USBIG NEWSLETTER Vol. 13, No. 63 Spring 2012

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



1. NA-BIG Congress: Schedule Now available for the Congress, in Toronto, May 3-5, 2012
2. Editorial: Alaska’s Basic Income as its Protection Against the Resource Curse: What is, What Could Have Been, and What Could Still Be
3. Munich, Germany: 14th Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network: Pathways to a Basic Income
4. Alaska: Legislative proposals would increase the size of the Permanent Fund and Dividend
5. BIG News from around the world
6. Publications: Palgrave Macmillan releases first two books in its series, “Exploring the Basic Income Guarantee”
7. Publications: Basic Income Studies releases its December 2012 issue
8. An Article on BIG wins academic journal award
9. Other Recent Publications
10. Changes at the USBIG Newsletter and BI News
11. Volunteer for USBIG and BI News
12. New link
13. New members
14. Links and other info


1. NA-BIG CONGRESS: Schedule Now Available for the NA-BIG Congress, in Toronto, May 3-5, 2012

[USBIG – February 2012]

The Basic Income Canada Network has released the tentative schedule for the Eleventh Annual North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress: “Putting Equality Back on The Agenda:

Basic Income and Other Approaches to Economic Security for All.” The conference will take place at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, May 3-5, 2012.

While Canada, the United States, and many other OECD countries have grown increasingly unequal in recent years, equality has not been on the political agenda. Yet evidence shows that income inequality is accompanied by a range of significant negative consequences. Putting Equality Back on the Agenda will examine this growing trend of inequality and consider the option of a basic income to reduce economic disparity.

More than 50 researchers, activists, and political practitioners will present research on the economic, political, sociological, and philosophical issues of poverty, inequality, and basic income.

Featured speakers include:

The North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress is a joint Conference of the U.S. and Canadian Basic Income Guarantee Networks. It takes place in Canada and the United States on alternating years.

The registration deadline is April 15, 2012. The registration fee is: $150 for Private, Corporate, University, and Government Registration, $90 for Not-for-Profit Registration, $40 for Low income, students, and seniors.

The entire schedule is online at:

Registration, hotel, and venue information and an overview of the Congress are online at:



2. EDITORIAL: Alaska’s Basic Income as Protection Against the Third Stage Resource Curse: What is, What Could Have Been, and What Could Still Be

            Alaska has a basic income in the form of its Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD), a small resource dividend financed by the Alaska Permanent Fund (APF). It only comes out once a year, and it varies each year with the returns to the APF, but it is a universal payment, in cash, by right of residency, without means test or work requirement. The APF doubles as Alaska’s main savings plan to protect it from suffering a resource curse when oil exports run out. This commentary looks at the state of Alaska’s basic income to consider where it is now; where it could have been if the state had made a better effort to save its resource income; and where it could be in a few years if the state starts seriously saving now for the day its resource revenue runs low.

What it is now
            Right now the APF stands at about $40 billion. The PFD last year was $1,174.00, and it has averaged about $1,420 per person over the last 10 years. The APF is financially sound. Although it has paid dividends for 30 years, its inflation proofing and investment strategy are so cautious that the principal has increased by a total of 217 percent over its total investments of $19.1 billion (adjusted for inflation). It can be expected to produce dividends for Alaskans as long as it remains in place, but whether it will remain in place when resource exports dissipate remains to be seen.
            Alaska has so far escaped the resource curse, but we won’t know for sure whether the state has fully escaped it until resource exports are gone. As I see it, the resource curse comes in three different forms. The first stage resource curse happens when resource exports drive up the nation’s exchange rate and drive other industries out of business. The phrase “Dutch Disease” was coined to refer to this situation. The second stage resource curse occurs when the influx of cash from resource exports fosters corruption, graft, and sometimes dictatorship, so that many or even most of the people are no better off than before.
            The third stage of the resource curse happens when the resource windfall creates temporary prosperity for all or most of the people, only to lead to depression and economic deprivation as soon as the resource revenue disappears. A large number of factors can contribute to the third stage resource curse. It can happen if the resource-exporting community invests in an infrastructure suited only to resource exports and is either too large or the wrong kind of infrastructure for the economy that will need to be in place when the resources are gone. Probably the most important reason for a third stage resource curse is too much spending on immediate needs and not enough savings.
            Alaska has done fairly well in protecting itself from the first two stages. But how well has it done to protect itself against the third stage resource curse? In 1980, the state got rid of the income tax, permanently committing itself to live off temporary oil revenues. Oil production in Alaska has been slowly but steadily falling for 20 years. Rising prices have kept oil revenues up so far, but that trend will not last forever. Maybe new reserves will be discovered; maybe exports of other resources like natural gas will be able to replace oil when it runs low, but resource revenue will run low sooner or later.
            Alaska has made some good investment spending on schools and infrastructure, and it has managed to save some money. In addition to the $40 billion in the APF, Alaska has saved $26 billion dollars in other funds and accounts for a total of $66 billion dollars. Compared to most other U.S. states, struggling with budget deficits, these saving figures are impressive, but most other states rely on sales and income tax revenue that aren’t simply going to run out in a few years. Compared to some other resource exporters, Alaska’s savings is not as impressive. After exporting similar amounts of oil, Norway has amassed a fund of $560 billion dollars.
            Alaska’s decision to spend rather than save the bulk of its temporary resource revenue has put it at serious risk of a third state resource curse. If the state government had to draw on the interest of its savings to make up for a shortfall in oil revenues, all the funds together could not be counted on to cover even one-fourth of the state’s annual budget, and most of the interest on Alaska’s savings (after inflation proofing and reinvestment) is already rightly dedicated to paying dividends. If and when oil exports come to an end, Alaskans will need and deserve the returns to their savings more than ever.
            Alaska’s Permanent Fund and Dividend are working just as intended. They are Alaska’s best savings plan. As Michael W. Howard and I argue in our upcoming book, Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend: Examining Its Suitability as a Model, the APF and PFD constitute a model that other places should be following. When savings are most needed, the state shouldn’t abandon that model; it should build on it. If the fund was large enough, the interest on it could support both a substantial dividend and some or all of the state’s regular spending. The solution for Alaska is to save more money now, while oil prices are high and production is healthy and to treat more of its resources the way it treats oil. The state can’t save more for the future without making some sacrifices in the present, but I want to show you that a much larger fund is feasible.

