USBIG Newsletter VOL. 7, NO. 38, March - April 2006

This is the Newsletter of the USBIG Network (, which promotes the discussion of the basic income guarantee (BIG) in the United States--a policy that would unconditionally guarantee a subsistence-level income for everyone. If you would like to be added to or removed from this list please email:


  1. BIG Bill to Be Introduced in the U.S. Congress
  2. Prominent American Conservative Endorses BIG
  3. The Fifth USBIG Congress
  4. BIG News from Around the World
  5. Call for proposals: Eleventh BIEN Congress
  6. Call for papers: Journal Symposium on Wage Subsidies and Income Guarantees
  7. Upcoming Events
  8. Recent Publications
  9. New Discussion Papers
  10. New Members
  11. New Links
  12. Links and Other Info

1. BIG Bill to Be Introduced in the U.S. Congress

Congressman Bob Filner (Democrat from San Diego, California) will introduce a bill in the U.S. Congress in late April 2006, entitled, “A Tax Cut For the Rest of Us.” The preamble of the bill reads, “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a basic income guarantee in the form of a refundable tax credit for taxpayers who do not itemize deductions.”

The Bill would transform the standard income tax deduction into a standard tax credit of $2000 per adult and $1000 per child. For the first time, it would give a “refundable tax credit” to everyone who filed an income tax return, even if the person had no private income. The current “Earned Income Tax Credit” provides a small refundable tax credit, but only to those who have some earned income. Anyone who earns zero is ineligible. The current “standard tax deduction” is “nonrefundable,” meaning that if people’s incomes are so low that their deductions are greater than their taxes, they pay no taxes, but receive no cash back either. The BIG bill would change that, allowing low-income Americans to receive up to $2000 in cash as a tax credit, and everyone else to receive the same amount off of the taxes they pay.

Al Sheahen has been working tirelessly with Filner and his staff for nearly two years to get this bill introduced. The Bill is based on a proposal written by Al Sheahen and Karl Widerquist presented at the 2005 USBIG Congress. The bill lacks a Republican co-sponsor, which makes its prospects dim in the current Republican controlled session, but Sheahen sees the bill as a long-term objective, around which to organize support and which might have a much better chance after congressional elections in November. A copy of “The Tax-Cut-For-The-Rest-Of-Us Act of 2006” is on the USBIG website at For information on how to help support the bill contact Al Sheahen at


2. Prominent American Conservative Endorses BIG

Charles Murray, of the American Enterprise Institute, is a “free market” critic of the U.S. welfare system. His 1984 book, Losing Ground, argued that the government should simply scrap the welfare system, but his latest book, In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State, gives up the idea of eliminating the welfare system and instead argues to replace it with what he calls “The Plan,” which many readers of this publication will recognize as a small basic income guarantee. Murray has followed up the book with a series of speaking engagements discussing “The Plan.”

Murray’s plan is most reminiscent of Leonard Greene’s proposal to replace all programs aimed at maintaining someone’s income with a tax rebate. Murray proposes to eliminate all U.S. federal welfare programs, including Social Security, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, School Lunches, Pell Grants, TANF, and the like. He would distribute the money saved as a $10,000 basic income guarantee for all adults 21 and over. The Plan includes no money at all for anyone under age 21. He mandates that $3000 of the $10,000 be put aside into a national health insurance plan that would cover everyone. That means each adult only gets a cash basic income of $7000 no matter how many dependents they have.

Murray argues that his plan offers a way to bypass the financial crisis facing entitlements and is the most effective way to end poverty—but the plan’s ultimate purposes are more sweeping. In Murray’s words, it “is not a book about poverty. It’s about building a society in which people can run their own lives.”

Murray talked about his proposal at the at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC on Friday March 24, 2006 and at New York University on Tuesday April 11. He faced skeptical questions from fellow neo-liberals, such as Lawrence Mead, especially on why he would support a program without work requirements. Murray had a ready response, “You’re a conservative. I’m a libertarian.” By this he means that he is what we might know as a “free-market conservative” rather than a “social conservative.”

