discussion of how to deal with the new realities created by economic globalization and technological change. It can be found on the web at:



The Citizens' Income TRUST maintains a website WITH news on citizen's income (the British version of BIG) from the United Kingdom and around the world:



OASIS (ORGANISATION ADVOCATING SUPPORT INCOME STUDIES IN AUSTRALIA), The Australian Basic Income group, publishes an email newsletter and maintains a website with literature about basic income in Australia and around the world. Anyone interested in receiving a copy of their newsletter should contact: Allan McDonald at: or see their website:



UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME NEW ZEALAND (UBINZ) promotes basic income in New Zealand. Their coordinator is Ian Ritchie. They can be found on the web at:

Or reached by email at:



THE SOUTH AFRICAN NEW ECONOMICS FOUNDATION (SANE) promotes BIG in South Africa and Worldwide. It can be found at:



VERENIGING BASINKOMEN promotes in Basic Income Guarantee in the Netherlands. Coordinator: Emiel Schäfer





GRUNDEINKOMMEN OSTERREICH promotes Basic Income in Austria. Its Coordinator is Michael Striebel ( They can be contacted by email at:

Or found on the web at:






BIEN IRELAND promotes the Basic Income Guarantee in Ireland. Their coordinator is John Baker. They can be reached by email at:



BIEN BRASIL (BASIC INCOME EARTH NETWORK) promotes the basic income guarantee in Brazil. The Coordinator, Eduardo Suplicy, is a member of the Brazilian Senate. He can be reached by email at:



THE SPANISH NETWORK ON THE BASIC INCOME GUARANTEE is known by three names in three languages: Red Renta Básica (in Castillan), Xarxa Renda Bàsica (in Catalan) and Oinarrizko Errenta Sarea (in Basque). It can be found on the web at:

Secretary: David Casassas (

President: Daniel Raventós (



SPANISH EMAIL LIST ON BASIC INCOME is coordinated by Rafael Pinilla Palleja, and it can be found at a



THE SWEDEN BASIC INCOME GUARANTEE NETWORK, Folkrorelsen for medborgarlon, is coordinated by Kicki Bobacka, who can be reached by email at:



THE GERMAN BASIC INCOME GUARANTEE NETWORK is Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Sozialhilfeinitiativen (BAG-SHI).

Contact: Wolfram Otto





THE BOSTON REVIEW included seventeen articles on the basic income guarantee by Philippe Van Parijs and others in its October-November 2000 issue. These articles have been jointly published as a book entitled, “What’s Wrong with a Free Lunch?” The full text of the articles can be found on line at:



the Center for the Study of Democratic Societies (CSDS) has been talking about some form of BIG for 30 years. More information can be found at:



VIVANT is a movement (mainly Belgian, but with some activity in France and Switzerland) that promotes Basic Income by participating in elections. It can be found on the web at



THE INSTITUTE FOR SOCIOECONOMIC STUDIES (ISES) is a private foundation that examines issues relating to economic development, poverty, health care reform, and the quality of life. ISES promotes a version of BIG known as the National Tax Rebate. It can be found on the web at:



MATS HOGLUND’s maintains two BIG web sites with information in English and Swedish:



The Geonomy Society, which promotes using land taxes to support a universal basic income guarantee, can be reached at:



MANFRED FUELLSACK maintains a BIG bibliography on line at:



SOCIAL AGENDA sponsors a Caregivers Tax Credit Campaign. Although it isn't a universal basic income guarantee, it will distribute income to anyone caring for (directly or indirectly) another human in need. Their website is:



THE ALASKA PERMANENT FUND pays a partial Basic Income Guarantee to all Alaska residents funded from oil revenue. For information see:




Steve Shafarman’s book on the Citizens’ Dividend can be ordered on line at:




The “Half Bakery” is a website that specializes in informal discussions of political and social issues. It has opened up a discussion of basic income at:



CLAWS (CREATING LIVABLE ALTERNATIVES TO WAGE SLAVERY) actively promotes alternatives to the wage slavery mindset and what they call "The Cult of the Job" which equates a job with "making a living". The website includes essays, book excerpts and articles by Bob Black, Robert Anton Wilson, Bertrand Russell, Buckminster Fuller, Jean Liedloff and others who are critical of the cult of the job. CLAWS can be found on the web at:




FINALLY, THE U.S. BASIC INCOME GUARANTEE NETWORK (USBIG), which publishes this newsletter, is dedicated to promoting the discussion basic income guarantee (BIG) in the United States. BIG is a generic name for any proposal create a minimum income level below which no citizen’s income can fall. Information on BIG and USBIG can be found on the web at: If you know any BIG news; if you have any comments on the newsletter or the web site; if you know anyone who would like to be added to this list; or if you would like to be removed from this list; please send me an email.




-Karl Widerquist, coordinator, USBIG.