The USBIG NewsFlash is both the newsletter of the U.S. Basic Income
Guarantee (USBIG) Network and the U.S. edition of the Basic Income Earth
Network’s NewsFlash. The USBIG Network (www.usbig.net) 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 go
For questions, contact the editor, Karl Widerquist: Karl@Widerquist.com.
1. Fourteenth NABIG Congress,
Deadline for Submissions extended to November 17, 2014
4. BI Literature
5. BI Audio-Video
6. New Links
7. More news, links, and other info
The deadline for the Fourteenth Annual North American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) Congress has been extended to November 17, 2014. The Congress will take place in New York City starting Thursday, February 26 – Sunday March 1, 2015. The congress is organized by the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG) in cooperation with the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN/RCRG). It will be held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Economic Association (EEA). It will also include free event(s) to be held at other venues and announced later.
Featured speakers at the conference confirmed so far include Marshall Brain, futurist and author of How Stuff Works and Manna; Peter Barnes, environmentalist and author of Who Owns the Sky?, With Liberty and Dividends For All, and Capitalism 3.0; Ann Withorn, welfare rights activist and Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts Boston, author of Serving the People: Social Services and Social Change and co-editor of For Crying out Loud: Women and Poverty in the U.S.; Jim Mulvale, Dean of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba and Vice-Chairperson of the Basic Income Canadian Network (BICN/RCRG), and Mary Bricker Jenkins, Professor of Social Work, Temple University, and US Welfare Rights Union leaders.
Everyone attending the events (except for the two free events) at the EEA Conference must register with the EEA and pay their registration fee. If you register as a USBIG participant, you can register for the EEA members’ price of $110 without paying the EEA’s membership fee—saving $65. All registered attendees of the North American Basic Income Congress are welcome to attend any of the EEA’s events. Participants attending only the free event(s) need not register. Details of those events will be announced later.
All points of view are welcome. To present a paper, to organize a workshop, or lead a dialogue at the congress, submit a proposal to the congress organizer, Karl Widerquist of USBIG, at Karl@widerquist.com.
Please include the following information with your proposal:
4. City, Province/State, Postal/Zip Code, and Country
6. Email Address(es)
7. Title of Paper, Presentation, or Panel
8. Abstract or description of the presentation or workshop (50-150 words)
9. Indicate your availability for the free events, the paid events, or both.
Panels: Proposals for panel discussions should include a title, topic, and description of the panel and the names and contact information for each participant. For dialogues, only one or two moderators need to be listed.
DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: November 17th, 2014
For more information on featured speakers, registration, and accommodations as it becomes available, visit the USBIG website: www.usbig.net. For more information about the Eastern Economics Association Annual Meeting, visit the EEA website: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/eea/41st-annual-conference/.
Conference dates: Thursday,
February 26 – Sunday, March 1, 2015
The deadline for participant submissions: November 17, 2014
Location: New York, NY
Organizing committee: Karl Widerquist <Karl@Widerquist.com> (organizer), Ann Withorn <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Shawn Cassiman <email@example.com>, and Jurgen De Wispelaere <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[Jenna van Draanen]
Dilma Rouseff’s government reported that the Bolsa Familia, a type of basic income given to poor families in Brazil, has increased by 44% in the last three years. The government also made plans in May, 2014 to increase the benefit by a further 10% in June 2014. The Bolsa Familia program is believed to be positively impacting infant mortality, malnutrition, and education levels in the country as well as increasing Brazil’s GDP. It was introduced in 2005, explicitly as a step toward introducing basic income.
For more information on the increase to the Bolsa Familia Program see:
World Without Poverty, “Dilma
Rousseff’s government guarantees a real increase of 44% for the Bolsa Familia
Program”. Brazil Learning Initiative,
May 2, 2014.
[Jenna van Draanen]
In a lengthy interview with journalists from The Nation, Edward Snowden discusses the importance of finding a way to provide a basic income for people who do not have work. He links this need to increasing automation and says that automation is inevitably going to mean fewer and fewer jobs.