Advocates of BIG have been divided over Murray’s book. Some note that basic income is a policy that appeals more to the far ends of the political spectrum than it does to the center, because the one thing that free-market conservatives and egalitarians have in common is that neither group wants a government bureaucracy bossing around the poor. Socially conservative ideas that the poor need supervision from government and that the poor can be divided into the “truly needy” and the “undeserving” holds the broad middle ground in U.S. politics. Social conservatism is so strong that many of the progressive programs of the New Deal and Great Society eras built in efforts to control and judge the poor.

The guaranteed income movement of the 1960s and 70s had support not only from progressive liberals, egalitarians, and welfare-rights activists but also from free-market conservatives such as Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek. Their support gave the idea credibility that helped it become a viable political opinion in the Nixon administration. The basic income movement of the last 15 or 20 years has been almost entirely a left-of-center phenomenon, and many BIGists welcome support from the other side of the spectrum.

Other BIG advocates have been more skeptical about Murray in particular. His books Losing Ground and The Bell Curve show very little sympathy for the poor. These books tend to blame poverty on the poor rather than on an unjust political and economic system. Some argue that the Bell Curve uses questionable scholarship to argue that the poor are poor because they are unintelligent and that African-Americans are disproportionately poor because they are on average less intelligent than other so-called races. This opinion is quite radical, coming at a time when most biologists have concluded that there is no meaningful genetic definition of race much less a link between “race” and intelligence. Some BIG advocates argue that Murray’s scholarship simply does not carry with it the credibility of a Friedman or a Hayek.

Other BIG advocates welcome movement particularly from conservatives like Murray, saying that the endorsement of BIG effectively retreats from the idea (expressed by Murray and many other conservatives since the 1980s) that the government should cut off all income support for the poor. So-called welfare reform was supposed to reduce poverty by freeing the poor from dependency and the poverty trap. By proposing a BIG, Murray has effectively admitted that the old way of dismantling public assistance by denying people any benefits has failed. Fred Block, of the University of California-Davis speculates that Murray is trying to get in front of the revisionism so that he is not directly blamed for the disaster that welfare “reform” has become. Murray’s call for universal healthcare is also an admission that the so-called free market cannot deliver some of the most important services to the least free people in America.

Notwithstanding the controversy, someone in Murray’s position can bring more attention to this policy than it has received in the United States in years. Once it becomes apparent that the Republican one-note strategy of cutting welfare does not work, the country is not likely to simply replace the very same policies that it has been cutting for years, but it will need to look for new, untried ideas. Once the old assumptions come under scrutiny, surprising things can happen. Murray’s book inspired no less a source than the Wall Street Journal to print his words, “The place to start is a blindingly obvious economic reality that no one seems to notice: This country is awash in money. America is so wealthy that enabling everyone to have a decent standard of living is easy.”

Murray’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (from Wednesday, March 22nd) is on the American enterprise institute’s website at:,pubID.24092/pub_detail.asp. Video of Murray’s talk in Washington is also on the AEI’s website at:,eventID.1278,filter.all/event_detail.asp.


3. Report from the Fifth USBIG Congress

The Fifth Congress of the USBIG Network was held at a large convention-center hotel in downtown Philadelphia. This Congress proved to be a good platform for dialogue between academics, practitioners, and activists. The subject matter of the presentations varied enormously from highly statistical econometrics, to analytical philosophy, to the reports of the personal experiences of welfare-rights activists. Yet, most of the presenters managed to discuss their work in ways that were understandable to attendees from diverse backgrounds.

Heather Boushey, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, gave a thorough presentation about the gap between the earnings and needs of low-income Americans. Ji-Young Yoo presented her econometric research showing that TANF has had a negative affect on the income of welfare recipients. Timothy Roscoe Carter discussed his experience working in the legal defense of welfare recipients showing that government agencies often force individuals to sue to receive the benefits they are entitled to under the law. Philip Harvey and Allan Sheahen both presented detailed cost analysis of basic income. Harvey estimated that a poverty-line BIG would have a net cost in the neighborhood of 700 billion dollars, while Sheahen’s calculations produced an estimate of about half of that amount. Nicolaus Tideman, of Virginia Polytechnic, best known for his work in public choice economics, discussed his own version of left-libertarian political philosophy. Alanna Hartzok, of the Earth Rights Institute, discussed the issues of land use, health, and land rights. Among other things, she made a strong case that many forms of cancer attributable to land-use decisions.