What it could have been

            When oil revenue started flowing into Alaska, one proposal was to save all of it and spend only the interest. Of course, we can’t change history now, but it is valuable to look back with the benefit of numbers that weren’t available looking forward to see what the state would have accumulated with that strategy. According to Gregg Erickson and Cliff Groh’s chapter in Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend, Alaska received a total of $103.5 billion in oil revenue by 2010 (adjusted for inflation). It invested $19.1 billion (18.2 percent of its oil revenue) in the APF. Most of the remaining $84.4 billion (81.8 percent) went to the general state budget.
            Suppose Alaska had saved all of its oil revenue into the APF, using half of it for regular revenue and half of it for the PFD. If this larger fund did just as well as the actual fund has over the last 35 years, the APF would now be worth about $225 billion. It would have $9 billion available this year. If all 700,000 Alaskans applied for the PFD, $4.5 billion would finance a dividend of more than $6,000 per person or more than $24,000 for a family of four. The remaining $4.5 billion dollars would cover about 43 percent of the current state budget of $10.5 billion.
            But this is not all that might have been. According to Erickson and Groh, oil produced in Alaska has generated more than $300 billion in total revenue, two-thirds of which has gone to oil companies. Although the state recently increased oil company taxation, historically it has been very low by world standards. Some nations capture as much as 80 percent of oil revenue. Even though state geologists discovered the oil on state land, and the oil companies were brought in only as hired help, the state has let the oil companies walk away with most of the profits.
            Had the state captured $200 billion (roughly two-thirds of oil revenue instead of the one-third it actually captured), and it saved all of that, Alaska could now have an APF of $434.8 billion. The fund would produce $17.4 billion of returns to be spent this year, $8.7 billion for the general budget and $8.7 billion for dividends. The share going to the state budget would cover 83 percent of state expenditure. The state would need to raise only $1.8 billion in taxes to cover all other current spending. Assuming the population of Alaska remains unchanged at 700,000 (which is admittedly a very big assumption at such a large dividend level), every Alaskan would receive a dividend of more than $12,000 per year. Severe poverty would no longer exist in Alaska, and everyone, rich or poor, would have a large springboard for opportunity.
            The figures could be even higher if the state had treated more resources the way it treats oil, but I think you get my point. Even if the state needed to spend some of that money as it came in on important projects, it has much greater capacity to save than it has taken advantage of. It could have waited to get rid of the income tax until it was replaced by permanent returns to the state’s savings (rather than temporary oil revenue). It could have driven a harder bargain with the oil companies. And it could have treated more resources the way it treats oil and mining. If so, it would now have little to fear from the coming decline in the oil revenue.

What it could still become

            What can Alaska do now to make up for some of those lost opportunities? The state takes in about $9 billion of oil revenue per year. Suppose it saved $8 billion of that each year for the next 10 years and its investments do as well over those years as the APF has on average in the past. By then, that savings alone would accumulate to more than $90 billion. In that time, the APF would grow to $50 billion. If other Alaskan savings funds were merged with the APF, it could be even higher. If all three sources of savings were combined in 2022, the APF’s balance could be well over $150 billion. It would produce $6 billion dollars of returns ready for use. If half of it were devoted to the general budget, the state government would have $3 billion dollars per year of permanent income to relieve pressure on the budget, and it would still be able to pay dividends of more than $4,000 per person per year.
            Such an ambitious short-term savings plan is probably not politically feasible, but it is possible to move in that direction. The longer Alaska continues to live off temporary revenue the more vulnerable it will become to the third stage resource curse. The savings model is already in place in the form of the APF and PFD. Alaska should take advantage of the opportunity to make better use of it.
-Karl Widerquist, Doha, Qatar, February 22, 2012


3. MUNICH, GERMANY: 14th Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network: Pathways to a Basic Income

[USBIG – February 2012]

The 14th Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) will take place on September 14 to 16, 2012 in Munich, Germany. The website is online at:


Call for Papers, Proposals, and Events
Deadline for submissions, April 15, 2012

The debate about an unconditional basic income has attracted public attention in a number of countries in recent years. Financial, debt, and ecological crises are causing growing numbers of people to look for political alternatives to the existing economy and the way income is distributed within it. With the debate entering this crucial phase, the 2012 BIEN Congress will discuss possible pathways and barriers towards establishing and implementing Basic Income. This year, the Network Basic Income Germany (Netzwerk Grundeinkommen Deutschland) is organizing the conference.

We propose that the conference focuses on the following questions:

The conference aims to present an opportunity for an open, interdisciplinary discussion of the problems and questions surrounding Basic Income. The above questions are not intended to set strict boundaries, but to facilitate open and thematically wide-ranging discussions.

We invite all interested groups and individuals, both advocates and critics of Basic Income, to submit abstracts for presentations, workshops, and posters. Subject to constraints on space, film-screenings and readings will also be possible. Proposals of up to 400 words should be submitted in German or English by 15 April 2012 at

The conference program will be compiled from all submissions by 15th May 2012. All those who have made a submission will receive a message shortly afterwards. If you have any questions please contact us at
Further information on the conference fee, accommodation and travel can be found at the website.
Academic Advisory Group for the 14th BIEN Congress:
Prof. Dr. Claus Offe, Dr. Milena Büchs, Dr. Ingmar Kumpmann, Dorothee Schulte-Basta, Ronald Blaschke

4. ALASKA: Legislative proposals would increase the size of the Permanent Fund and Dividend

[USBIG – February 2012]

Several proposals being floated in the Alaska legislature right now would increase the size of the Alaska Permanent Fund (APF) and therefore the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD).

The PFD is Alaska’s small Basic Income. The state saves a portion of its oil revenue in the APF, which is invested in stocks, bonds, real estate, and other assets all over the world. Each year it pays a dividend, the PFD, to every Alaska resident. The APF is currently at about $40 billion; it produces dividends averaging about $1,350 per person per year over the last 20 years. It grows slowly each year with new oil revenue and reinvestments, and it fluctuates considerably with international financial markets.