To read the original article, see:
Katrina vanden Neuvel and Stephen Cohen, “Edward
Snowden: A ‘Nation’ Interview” The
Nation. October 28, 2014.
In this recent episode of the Ralph Nader Radio Hour, 44 minutes into the show Nader answers a question from a listener on whether or not he supports a basic income. Nader replies by stating that he does and has supported a basic income for a long time. He then explains the bipartisan nature of the policy by pointing out its support from President Nixon, Milton Friedman, and Friedrich Hayek as well as the Green Party in the USA. When pressed to give more details on the size of a basic income for all Americans, Nader replied by saying that it could be as little as $3,000 or as much as $10,000 per year for each citizen. He then responds to claims that a basic income would create disincentives to work.
Ralph Nader is a five-time candidate for President of the United States, having run in 1992 as a write-in candidate, as the Green Party nominee in 1996 and 2000, and as an independent in 2004 and 2008.
To listen to the episode, follow this link.
Ralph Nader, “Ebola,
Civic Heroes, Basic Income”, Ralph
Nader Radio Hour, 20 October 2014.
ICELAND: Pirates back basic income
[F. H. Pitts]
In Iceland, the Pirate Party have tabled a congressional statement calling upon the welfare minister to consider the institution of a basic income on a national level. Three of the party’s MPs have asked the minister to begin mapping ways in which such a scheme can be rolled out. They were motivated to do so by the moral and ethical arguments of Thomas Paine and Bertrand Russell in favour of such a measure, and the growing body of evidence on the changing economy and the effects of automation upon the workforce.
More details can be found here:
Haukur Már Helgason, “Pirates Propose Guaranteed Basic Income”, Grapevine, 8th October 2014
The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) has begun a movement to establish a universal basic income for citizens across southern Africa. The SADC consists of members across the southern half of the African continent, from Congo to Tanzania to South Africa.
This area sees high levels of unemployment, food insecurity, and high income inequality. At the same time, however, this region holds tremendous levels of mineral wealth with high reserves of platinum, gold, and diamonds. For centuries this mineral wealth has been extracted from Africa without using the generated wealth to invest in the local regions. Because of this history of extraction without investment, the SADC wants to implement a SADC-wide universal basic income grant scheme to be funded by a tax on extractive industries.
This SADC-wide movement is being organized by the SPII (Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute) based out of Johannesburg, South Africa.
To read more, the SPII’s post on the basic income grant is online at: http://spii.org.za/index.php/projects/ser-programme-2/sadc-big/
To learn how to get involved, go online at: http://spii.org.za/index.php/projects/ser-programme-2/sadc-big/get-involved-sadc-big/
Thanks to the initiatives of 29 year old Berlin-based freelancer Michael Bohmeyer, there has been a recent wave, probably unprecedented in its size, of media attention to basic income issues in German local and national media. What gathered wide attention is a project Bohmeyer started which can be seen as a remote relative to, or micro version of, a proper Basic Income (BI). What Bohmeyer shares with most proponents of the latter is one moral intuition: A person's access to income must be unhinged from his or her prior market-tested productive contribution. His experiment is designed to demonstrate that people who receive income (of Euro 1000 per month for the modest duration of just one year) will still, even in the absence of any work incentive or "equivalence conditionality" attached, make an effort to perform useful activities - be it for sale in markets, be it as "free" services to communities.
Contrary to BI schemes, there is no legal entitlement of citizens to the transfer, but a random selection of recipients from a pool of applicants. Also, the income granted is not tax financed, but "crowd funded", i. e. derived from voluntary donations of supporters and, hopefully, charitable foundations. Furthermore, there still seems to be some soft test attached which is to provide evidence (to donors and potential future donors, that is) that recipients are in fact doing something "useful" and respectable while enjoying their "unconditional" benefits. Finally and unsurprisingly, the number of "basic incomes" thus generated is miniscule, with currently just five recipients being served in Berlin. All the greater is the favorable media resonance highlighting the two astounding (if not outright "scandalous") facts that there are in fact people out there who donate money without thereby purchasing an equivalent, and that there are also people who receive that money without stopping to engage in some kind of useful activity. It is this demonstration effect that may work as a mild antidote to deep-seated market liberal popular assumptions.