The USBIG Committee distributed two new colorful brochures with information about BIG. One brochure is six sides and highlights the advantages of a BIG. The other brochure is eight sides and goes into more detail on the history and benefits of a BIG. To order (free), send your request to Al Sheahen, PO Box 2204, Van Nuys CA 91404, or email to:

More information about the conference and many of the conference papers are on line at


4. BIG News from Around the World

Belgium: Basic Income Party, Vivant, obtains its first Senator
Since March 16, 2006, Vivant, the Belgian political party led by BIEN Life-member Roland Duchâtelet, has its first Senator in the Federal Senate, Nele Lijnen. The introduction of a Basic Income is one of the key points of Vivant's platform. The appointment of Nele Lijnen is in fact a cooptation made possible by the electoral partner of Vivant, the Flemish Liberal Party VLD (of ruling Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt). Nele Lijnen shall stay in the Senate at least until the next federal election in 2007. Among other things, in this short period, Nele Lijnen has decided to focus on: a basic income for the youth (until the age of 18) which is to be called a "freedom income"; and an unconditional basic income for parents, in order to give one of the parents the possibility of staying home and taking care of the children and the household.
For further information: "
-From BIEN

Namibia: Basic Income Grant Coalition Lobbies President
According to Denver Isaacs, of the Namibian (newspaper) of Windhoek, President Hifikepunye Pohamba met representatives of the Basic Income Grant Coalition at State House on January 26, 2006. The Coalition, made up of a host of different organizations, is lobbying for the introduction of an unconditional N$100 minimum grant to every Namibian not yet eligible for a Government pension. The President met the head of the delegation, Bishop Zephania Kameeta, BIG coordinator Reverend Philip Strydom, Legal Assistance Centre Director Norman Tjombe and academic researcher Reverend Dirk Haarman, in a closed-door session to discuss the implementation of the proposed grant. At the end of the day, Pohamba had "not committed himself to anything", Kameeta said after emerging from the hour-long meeting, although the President did promise to take the matter up with Cabinet. Related stories are on the web at: and

France: Prominent Green Party Member Endorses BIG
The French Presidential Elections should take place in 2007. Within all political parties, the process of selecting candidates has already begun. Yves Cochet, one of the candidates within the Green Party “Les Verts”, holds a vigorous plea in favor of a “guaranteed income for all” as a way of reforming the French welfare state. “In front of the discontinuity of employment, the chances of the less well-off will be guaranteed by a sufficient, universal, unconditional, and individual basic income”, Cochet writes on his website. For further details, see "
-From BIEN

Germany: BIG Movement Spreads the Idea
The number of conferences, lectures and discussions on basic income has been growing rapidly in the past few months due to the activities of the German Basic Income Network, the group "Freiheit statt Vollbeschäftigung“, as well as Goetz Werner, entrepreneur, professor, and prominent promoter of an unconditional basic income. The website of the German basic income network ( currently hosts no less than fourteen announcements covering the upcoming months (email: The German Basic Income Network has also set up an academic advisory council which is to accompany the initiatives and projects of the network, give scientific advice and expertise on open questions in the basic income debate and promote the academic debate on basic income. Almost thirty scientists and experts from different disciplines have joined the council, among them the long-standing and well-known promoters of the basic income idea such as Philippe van Parijs, Claus Offe, and Michael Opielka as well as a range of younger researchers who have taken on the task of carrying on the academic debate on basic income. The council had its first meeting on March 11 at the University of Frankfurt. Presentations of the members research fields and interests in the basic income idea as well as the planning of future projects and initiatives were on the agenda. The council will meet regularly every couple of months and discuss open questions of the basic income debate. The next meeting will take place in Fall 2006. For further details see
-From BIEN

Italy: Demonstrations for the Guaranteed Income
On January 27, 2006, more than 1,000 people took part in a demonstration in Rome to claim the right for a guaranteed income. Despite the fact that the demonstration took place during a working day (and in the rain), participants reached the head office of the local government in order to demand a meeting with some councilors and delegates of the Chairman of the region of Lazio. They got it. Vulnerable workers, students, squatters, and unemployed people took part in the demonstration and stopped in front of the local government building with their sound systems pumping music at high volume while chanting "we want a guaranteed income for everybody". The demonstration came to an end with the political commitment by the local government to grant €30 millions to start up the realization of a regional bill for a "social income".. For further information, please contact the Infoxoa Rivista at
-From BIEN