Proposals now in the state legislature could boost the size of the fund and dividend. The most ambitious proposal comes from Mike Doogan (a Democrat in the Alaska House of Representatives). He proposes depositing almost all of the Constitutional Budget Reserve (CBR) into the APF. The CBR is a fund, like the APF, but unlike the APF, its returns are not dedicated to any particular use. As the name implies, it was created as a reserve for the state budget. It is now worth over $11 billion. Doogan’s bill would transfer $10 billion from that fund into the APF, increasing its value by 25 percent from $40 to $50 billion. It would therefore increase the PFD by 25 percent as well. If returns average what they have for the last 20 years, this move would increase the dividend from about $1,350 to near $1,700 per person per year on average.

In a commentary in the Alaska Dispatch, Doogan admits that the bill last little chance under the current makeup of the State House. The minority Democrats in the Finance Committee have all endorsed the bill, but none of the majority Republicans have signed on. Doogan argues they should because more long-term savings is what Alaska needs now.

According to Becky Bohrer of the Associated Press, State Senator Johnny Ellis (a Democrat from Anchorage) has made a less-ambitious proposal to move $2 billion from the CBR into the Permanent Fund.

Another bill would not increase savings but would distribute more money directly to the people in the short term. According to another Bohrer article, a bill proposed by Sen. Joe Thomas (a Democrat from Fairbanks) would “provide every adult recipient of an Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend this fall with a voucher for 250 gallons of heating oil, an equivalent amount of natural gas, or 1,500 kilowatt-hours of electricity.” Alaskans who don’t directly pay for any of those would receive a voucher for their landlord or $250 in cash.

The current increase of attention to saving more or boosting the PFD probably comes from a combination of factors. Alaska has been largely spared from the current economic recession. According to Alex DeMarban, the state government has a large budget surplus, and Alaska is one of only two states that has more jobs now than before the recession began in late 2008. However, Alaskans are increasingly aware that their current position is temporary. Their prosperity comes almost entirely from a thriving oil industry and high oil prices, which have so far made up for steadily declining oil production.

Alaska has successfully saved a considerable amount of money. Quoting figures from Commonwealth North, Alex DeMarban writes, “Alaska's net worth in state-owned enterprises and financial investments totaled $66 billion in 2011 … Put another way, the state-owned wealth comes to $93,000 for every man, woman and child in Alaska, or about $279,000 for the average family of three. And that figure doesn't count the mind-boggling reserves of oil, gas, gold and other treasures waiting to be tapped.” According to SIT News (also citing the study by Commonwealth North), “Commonwealth North’s review indicates an individual Alaskan’s share of the state financial treasure has gone up to $92,821 per person from $80,747 per person in 2010.”

These figures are extremely impressive in comparison to many other states struggling with budget deficits, but they are unimpressive compared to some other oil-producing regions. Norway, which has exported similar amounts of oil as Alaska, has a Sovereign Wealth Fund of $560 billion dollars. Alaska’s oil production appears to be declining more rapidly than Norway’s. It can and should do much more to save.


Representative Mike Doogan’s commentary, “Brother, can you spare $10 billion?” (the Alaska Dispatch, February 5, 2012), is online at:

Becky Bohrer’s article, “Alaska lawmakers to weigh how much to save” (from the Associated Press, January 16, 2012), is online at


Alex DeMarban’s article, “Bill would use state savings to boost Permanent Fund checks” (Alaska Dispatch January 8, 2012), is online:

Alex DeMarban’s article, “Alaska wallows in wealth while recession-riddled states suffer” (Alaska Dispatch January 31, 2012), is online:

Becky Bohrer’s article, “Bill would help Alaskans with energy costs,” (from the Associated Press, February 17, 2012), is online at:

An editorial, “State savings? Good idea,” in the Alaska Daily News (January 7, 2012) supporting the savings bills is online at:

SitNews article (January 31, 2012), “Alaskan's share of monetary assets owned by state in 2011 was $92,821 per person,” is online at:

A PowerPoint presentation from Commonwealth North is online at:


Commonwealth North’s website is:

Recent articles on how the fund’s investments are doing are online at:



5. BIG News From Around The World


FRANCE: A parliamentary mission about basic income mandated by Nicolas Sarkozy?

[Stanislas Jourdan, BI News, February 2012]

French politician Christine Boutin withdraw her candidacy for the next presidential election, and announced on the French television TF1 that she reached an agreement with the unofficial candidate Nicolas Sarkozy.

The president of the Christian-Democrat Party explained that recent speeches of the president Nicolas Sarkozy proved he defends the same values as her such as family, marriage, work, and religious roots of Europe. All in all: Conservative values. As a contrast, Christine Boutin is a long-time supporter of basic income and is very committed in the fight against poverty.

Yet in 2011, Boutin made clear she would support Sarkozy under three conditions, including the basic income (see an earlier article on BI News). Indeed, she said on TF1 that the agreement finally reached with Nicolas Sarkozy included a deal about the basic income. Apparently, Sarkozy would mandate her to pilot a parliamentary commission to examine the proposal, and would play “an important role” in the election campaign.

Does Nicolas Sarkozy actually support basic income? This remains unclear. At first sight, after all the measures taken against unemployment rights and social welfare by the government during his presidency, this seems very unlikely. But ironically, the general feeling in France is that Sarkozy is “capable of everything to stay in power”.

As Boutin said on TF1: “The basic income is a proposal currently discussed very seriously in Germany, and is perfectly fundable”. Could these arguments convince Nicolas Sarkozy? In a recent speech, the president was highly criticized for referring too much to the German model.

Nicolas Sarkozy and Christine Boutin met several times lately. According to sources familiar with Christine Boutin, the negotiations were running positively for her.

Christine Boutin advocates for a basic income of 400 euros per adult per month, and 200 per children, regardless of means. In her proposal, the basic income would substitute for several current social grants the French system offers, and would be conditioned upon the completion of compulsory national service, military or civilian.

Boutin’s proposal is considered “very low” from the basic income supporters in France. In a recent study, Marc de Basquiat proved 400 euros is, on average, the amount every French citizen already earns from the welfare system.

However, in a way, this would make the basic income “visible” behind the complex French social model, not to mention it would simplify it and make it much more understandable.