For more information (in German), see Mein Grundeinkommen [My Basic Income] at: Mein-grundeinkommen.de.
The leader of the Centre Party of Finland, Juha Sipilä, proposed on September 10th regional basic income experiments to be run in some highunemployment rural and urban areas. The proposal was part of the interpellation on poverty made by the Centre Party and the Left Alliance. Paavo Arhinmäki, the leader of the Left Alliance thanked Sipilä for taking up the issue of basic income. The next day the National Coalition party MP Lasse Männistö expressed his support to Sipilä’s idea on his blog. The rightwing National Coalition is currently the leading party in Finland.
Basic income became one of the topics of parliament’s discussion on the interpellation on poverty on September 23th. Several MPs, among them Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, expressed their support to the idea of basic income pilots.
The Centre Party, which is currently the fourth largest party in Finland, has included the concept of basic income in many of its programmes during the 1990s. However, in its formulations, basic income has often been conditional and granted only to the poor. The Green League and the Left Alliance, which both are mediumsized parties, support unconditional basic income and have released their own models of it (the Green League 2007 and the Left Alliance 2011). The Green League is currently updating its model.
For more information, see the following links:
The Centre Party: "Sipilä Proposes Regional Basic Income Pilot"
Kansan Uutiset, the journal of the Left Alliance: "The Left Thanks Sipilä's Opening on Basic Income"
The National Coalition Party MP Lasse Männistö's blog: "To a Basic Income Journey"
The basic income model of the Left Alliance, a paper presented in the BIEN2012 Congress in Munich by Jouko Kajanoja and Pertti Honkanen (in English)
The basic income model of the Green League from 2007 (there is a link to the English version below the graph).
Scott Santens, advocate for basic income and moderator of the Basic Income community on Reddit, on Monday announced his intention to crowdfund his own poverty level basic income through his writing and advocacy with the use of Patreon, a Kickstarter-like site meant to enable fans of content creators to support their freely distributed works. According to Patreon, content creators there currently receive over $1 million each month from over 125,000 patrons.
As stated in his announcement in the Basic Income community on Reddit, his intent is to free himself to focus on helping build the movement full-time, and to inspire others to join him in doing the same. He further states that if his goal of $1,000 per month is reached, that anything earned above it, he will "pledge to others setting the same goal and pledging to do the same in return for others" and he is calling this goal, "The BIG Patreon Creator Pledge."
To learn more, his crowdfunding page on Patreon can be found at: http://www.patreon.com/scottsantens
Scott Santens, "The BIG Patreon Creator Pledge", Reddit, 13 October 2014.
Patreon, "Creators on Patreon Receive Over 1,000,000 per Month From Patrons", Patreon, 11 October 2014.
During or around the Seventh Basic Income week, several prominent Austrians endorsed Basic Income. Singer, actor and cabaret artist Manuel Rubey, who played the leading role in the movie "Falco – Verdammt, wir leben noch!" (2007), unconditionally supports the idea of introducing basic income. Franz Adrian Wenzl, band member of KREISKY, says that unconditional basic income is one of his favorite utopian ideas, which will hopefully also be put in practice. Kurt Palm, author of "Bad F-cking" (a bizarre thriller, which is set in an Austrian village that attracts tourists due to its fancy name), demands the introduction of unconditional basic income. Writer Franzobel was already involved in the Basic Income Conference in Vienna in 2005. He also supported our European Citizen Initiative "Unconditional Basic Income". He has one word for the Seventh Basic Income Week on Facebook: "Like!"