South Africa: Basic Income in the People’s Budget Extending the basic income grant to all citizens and a halt on cutting personal and company taxes are some of the proposals in the 2006-07 budget that a coalition of three civil formations (the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the South African Council of Churches, and the South African NGO Coalition) has made in a bid to eradicate poverty. Financing a universal basic income grant to all South Africans, they said, would require between R15-billion and R32-billion a year. A grant of around R100 per person a month would also boost economic activity, but it does not replace the need for job-creation, they continued. Speaking at the release of the People's Budget Campaign 2006-07 document on Wednesday, coalition representatives said government should use extra revenue from taxes towards poverty-alleviation programs as tax cuts mostly benefit the rich while depriving the government of the resources needed for sustainable growth..
-From BIEN

Spain: Basque Parliament Discusses BIG
On January 31, 2006, the Parliament of the autonomous Basque Region gave approval to the following text: “The Basque Parliament agrees to establish, within the framework of its ‘Work and Social Action Commission,’ a Committee for the analysis and reflection on the different models of Basic Income that are being considered and their different implications in the economic, fiscal, formative, ethical and sociological domains. The purpose of this initiative is to stimulate the cooperation between proper public institutions and relevant social organizations in the updating and improvement of those social policies aimed to fight against poverty and social exclusion. Vitoria-Gasteiz, January 31st 2006.”
-From BIEN


5.Call for Proposals: Eleventh BIEN Congress

The Eleventh International Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network
Cape Town, South Africa
November 2-4, 2006
Proposal deadline: July 15, 2006

The Economic Policy Research Institute is hosting the event at the University of Cape Town in Cape Town, South Africa. All information and forms are available on the website: (also accessible via The Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) invites proposals on all aspects of Basic Income and will endeavor to accommodate as many of the proposals outside the main theme or sub-themes as possible. All final papers received by the due date will qualify for the Basic Income Studies Journal Essay Prize. If you would like to propose a panel, submit a 300 word summary by 30 April 2006. Panels will be reviewed by 30 May. Your proposal should introduce the theme, justify its relevance for the broader goals of the congress and indicate who you would like to be on the panel. If accepted you will be asked to screen abstracts for inclusion in your panel and to work with the organizing committee in finalizing the conference program. For this Conference BIEN is adding another dimension to the proceedings. While the main focus of the Conference will be on the academic and formal papers presented in plenary and panel discussion sessions, BIEN invites participants who wish to participate in a less formal manner to put forward proposals for the workshops or poster displays.

To submit a proposal, to convene a panel, or to present a workshop download and complete the relevant form and email to

Registration is R600 (€85, $100). Please download and return the registration form to . Early-bird registration before 1 June 2006 will qualify for a 15% discount. Registration fees can be paid by using the Paypal button on the website. Please forward any questions to:


6. Call for papers: Journal Symposium on Wage Subsidies and Income Guarantees

Recently, many social scientists have been proposing policy to relieve poverty and encourage work. The US Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) has inspired many to see wage subsidies as a solution to poverty. Edmund Phelps, for example, makes wage subsidies the centerpiece of the anti-poverty strategy laid out in his book Rewarding Work. He argues that the low-income people should be helped though the provision of wage subsidies to employers, giving them incentive to hire more workers at slightly higher than current wages. How well would an expanded wage subsidy scheme help the poor, and would it provide a desirable alternative to basic income? Michael Anthony Lewis and Karl Widerquist are proposing a journal symposium on this question for the Eastern Economic Journal. They are in need of several papers on wages subsides or on the relationship between wage subsidies and basic income. If you are interested, please contact the editors at by May 10th, 2006 to discuss the paper and the timetable for completion.