Links to stories on this issue:

Christine Boutin’s announcement is on video at:

The earlier BI News article on this issue:

Christine Boutin’s proposal is online here:

Marc de Basquiat’s paper is online at:



IRAN: Basic Income Might Become Means Tested

[Hamid Tabatabai, for USBIG January, 2012]

Iran has had a nationwide basic income in place for the past year. It was introduced in the autumn of 2010 to replace inefficient subsidies of fuel and other commodities that had been in place for decades. The basic income was designed to cushion the blow of increased prices.

After a year of operation, the government is finding it necessary to lower the cost of the basic income and is considering means testing as one option. The plan would make the highest income-earners ineligible for the transfer. The number under consideration is 10 million people, or about 14 percent of the 74 million who currently receive the transfer.

The initial transfer amount (per person) was set much too high relative to the money saved from the elimination of subsidies, although understandable from a social and (short-term) political standpoint. That mismatch wreaked havoc with the finances of the program since nearly all of the net revenues generated from price increases went to households in transfers when their share was supposed to be 50 percent according to the Targeting Subsidies Law of January 2010. The other 50 percent was supposed to be divided between government spending and the business sector, which also suffered when the fuel subsidies were eliminated. The business sector got little of the 30 percent share allocated to them, and the government got none of the 20 percent share it had been allocated for improvement of infrastructure.

There is another problem that means testing might address. Whatever the level of funds available for transfer to households, there is a tradeoff between coverage and the amount of the transfer per person. If the rich are getting it, the lower income people will have less. That is the real dilemma now. The idea is to exclude some of the better off so that the amount of the transfer can be raised for the rest. Additional revenues are also expected from further cuts in subsidies in the second stage of the reform that is slated to begin in a few months.

The initial plan is to ask higher income earners to opt out voluntarily. Households with income above a couple of thousand dollars a month (a fairly large amount of money in Iran) will receive a letter from the government urging them to withdraw from the program voluntarily. No one knows how the recipients will respond. If enough of them agree to withdraw, the matter will have been settled. If not, the government will have to decide how to proceed. The sad fact of the matter is that at the moment the funds going to the rich are entirely at the expense of those with lower income.

For more information about the Iranian basic income go to these links:



SWITZERLAND: Petition Drive For A Referendum On A Basic Income

[Felix Coeln - BI News - February 2012]

On April 21st, 2012 Switzerland is starting a petition for a referendum on a basic income with a big party in Zurich. The referendum would establish the following principles in the constitution:

·        the confederation installs a basic income

·        the basic income allows the whole population a dignified life and full participation

·        the law lays down funding and amount of the basic income

The petition needs 100,000 signatures to bring the referendum to a vote. The initiative follows the national motto: Unus pro omnibus – omnes pro uno (all for one and one for all).

For further information to go: (only German) (translations in French and Italian are going to be added)

EUROPE: Call for Contributions: Basic Income Research Project

[Felix Coeln – BI News – December 2011]

Pertti Koistinen (Professor of Work and Labor Market Policies) from the UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE, Finland announces a call for contributions to the project. To find out the feasibility of basic income as a social policy reform and an alternative to the failure of prevailing social security systems to prevent working age population from poverty and safeguard the basic social rights for all citizens Koistinen and fellow organizers look for cooperation and volunteers throughout Europe.

For more info about Basic Income Research Project go to:


UNITED KINGDOM: Citizen’s Income Trust Quoted in the Huffington-Post

[USBIG – February 2012]

An article by Mike Morgan-Giles that appeared in the Huffington Post on February 13 quotes form the Citizen’s Income Trust. On a list of 10 proposals the British opposition Labour Party should put into a credible alternative budget, Mogan-Giles writes: “3. Putting more money in people's pockets: The Citizen's Income Trust advocates paying everyone an unconditional 'Citizens Income', which would provide greater financial security and save around £10 billion per year. Increasing the Personal Allowance to £12,000 per year would put an extra £800 in the pockets of working people and the Adam Smith Institute believes that this will cost an extra £15 billion. The potentially cost-neutral move to a lower rate of VAT is part of Labour's five point plan, and this will increase economic activity as well as helping the lowest paid, who spend a higher proportion of their wages.”

The article can be found online at:
Labour Can Enhance Economic Credibility With an Alternative Budget

UNITED KINGDOM: Citizens Income Trust offers bursaries for attendees of the BIEN Congress in Munich

[USBIG – February 2012]

Accoring to the Citizen’s Income Newsletter, the Citizen’s Income Trust is offering up to three bursaries of £500 each to Congress participants who live in the United Kingdom and/or are staff members or students at UK universities, to enable them to give papers at the Congress. The bursaries will be awarded to those whose papers have been accepted for presentation at the Congress and who, in the view of the Citizen’s Income Trust’s trustees, have submitted the best abstracts and draft papers to the Trust.  The paper should be on philosophical, political, economic or social aspects of moving towards a Citizen’s Income. Draft papers, including an abstract, should be submitted by the 31st January 2012. Please submit your abstract and draft paper to the Director, Dr. Malcolm Torry, Email:; website:

UNITED STATES: Socialist Part, USA Candidate Alexander Calls for a Basic Income Guaranteed (BIG)

[Felix Coeln - BI News - February 2012]


Stewart Alexander, the nominee of the Socialist Party USA (SPUSA) for President of the United States, is calling for a Basic Income Guaranteed (BIG) for everyone 20 years of age and over. He supports a BIG that will help meet the basic needs of the unemployed, the poor, the elderly, college students, the homeless, the basic needs of veterans, single parents, and the disabled. Alexander has supported the concept of BIG for more than two decades and his program is the was the concept is understood internationally. Under Alexander’s BIG Plan, an individual would qualify for the guaranteed income at the age of 20 and would receive a basic minimum income indefinitely adjusted to inflation.