More about these endorsements can be found online in German at: http://www.pro-grundeinkommen.at/?p=2033
Karl Widerquist, co-chair of BIEN, Associate Professor at SFS-Q, Georgetown University, and author of Independence, Propertylessness, and Basic Income: A theory of freedom as the power to say no, will speak about basic income in five cities in the United Kingdom this November 14-18. The dates of his talks are:
Friday, November 14, 2014, 6pm, London School of Economics Development Society, Clement House, the Strand, London
Saturday November 15, 2014 2:15pm, Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Rd, Croydon CR0 1BD
Sunday, Oxford Wine Bar, South Parade, Oxford, UK, details to be announced
Monday, November 17th, 5:00pm – 7:00pm: “Basic Income: Can it save us?”. Speakers: Karl Widerquist (Georgetown University), Malcolm Torry (Director, Citizen’s Income Trust). Cambridge Society for Economic Pluralism, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
Tuesday November 18, Centre for Citizenship, Globalization and Governance,
the University of Southampton.
On Thursday October 30th at 7pm in London there will be an event hosted by the New Putney Debates with Barb Jacobsen, Coordinator of the European Citizens’ Initiative in the UK, Duncan McCann, who works on the EU funded Community Curency in Action project, and Ben Baumberg, who is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Kent.
The event will be held at the University of London, Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.
For more information on the event, click
[Jenna van Draanen]
SUMMARY: This article describes a French infographic that has been developed to explain the concept of basic income in an approachable way. The cartoon explains scenarios where basic income might be needed and offers different perspectives and solutions that are all alternatives to traditional labor market participation.
Helene Puglia, “L’idee
d’un revenue de base [The idea of basic income]” Revenu
de Base. September 15, 2014.
[Jenna van Draanen]
SUMMARY: This article introduces the reader to a new French documentary on basic income, and more specifically, the French Movement for Basic Income. It provides a detailed synopsis of the plot and the main characters. The authors report that the film asks the right questions about how our society could be organized differently.
Creations pour un revenue de base, “Un revenue pour la vie [Income for Life]”
Revenu de Base. February, 2014.
[Jenna van Draanen]
Chuck Tesla, “Basic Income Works, A Quick Case Study
Approach to Debunking Some Basic Income Myths” Tumotech. October 27, 2014.
[Jenna van Draanen]
Motherboard. November 13, 2013.
[Jenna van Draanen]
Najma Sadeque, “Everyone’s share of the pie” The Nation. October 16, 2014.
[Jenna van Draanen]
2noame, “Consumer Price Index of Alaska vs. U.S. Before
and After Existence of Alaskan Dividend” Imgur. October 27, 2014.
In this article, Scott Santens evaluates the American ideals of freedom, liberty, and democracy and the degrees to which they each exist in America today, concluding that a basic income guarantee would best enable these ideals to flourish in actual practice.
Scott Santens, "It’s Time We Take a Closer Look at America’s Three Favorite Words: Freedom, Liberty, and Democracy", Medium, 28 October 2014.
Torry’s post provides a very well informed picture of current social policy in the UK, and attempts to envision what societal changes will occur in the next few decades. He highlights the flexibility of the labor market and the changing nature of households to show that the social policies need to change. He then explains the benefit and longevity of the NHS and Child Benefit before then arguing for a Citizen’s Income (also named a basic income) as the right choice for the future of income maintenance.
Malcolm Torry, “Policy
Briefing: Basic Income – A Benefits System For Our Society, Today and
Tomorrow”, Discover Society, 30
Barlow’s blog discusses the fascination society holds today with what he calls “workism”: the obsession over working hard. Barlow begins the post with a discussion on the inevitability of robots taking most jobs away, but he claims that workism stepped in to delay the inevitable.
Nick Barlow, “How did workism conquer the
world?”, What You Can Get Away With,
14 September 2014.
In Grgurich’s article, he discusses one of the Fed’s major policy decisions during the Great Recession, which was to purchase Treasury bonds monthly. Grgurich then goes on to explain that the amount of money spent on these policies could have been given back to the people at $56,000 per household. This would have boosted those on the bottom of the economic ladder, and could be seen as a form of a basic income.
John Grgurich, “Instead
of QE, the Fed Could Have Given $56,000 to Every Household in America”, The Fiscal Times, 18 September 2014.
In this blog post, the author gathers multiple videos of people from Martin Luther King Jr. to Desmond Tutu discussing and supporting a universal basic income. The author also includes recent political support on the basic income in countries like Iceland and Switzerland. Overall, the author helps outline the current landscape for the universal basic income.