7. Upcoming Events

Saturday, April 29th: Public Meeting: Guaranteed Livable Income report released
2:00 pm Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad St., Victoria BC, everyone welcome

Solutions are urgently needed for People, Peace and the Planet. Find out why a Guaranteed Livable Income addresses all three. Digital slide show will highlight the findings of the Women's Economic Justice Project: benefits of Guaranteed Livable Income, why women would benefit, the costs of poverty, and the barriers and strategies to move this idea forward. Discussion follows. Doors open at 1:00 to preview the report and to check out information tables. Information tables with literature from Livable Income For Everyone and The World Owes You a Living and more. Project funded by Status of Women Canada BC/Yukon Region Call 1 250 383-7322 for more information or email: Website: Women and Income facts:


8. New Publications

“Reducing Inequality: Merit Goods vs. Income Grants,” “Response to Barbara Bergmann,” and “Rereading Keynes: Economic Possibilities of Our Grandparents,”
Dissent Magazine, Winter 2006
By (respectively) Barbara Bergmann, Sean Butler, and Karl Widerquist

The Winter Issue of Dissent Magazine included three basic-income related articles. Barbara Bergman argues against the idea, saying that it would be unaffordable to have an income grant on top of a generous Swedish-style welfare state that provides “merit goods” such as housing, healthcare, and child care. Sean Butler responds that Bergman overestimates the cost of combining merit goods with income grants by simply adding the cost of BIG to the cost of providing merit goods, when no one seriously proposes tacking on a cash BIG to generous cash unemployment and welfare benefits. In the same issue, Karl Widerquist reconsiders John Maynard Keynes’s essay “Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren.” Writing in 1930, Keynes believed that by the 21st Century, increasing economic productivity would drastically reduce how much each person needed to work to survive. Keynes considered barriers that could keep us from achieving the necessary increase in economic productivity. But Keynes did not consider what actually occurred: that we could achieve the productivity gains without achieving the increased freedom from work. Widerquist examines this puzzle. Without specifically mentioning BIG, he concludes that policy changes are necessary to give workers the freedom that productivity has already made possible.

These articles are on the web at:

“Taming Global Capitalism Anew”
The Nation, April 17, 2006 issue
Joseph E. Stiglitz, Thea Lee, Will Hutton, James K. Galbraith, Jeff Faux, Joel Rogers, Marcellus Andrews & Jane D'Arista

This series of articles discusses various means to temper the dangers of global capitalism. It includes a contribution on “Universal Capitalism” by Marcellus Andrews, who argues for collective capital accounts which would achieve some of the goals of the basic income guarantee.

This series is on the web at:

Getting Over Chavez and Poverty: How Chavez can lose and the poor can win in Venezuela
Michael Rowan (2006) Published by the author ( $25

Michael Rowan is newspaper columnist for El Universal, VenEconomy Monthly, and The Caracas Daily Journal. His book relates his experience living with the Eskimos as a young man, working in the U.S. Senate on the indigenous land claims legislation, and helping governor Hammond win the Alaska Permanent Fund referendum campaign. Rowan credits both the Alaska Permanent Fund and the indigenous land claims settlement with defeating poverty in Alaska. Rowan has lived in Venezuela since 1993. He argues that Venezuela could do the same, but he sees Chavez’s government as a barrier to rather than a catalyst for positive change in Venezuela. According to the author, for the last 7 years, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has failed to deliver on his 1998 campaign promises to reduce poverty and corruption. Both have increased while he has spent $500 billion building a dictatorship in Latin America’s first democracy, tricking many into believing he is a democrat working for the poor. The book outlines a campaign strategy to defeat Chavez in the December elections, and a government program to defeat poverty in Venezuela by 2011.

Class, Race and Inequality in South Africa (Yale UP, 2005)
Jeremy Seekings and Nicoli Nattrass

This large volume provides a detailed analysis of the changing nature of inequality in South Africa since the 1940s, arguing that the basis of inequality has shifted from race to class. Inequality has remained high - and perhaps even risen - since the transition to democracy, because the state has maintained key aspects of the 'distributional regime' that characterized the late apartheid period, and has not implemented the reforms necessary to improve the position of the poor. The book provides a critique from the global South of the 'worlds of welfare capitalism' literature. It concludes with proposals for a more transformative distributional regime, including a basic income grant.