For further information:

NEW ZEALND: Treasury produces a report on “a Guaranteed Minimum Income”

[Felix Coeln - BI News - February 2012]

The Welfare Working Group requested Treasury to model a specific Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI) scheme for New Zealand. As a result Treasury published an assessment for a universal and unconditional payment of $300 per week to all individuals aged 16 years and over, extra to those families with children. Treasury concludes that tax and equity implications of a New Zealand-specific GMI scheme would lead to:

·        More equal distribution of income

·        Removal of disincentive for beneficiaries to undertake part-time work

·        Poverty reduction

·        Possible improvement in labor market outcomes in some areas: more employee flexibility; encouragement of unpaid work; additional employee bargaining power; encouragement of entrepreneurial activity; and reduction in the opportunity cost of full time training or education.

·        Lower administrative, management and operating costs

For further information:
Ben Wallace's response to GMI


6. Publications: Palgrave Macmillan releases first two books in its series, “Exploring the Basic Income Guarantee”

[USBIG – February 2012]

Palgrave Macmillan, part of the Macmillan Group of publishers, is a global academic publisher of textbooks, journals, monographs, professional, and reference works. For several years now, the publisher been putting together a book series on the basic income guarantee. The new series, “Exploring the Basic Income Guarantee,” has released its first two books, Basic Income Reconsidered: Social Justice, Liberalism, and the Demands of Equality by Simon Birnbaum and Alaska's Permanent Fund Dividend: Examining its Suitability as a Model, edited By Karl Widerquist and Michael Howard (see the Recent Publications section below). Birnbaum’s book makes a social justice argument for basic income. Widerquist and Howard’s book considers the Alaska Dividend as model for basic income policies.

The series editors are Karl Widerquist, Associate Professor in philosophy at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University; James Bryan, Professor of Economics, Manhattanville College; and Michael A. Lewis, Associate Professor, Hunter College School of Social Work. They aim to publish two-to-three books per year initially.

Upcoming books in the series include: The Political Feasibility of the Basic Income Guarnatee edited by Richard Caputo; Basic Income in Latin America, edited by Rubén Lo Vuolo; Exporting the Alaska Model: Adapting the Permanent Fund Dividend for Reform Around the World, edited by Karl Widerquist and Michael Howard; Basic Income Guarantee: The Right to Economic Security, by Allan Sheahen; and Basic Income and the Free Market: Austrian Economics and the Potential for Efficient Redistribution, edited by Guinevere Nell.

For information about books available in the series go to:
If you might be interested in writing or editing a book for the series, contact Karl Widerquist <>.


7. Publications: Basic Income Studies releases its December 2012 issue

[USBIG – February 2012]

Basic Income Studies is the only academic journal devoted entirely to examining basic income. In December 2011 it released a special issue, edited by Daniel Mosley, entitled, “Should Libertarians Endorse Basic Income?” The debate includes the following articles:

MOSELEY, DANIEL D., “Introduction: What is Libertarianism?”
Abstract – This article introduces the special Basic Income Studies journal’s debate issue on whether libertarians should endorse a universal basic income. The article clarifies some common uses of the term “libertarianism" as it is used by moral and political philosophers. It identifies some important common features of libertarian normative theories.

MOSELEY, DANIEL D. “A Lockean Argument for Basic Income”
Abstract – Libertarians should not reject the goal of establishing a global basic income program. There are strong Lockean considerations that favor such a program. This article explains a conception of equal share left-libertarianism that is supported by the rights of full self-ownership and world ownership. It argues that an appropriately constructed basic income program would be a key institution for promoting those rights.

Basic Income.” This essay was runner-up for the 2011 BIS Essay Prize
Abstract – Perhaps the strongest attempts to derive support for basic income policy from John Locke’s political philosophy hinge on Locke’s view that the world and its resources were originally owned in common by all persons. This world ownership, many have supposed, gives all persons a natural right to equal shares of resources and thus a right to an equal basic income under conditions (like our own) in which nearly all resources have been appropriated. This reasoning betrays a misunderstanding of Locke’s conception of original world ownership and, once this understanding is corrected, it becomes clear that there is no natural right to equal shares of resources, although there is a natural right to sufficient shares. Consequently, although governments must guarantee sufficiency for their citizens, there is no Lockean reason why this guarantee must take the form of a basic income or a scheme of equal and unconditional payments.

BOETTKE, PETER J. AND ADAM MARTIN, “Taking the ‘G’ out of BIG: A Comparative Political Economy Perspective on Basic Income”
Abstract – Basic Income Guarantee proposals aim at, among other objectives, the salutary goal of providing a minimum income floor beneath which individuals cannot fall. We analyze this family of proposals through the lens of comparative political economy, arguing that politics is not an appropriate institutional environment for pursuing the end of an income floor. Once the notion of a guaranteed income is cast in realistic, probabilistic terms, it becomes a live question whether the market or the polity can better secure a Basic Income. Actual markets must be compared to real-world political processes rather than idealized policy proposals in order to ascertain their desirability. Drawing on the extant literature on the failure of political processes to realize the goals of other redistributive programs, we argue that Basic Income proposals likewise ignore politics as practiced and are thus equally subject to critiques both of their means-ends coherence and their vulnerability to political opportunism.

ZWOLINSKI, MATT, “Classical Liberalism and the Basic Income”
Abstract – This article provides a brief overview of the relationship between libertarian political theory and the Basic Income (BI). It distinguishes between different forms of libertarianism and argues that at least one form, classical liberalism, is compatible with and provides some grounds of support for BI. A classical liberal BI, however, is likely to be much smaller than the sort of BI defended by those on the political left. And there are both contingent-empirical and principled-moral reasons for doubting that the classical liberal case for BI will be ultimately successful.

MUNGER, MICHAEL C. “Basic Income Is Not an Obligation, But It Might Be a Legitimate Choice”
Abstract – A distinction is made between libertarian destinations and libertarian directions.  Basic income cannot be part of a truly libertarian state unless it could be accomplished entirely through voluntary donations. But basic income is an important step in a libertarian direction because it improves core values such as self-ownership, liberty, and efficiency of transfers while reducing coercion and increasing procedural fairness. Practical approaches to achieving basic income are compared to proposals by Milton Friedman and Charles Murray.

POWELL, BRIAN K. “Two Libertarian Arguments for Basic Income Proposals”
Abstract – For those familiar only with libertarians on the economic right, it seems obvious that libertarians will oppose basic income proposals. However, there are a variety of ways to argue for basic income proposals from within a “left” or “egalitarian” libertarian framework. In this article I argue that such a framework ought to be preferred to the alternative right-libertarian framework. Then I look at a simple left-libertarian argument for basic income proposals that is inspired by Thomas Paine and Henry George, and at another, more complex, argument offered by Phillipe Van Parijs.

VALLENTYNE, PETER, “Libertarianism and the Justice of a Basic Income”
Abstract – Whether justice requires, or even permits, a basic income depends on two issues: 1. Does justice permit taxation to generate revenues for distribution to others? 2. If so, does justice require, or even permit, equal and unconditional distribution for some portion of the tax revenues? I claim the following: 1. although all forms of libertarianism reject the nonconsensual taxation of labor and the products of labor, all but radical right-libertarianism allow a kind of wealth taxation for rights over natural resources, and 2. some versions of libertarianism allow the equal and unconditional distribution of such revenues and some do not.

The December issue also includes the following book reviews:

Pérez, Jose Luis Rey, “Review of Gijs van Donselaar, The Right to Exploit: Parasitism, Scarcity, Basic Income

Vick, Andrea,, “Review of Doris Schroeder, Work Incentives and Welfare Provision: The ‘Pathological’ Theory of Unemployment”


8. An Article on BIG wins academic journal award

[Felix Coeln - BI News - February 2012]

Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (CRISPP) announces the winner Simon Birnbaum of the 2011 £500 essay prize for the best article published in volume 13 2010 for his article: “Radical liberalism, Rawls and the welfare state: Justifying the politics of basic income,” Vol.13 Iss.4 (2010) pp. 495-516.



BARON, ALEXANDER, “Who the Dickens was Major Douglas?” Digital Journal, January 20, 2012;
and “Wanted—600 Million New Jobs.” Digital Journal, January 25, 2012

[USBIG – February 2012]
These two Op-Ed pieces in the online newspaper Digital Journal, discuss the life and work of Major Douglas (1879-1952). The author portrays Douglas’s proposal for a “national dividend” as an early statement of basic income that could free people from unnecessary labor.
The two articles are online at:


HETECONOMIST.COM, “The Transition to a Freer Society: BIG or JG?,” Thoughts from the economic heterodoxy, December 28, 2011; “Job Or Income Guarantee (JIG),” December 31, 2011; and “More Jigging – JG vs JIG,”, December 31, 2011.
[USBIG – February 2012]
These three blog posts discuss the alternatives of a guaranteed job and a guaranteed income from the standpoint for heterodox, mostly Post Keynesian economic theory. The author concludes that the best policy would be to combine the two, guaranteeing both a job for those who are willing and able and guaranteeing a smaller unconditional income for everyone else. All three posts are followed by a lively discussion.


GREEN PARTY OF CANADA “National News: A New Year’s Resolution: A Challenge to the Harper Government”
Northznberkabd, December 30, 2011
[Wolfgang Müller – BI News – January 2012]
According to this article the idea of a basic income provides several means for the current Harper Government of Canada to meet their requirements of "reduced government bureaucracy, simplicity, ease of implementation, quick to apply and take effect [and] economic savings." Additionally, it would also directly address poverty and its consequences. The Green Party of Canada, therefore, encourages Harper to implement a Universal Basic Income Program.


HODGSON, GLEN, “Guaranteed annual income – a Big Idea whose time has yet to arrive”

iPolitics, December 20, 2011
[Wolfgang Müller – BI News – January 2012]

This article by Glen Hodgson, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist of the Conference Board of Canada since 2004, discusses the economic, fiscal and social value of a guaranteed annual income (GAI) for Canada and demands further detailed research on the feasibility of GAI. After introducing GAI as “a minimum level of income for every individual or family in the country, delivered without condition through the existing income tax system” and a brief summary of the history of this concept, Hodgson stresses three main advantages of a GAI:

1)      Prevention of poverty

2)      Reducing the so called “welfare wall”

3)      Reducing health care spending

To support his argument, Hodgson introduces an analysis of the “health and social impacts of the MINCOME experiment” in Canada during the 1970s. This analysis by Evelyn Forget demonstrates evidence of above presented advantages. Hodgson concludes that a GAI is “an appealing ‘big idea’ whose time has yet to arrive politically” and that “there is no better time than right now to heat up the debate”. The article is online at:


Dobby, Christine, “Conference Board makes pitch for guaranteed annual income,” The Financial Post (Canada), December 20, 2011.
[USBIG – February 2012]
This economy piece reports and comments on Glenn Hodgson’s report, “Guaranteed annual income – a Big Idea whose time has yet to arrive” (see above). It is online at:


DENISE, PHILLIP, “Who is Richard C. Cook?” Gather, January 23, 2012
[USBIG – February 2012]
COOK, RICHARD C. “Seeing Through the Illusion of Money: From Barter to the Gaia Plan” Gather, January 23, 2012
These two articles appear together on Gather, which calls itself, “the place where millions of people come for fresh perspective on what’s happening now.” The first article discusses the theories of Richard C. Cook, who advocates a basic income as part of a comprehensive monetary reform. The second is based on a speech Cook gave to the International Reciprocal Trade Association, Puerto Aventuras, Quintana Roo,  Mexico, September 20, 2011
The articles are online at:
A video interview with Richard C. Cook is online at:
To contact Cook or to find out about his speaking schedule, email:


SALAM, REIHAN, “The EITC vs. the NIT,” National Review Online December 21, 2011

[USBIG – February 2012)

This article has a surprisingly sympathetic comparison of the Negative Income Tax (NIT) to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). It’s online at:


FRYE, ISOBEL AND BOB DEACON, July 2, 2011, “UNESCO-UNU Chair in Regional Integration, Migration and the Free Movment of People: A Regional Tax on the Extraction Industry to Create a Sovereign Fund to Finance a Regional Basic Income Grant.” UNU-CRIS, Brugge, Belgium

[USBIG – February 2012]
This policy brief is written by Isobel Frye, Director, Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute and Bob Deacon, UNESCO-UNU Chair in Regional Integration, Migration and Free Movement. According to the authors, “The argument of this policy brief develops from the facts that:

·        The case is now established internationally that forms of international taxation may be needed to help fund social development in low income countries,

·        The case is also established that migration pressures are making national states increasingly reluctant to meet the social needs of migrants

·        The case is accepted at the UN level that a global social protection floor should be provided everywhere to meet the basis needs of all residents

·        Precedents exist to use sovereign wealth funds financed out of mineral resources to meet social needs

·        Building on this consensus the policy brief puts the case for a regional taxation (on the extraction industry) to fund a regional basic income grant as a form of a social protection floor that meets the needs of citizens and migrants.