Eco Civilization 2140: A 22nd Century History and Survivor’s Journal
Roy Morrison (2006). Writers’ Publishing Cooperative, Inc. ISBN: 1930149379

An optimistic vision and guide for a sustainable future. Eco Civilization 2140's prescription is for smart, not painful medicine, to build a prosperous and sustainable future. Democracy and the free market, what we do best, point the way. Eco Civilization 2140 is set in the small town of Warner, NH in the year 2140 after the great ecological crisis of the 21st century has passed. It's a peaceful time where 150 years old is middle age, where we tax pollution, not income, where trade is in information, where virtual reality allows us to marry people we've never met in person, and where there is no poverty. The book is available on at:

“Assumptions and calculations for a Simple Citizen’s Income Scheme”
The Citizen’s Income Newsletter, Issue 1, 2006
Anne G. Miller

This essay examines the costs and the economic feasibility of Citizen's Income system, with a standard CI for those aged 16-59 of £90 per week for Great Britain. On web at:

Capitalism Unleashed. Finance, Globalization and Welfare
Andrew Glyn (2006), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, 234p. Author's address:

The latest book by Oxford economist Andrew Glyn is a well-documented critical account of the development of globalized capitalism in the last few decades. Its final chapter, "Welfare and Income Inequality", sketches a gloomy picture of the recent growth in inequality throughout the industrialized world, while stressing that inequalities grew most in the countries that were initially most unequal, and that more egalitarian institutions, as in Scandinavian countries, are consistent with sustainable economic performance. Moreover, following Richard Layard's analysis, he notes that GNP growth, as standardly advocated on the left no less than on the right, has led to little, if any increase in the average level of happiness. It follows that top priority in the rich countries should be to establish "the basis for a new balance between work and other activities". How? "the most innovative policy suggestion to encourage moves in this direction is the proposal of a Basic Income". Such a proposal, Glyn argues in the final pages of his book, "would involve a recasting of elements of the welfare state in an egalitarian direction which would be extremely worthwhile".
-From BIEN

The Basic Income Grant in Namibia, Resource Book
Claudia & Dirk Haarmann (2005), Windhoek: Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia, June 2005

This resource book is compiled in order to inform policy makers and civil society players about the background and the details of the proposal for a basic income in Namibia. Its first section documents the launch of the Basic Income Grant coalition in Namibia. The second section explains the concept of a "basic income grant". The third section introduces the key passages of the findings and recommendations made by the government appointed Namibia Tax Consortium. The fourth and fifth sections provide relevant results stemming from social and economic analysis, and the final section by M. Samson and I. van Niekerk calculates the costs of the Basic Income Grant and its various financing options.

The PDF version of the book can be downloaded at or

The Future of Social Security Policy: Women, Work and a Citizen's Basic Income
Ailsa McKay (2005), London: Routledge, 272p., Author's address:

Current debates concerning the future of social security provision in advanced capitalist states have raised a citizens' basic income (CBI) as a possible reform package: a proposal based on the principles of individuality, universality and unconditionality which would ensure a minimum income guaranteed for all members of society. Implementing a CBI would consequently entail radical reform of existing patterns of welfare delivery and would bring into question the institutionalized relationship between work and welfare. Ailsa McKay's book makes a contribution to the CBI literature by examining the proposal from a feminist economics perspective. Gender concerns are central to any debate on the future of social security policy, in that state intervention in the field of income redistribution has differential impacts on men and women. It is argued that a CBI has the potential to promote equal rights of freedom for men and women. This book serves to open up the debate to incorporate a more realistic and inclusive vision of the nature of modern socio-economic relationships.
-From BIEN

Taxes are a Woman’s Issue: Reframing the Debate
Mimi Abramovitz and Sandra Morgen, The Feminist Press at the City University of New York, paperback $14.95

Mimi Abramovitz, of Hunter College School of Social Work, and Sandra Morgen, director of the Center for the Study of Women in Society at the University of Oregon, demonstrate that most women pay more than they get and get less than they deserve. It also exposes how tax relief proposals and tax cuts actually harm rather than help women.

In Our Hands. A Plan to Replace the Welfare State
Charles Murray (2006), Washington, DC: AEI Press, 203p., ISBN: 0-8447-4223-6

See article above (item 2).