The full text of the brief is online at:


MILLER, EDWARD, “We Can Have It All: The Beauty of Value Capture,” Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies,

[USBIG – February 2012]
This article argues for capturing land rent and returning it to the people in the form of a Citizens Dividend. It’s online at:


BIRNBAUM, SIMON, Basic Income Reconsidered: Social Justice, Liberalism, and the Demands of Equality. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, February 2012. ISBN: 978-0-230-11406-7, ISBN10: 0-230-11406-7, 256 pages.
[USBIG – February 2012]
Abstract: The idea of guaranteeing every member of society an unconditional basic income is one the most innovative and powerful proposals for countering our growing economic inequalities and to sustainably prevent poverty. But would this be a just thing to do? In the last few decades, debates on the ethics and economics of basic income have become increasingly sophisticated and diverse. Basic Income Reconsidered provides an up-to-date assessment of these arguments, and works out a novel contribution based on the justification of unconditional universalism. Birnbaum's argument studies the basic income proposal, and its main rivals, through the lens of John Rawls' theory of justice and defends a radical-liberal interpretation of Rawls' conception. It is radical in the sense that it demands far-reaching equalization of opportunities. It is, at the same time, liberal by insisting that people must be left free to use their resource shares for a much wider range of purposes and life plans than those typically accessible through existing welfare states.

Simon Birnbaum is a research fellow at the Department of Political Science and Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University. He was a visiting graduate at Oxford University (2006-2007). After receiving his Ph.D. in 2008, he has held fellowships at the Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics, Catholic University of Louvain (in the fall of 2008), Stein Rokkan Centre for Social Studies in Bergen (2009-2010), and the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS) (2011). Birnbaum's publications have appeared in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Mind, Basic Income Studies, Norwegian Journal of Welfare Research, Statsvetenskaplig tidskrift, Tidskrift för politisk filosofi, and several edited volumes. He is an associate editor of Basic Income Studies, a representative of the Nordic Network for Political Ethics and a member of the International Advisory Board of Basic Income Earth Network.


WIDERQUIST, KARL AND MICHAEL HOWARD, editors, Alaska's Permanent Fund Dividend: Examining its Suitability as a Model, New York: Palgrave Macmillan March 2012, ISBN: 978-0-230-11207-0, ISBN10: 0-230-11207-2, 288 pages.
[USBIG – February 2012]

Abstract: Discussing the Alaska Permanent Fund (APF) and Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) as a model both for resource policy and for social policy, contributors explore whether other states, nations, or regions would benefit from an Alaskan-style dividend. Many other jurisdictions could create similar funds and dividends, but most of them under-tax resources, giving resources away to corporations who sell them back to the people. Alaska's Permanent Fund Dividend looks back at the success of the APF and looks forward (using theory and empirical investigation) to see how the Alaska model can be of use in other places and how the model might be altered and improved.

1            Introduction: Success in Alaska
Karl Widerquist and Michael W. Howard
2          The Improbable but True Story of How the Alaska Permanent Fund and the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Came to Be
Cliff Groh and Gregg Erickson
3          How the APF and the PFD Operate: The Peculiar Mechanics of Alaska’s State Finances
Gregg Erickson and Cliff Groh
4          The Economic and Social Impacts of the Permanent Fund Dividend on Alaska
Scott Goldsmith
5          Politics, the Preservation of Natural Resource Wealth, and the Funding of a Basic Income Guarantee
James B. Bryan and Sarah Lamarche Castillo
6          Risk and the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend
Michael A. Lewis
7            Permanent Perhaps: Challenges to the Model in Alaska in Its First 30 Years
Gregg Erickson and Cliff Groh
8          Critical Reflections on the Future of Alaska’s Permanent Fund and Dividend
Karl Widerquist and Michael W. Howard
9          Left-Libertarianism and the Resource Dividend
Ian Carter
10        Basic Income and the Alaska Model: Limits of the Resource Dividend Model for the Implementation of an Unconditional Basic Income
Almaz Zelleke
11            Stakeholding through the Permanent Fund Dividend: Fitting Practice to Theory
Christopher L. Griffin, Jr.
12        The Alaska Model: A Republican Perspective
David Casassas and Jurgen De Wispelaere
13        Climate Change, Complicity, and Compensation
Stephen Winter

14        Why Link Basic Income to Resource Taxation?
Michael W. Howard and Karl Widerquist
15            Conclusion: Lessons from the Alaska Model 
Karl Widerquist and Michael W. Howard

Karl Widerquist is a visiting associate professor with Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Qatar. He is coauthor of Economics for Social Workers and Ethics and Economics of the Basic Income Guarantee, and former editor of the Journal Basic Income Studies. Michael Howard is professor of Philosophy at the University of Maine, specializing in social and political philosophy.


[USBIG – February 2012]

The CIT Newsletter contains the following pieces:

Editorial: discusses new reviews of Mirrlees’s work on optimal taxation which includes a discussion of the negative income tax.

Miller, Anne G. “Passported benefits and a Citizen's Income,”
This article briefly examines the concept of Passported Benefits as presented in the consultation document of the Social Security Advisory Committee of the UK. Then it examines whether these needs would be met already within a Citizen’s Income (BIG) scheme, or whether special arrangements would have to be made.

A reprint of an interview with Guy standing entitled, “Social insurance is not for the Indian open economy of the 21st century.” This interview first appeared in The Times of India, Crest edition, 9th July 2011.