“The Adventures of Carrie Giver: The Cost of Caring, Volume 1”
Theresa Funiciello and Diane Pagen (2006), New York: TR Rose Associates / Social Agenda Inc., $5.00

Written and drawn in comic-book format, this 36-page publication tells the fictional story Carrie Miller, who morphs into "Carrie Giver" and rescues caregivers and others in distress, a la Superman. The book's unique format makes a strong case for a national "refundable" caregiver's credit to aid the millions of currently-unpaid caregivers in the USA. Conceived by Theresa Funiciello, author of "Tyranny of Kindness," written by Funiciello and Diane Pagen, with art by Neal Adams. Order from TR Rose, Associates, 150 East 49th St. #9E, New York NY 10017;


9. New Discussion Papers

The USBIG Discussion Paper Series is an online series of unpublished academic papers on the basic income guarantee or the state of poverty and inequality for the purpose generating discussion of the papers in advance of publication. New papers are listed in the USBIG Newsletter. Links to all papers in the series and the instructions for authors are online at New papers this issue are:

No. 149: “A Basic Income Grant and a Sustainable Future ”
Roy Morrison

No. 150: “BI – a “historical necessity”? Sketch for a “functional” approach to the BI-debate”
Füllsack, Manfred

No. 151: “Employment guarantee or minimum income? Workfare and welfare in developing countries”
Seekings, Jeremy

No. 152: “Citizen’s Basic Income: The Answer is Blowing in Wind”
Senator Eduardo Suplicy

No. 153: "The Impact of TANF on Income, Poverty Rate and Poverty Gap among Women and their Families – based on Official / Alternative Poverty Definitions”
Ji-Young, Yoo

No. 154: “BIG and the Flat Tax”
George McGuire

No. 155: “The Basis of Voluntary Trade”
Karl Widerquist

No. 156: “Property Rights By General Agreement”
Karl Widerquist


10. New Members

There are now 111 members of the USBIG Network from 25 U.S. states and territories and 21 other countries. Membership in the USBIG Network is free and open to anyone who shares its goals. To become a member of USBIG and to see the complete list, go to

Twelve new members have joined USBIG since December 18, 2005. They are Luke Mead, Astoria, OR; Ori Lev, Baltimore, MD; Ralph Rostas, Chester, VA; Laura Cornelius, Woodbridge, VA; Dylan Matthews, Hanover, NH; John (Jack) O'Donnell, Millville, NJ; Stefano Lucarelli, Ancona, Italy; Richard Lippincott Biddle, Philadelphia, PA; Alanna Hartzok, Scotland, PA; Hank Delisle, Fukuoudai, Japan; Michael LaTorra, Las Cruces, NM; Mike Roberts, Rochester, NY.


11. New Links

Sweden: National Basic Income Network

Founded in 1999, after an inspiring lecture by assistant prof. Lasse Ekstrand, the Swedish national basic income network is called Folkrörelsen För Medborgarlön (FFM), which literally translates as the Peoples Movement for Basic Income.
Coordinator: Mats Höglund:, +46-705 369 955
Contact persons:
Kicki Bobacka
Valter Mutt
Per Almgren

Earth Rights Institute

This website focuses on human’s equal right to natural resources, and it contains articles connecting a Citizens’ Dividend to Resource Rents:
Contact: Alanna Hartzok:


12. Links and Other Info

For links to dozens of BIG Websites around the world, go to, and click on "links." These links are to any website with information about BIG, but USBIG does not necessarily endorse their content or their agendas.


Editor: Karl Widerquist
Research: Paul Nollen
Copyediting: Mike Murray and the USBIG Committee
Editorial contribution:Yannick Vanderborght of the Basic Income Earth Network (
Thanks for help with this issue to: Al Sheahen, Steve Shafarman, Michael Lewis, and Sally Lerner

THE U.S. BASIC INCOME GUARANTEE (USBIG) NETWORK publishes this newsletter. The Network is dedicated to promoting the discussion of the basic income guarantee (BIG) in the United States. BIG is a generic name for any proposal to 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 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.

As always, your comments on this newsletter and the USBIG website are gladly welcomed.


-Karl Widerquist, Coordinator, USBIG.