Padfield, Deborah. “Viewpoint: The human cost of flexible labour.” This viewpoint is a reprint of an article that first appeared on the Open Democracy website on 24 October 2011 (

Reviews of the following books and special issues:
Stuart Adam et al (eds), Dimensions of Tax Design: The Mirrlees Review, Oxford University Press for the Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2010
Stuart Adam et al, Tax by Design: The Mirrlees Review, Oxford University Press for the Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2011
Fiscal Studies, vol.32, No.3, September 2011: a special issue on the Mirrlees Review
Emilio Albi and Jorge Martinez-Vazquez (eds), The Elgar Guide to Tax Systems, Edward Elgar, 2011
James Alm (ed.), The Economics of Taxation: The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics, Edward Elgar, 2011
Policy and Politics, volume 39, number 1, January 2011, Special issue: Basic Income, Policy Press, 2011
Tony Fitzpatrick (ed.), Understanding the Environment and Social Policy, Policy Press, 2011
Daniel Dorling, Injustice: Why social inequality persists, Policy Press, 2011
Daniel Dorling, Fair Play: A Daniel Dorling reader on social justice, Policy Press, 2011
Stuart Lowe, The Housing Debate, Policy Press, 2011
Peter Dwyer, Understanding Social Citizen-ship, 2nd edn, Policy Press, 2010

The Newsletter also contains news items and conference notes.

The CIT Newsletter is online at:


BI NEWS. Video: “Karl Widerquist on Alaska’s Permanent Fund and Dividend” BI News. December 16, 2011.
[USBIG – February 2012]
Karl Widerquist is author of this newsletter, co-chair of BIEN, and an Associate Professor of philosophy at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University. In this interview he responds to questions from Joerg Drescher about the two new books he has co-edited with Michael W. Howard, Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend: Examining its Suitability as a Model and Exporting the Alaska Model: Adapting the Permanent Fund Dividend for Reform around the World ( both Palgrave MacMillan, 2012). In the interview Widerquist argues that Alaska’s Permanent Fund and Dividend constitute a model for the practical implementation of basic income around the world.

A short version of the interview is on YouTube at:
The full length version on BI News at:


BARNES, PETER, “It's Time We Get to Cash in as Equity Owners of Our Common Wealth,” On the Commons. February 18, 2012
[USBIG – February 2012]
This commentary praises Alaska’s Permanent Fund and Dividend. It argues that a similar system could be created out of pollution taxes and carbon emissions taxes nationwide. It discusses the value of such a system both in protect the environment and in creating a cushion of reliable income for everyone.


WHITE, JESSE, “A Pennsylvania Permanent Fund?” Patch Newsletter, February 8, 2012
[USBIG – February 2012]
State Representative Jesse White praises Alaska’s Permanent Fund and Dividend in this commentary but concludes that a similar system would not work in Pennsylvania because the projected new oil revenues are to small relative to the size of the population.


10. CHANGES at the USBIG Newsletter and BI News

[USBIG – February 2012]

Big changes are happening at the USBIG Newsletter. It is becoming more of a team effort and more closely integrated with BI News and the BIEN NewsFlash. The Newsletters and website have added three new volunteer writers so far and more will hopefully join on so. Contributors write articles for any one or for all three of the news outlets. The three new writers are Stanislas Jourdan, Felix Coeln, and Wolfgang Muller.

Stanislas Jourdan is a Paris-based blogger, journalist, and basic income activist. Now working as a freelance journalist, he previously worked for and La Tribune.

Wolfgang Müller holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. Now he is in the Masters program in Global Studies at the University of Lund (Sweden). He has worked as Supplemental Instruction Leader at Lund University and has been involved as Coordinator and Administrator in the German NGO International Peace Observer Network (IPON). He was also active for IPON as Human Rights Observer in the Philippines in 2010. Before he started his academic career, he worked five years as a constructing engineer.

Felix Coeln speaks German, English, Spanish. He us a member of the committee of the local association for a Basic Income Grant in Cologne, Germany and coordinator for cooperation and the pool of experts. He participates in lectures and informal political meetings throughout Europe. He has been active in civil rights groups for the last 30 years, and joined the German occupy-movement in June 2011.

The three returning contributors are Karl Widerquist, editor USBIG Newsletter and BI News; Yannick Vanderborght, editor, BIEN NewsFlash and BI News; and Joerg Drescher, managing editor, BI News. Additional stories are contributed by BIEN’s national affiliates.

If you would like to volunteer for BI News, please see the following story.


11. VOLUNTEER for USBIG and BI News

[USBIG – February 2012]

USBIG and BI News need more volunteers to write news stories and to help with other improvements in our expanding presentation of the news on Basic Income. Several volunteers have already signed on (see the story immediately above), and we could use many more. If you would like to get involved, please email me: Karl Widerquist <>.



Germany: New website with English materials and texts

[Joerg Drescher – BI News – December 2011]
The German Basic Income Network (Netzwerk Grundeinkommen) has extended its website to include some English material. It hopes to offer more material in English step-by-step. So far, The English text includes a definition of Basic Income; the structure, work and aims of the German network; an overview about models and approaches to Basic Security and Basic Income in Germany and France; and materials of the symposium, held in October 2011 in Vienna.



[USBIG – February 2012]

After some technical problems with the internet form for becoming a member have been solved, eight new members have successfully joined the USBIG network in the last six months. If you tried unsuccessfully to join the Network in the last six months, please try again. The USBIG Network now has 246 members from 34 U.S. states and 31 foreign countries.

The new members of the USBIG network are:

Michael Billeaux, Madison, WI; Johan Peter Nylund, Los Angeles, CA; Kim Amourette, Kortrijk, Belgium; Michael Wentworth, Ewing, NJ; April Tupper, Tomah, WI; Hannes Mehrer, Philadelphia, PA; and Pavel V. Vassiliev, Belgorod, Russia.

Membership in the USBIG Network is free and open to anyone who shares its to goals. If you would like to join, go to and fill out the form. If you have any problems with the form, contact Karl Widerquist <>.



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

The USBIG Network Newsletter
Editor: Karl Widerquist
Copyeditor: Mike Murray and the USBIG Committee
Research: Paul Nollen
Special help on this issue was provided by: Michael W. Howard, Jeff Smith, Grundeinkommen-Hamburg, and Jim Mulvale

The U.S. Basic Income Guarantee (USBIG) Network publishes this newsletter. The Network is a discussion group on 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: More news about BIG is online at

You may copy and circulate articles from this newsletter, but please mention the source and include a link to 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.

Thank you,
-Karl Widerquist, editor