Old Sauk River, “Where Do We Go From Here”, Sauk River Review, 16 October 2014.
Atkins rightly points out the lack of bipartisanship in American politics at the moment, but it seems the universal basic income is on pace to buck that trend. While the basic income is off the mainstream political debate topics, a growing number of conservatives and progressives are supporting the policy, including Milton Friedman and Charles Murray.
David Atkins, “Bipartisan
consensus for universal basic income”, Washington
Monthly, 19 October 2014.
In his post, Thorpe argues for the European Central Bank and the Bank of England to begin giving an unconditional basic income to all citizens. This would allow these central banks to directly control the amount of money in circulation.
Simon Thorpe, “Why Mario Draghi and Mark Carney should be
pushing for an Unconditional Basic Income for all”, Simon Thorpe’s Ideas on the Economy, 19 October 2014.
Rader’s post discusses the failure of US foreign policy in the Middle East and the fact that terrorism surfaces most often in areas with extreme poverty. In order to fight terrorism, Rader argues that developed nations should implement income subsidies to those in extreme poverty as a form of a global basic income.
Gaura Rader, “What
if we Dropped Money Instead of Bombs on the Middle East?”, The Socratic Diablogs, 15 August 2014.
The author contrasts the thoroughness of the statistical knowledge of poverty with the inadequacy of the current attempted solutions, and proposes the “Living Income Guaranteed” as the optimal solution.
Living Income Now, “Beliefs about Poverty”, Living Income Now, 2014 September 25
Edurne Speirs, “A Universal Basic Income: the real alternative for the technological age”, The News Hub, 2014 September 24
The author discusses the difficulties of mothers, especially single mothers, in being able to care for their families, and proposes a Living Income. The Living Income Guaranteed would be a partial Basic Income in that it is means-tested and is intended to be provided to all below a certain level of income.
Kristina Salas, “Mothers and a Living Income - Giving as We have Received”, Quality Life Guaranteed, 2014 September 25
Oliver Tonkin, “US should enact minimum income”, Daily Nebraskan, 2014 September 26
Peter Cooper, “Technology Paves the Way for Basic Income More than a Job Guarantee”, heteconomist, 2014 September 26
The author analyzes the benefits of the support of a Living Income Guarantee in unexpected conditions, such as extreme weather events. The Living Income Guaranteed would be a partial Basic Income in that it is means-tested and is intended to be provided to all below a certain level of income.
Kristina Salas, “After Extreme Weather, Living Income Stands”, Living Income Guaranteed, 2014 September 26
The author outlines the technical and political challenges in regards to enacting a basic income.
Don Arthur, “Why can’t we have a simple welfare system?”, Australian Review of Public Affairs, 2014 September
This is a roundtable discussion of potential solutions to stagnant wage growth. One of the participants puts forth a universal basic income, paid monthly, as the optimal solution.
Chris Giles, Sarah O’Connor, Claire Jones and Ben McLannahan, “Pay pressure”, Financial Times, 2014 September 18
The author discusses various basic income proposals as well as the increasing variety of basic income supporters.
Dylan Matthews, “A Fox News anchor just endorsed something you’d never expect.”, The Washington Post, 16 November 2013
With Detroit being allowed to go into bankruptcy, the author analyzes the significance of this event and its economic implications. He proposes all citizens receiving a basic stipend from nationalized automated production.
Juan Cole, “Almost Human: How Robots, Race and Neoliberalism killed Detroit and what it Means for You”, informed COMMENT, 2013 December 4
Living Income Guaranteed, “Day 264: Living Income Guaranteed and Taxation - From Redistribution to Contribution”, Economist's Journey to Life, 2014 September 5
Undernews, “Why basic income should be a key issue”
Sam Smith, “Why basic income should be a key issue”, Undernews, 2014 September 22
The author proposes either a universal basic income or a direct cash transfer to households in the bottom 80% of income earners, the latter of which would be similar to and achieve many of the benefits of a universal basic income.
Living Income, “WHY CENTRAL BANKS SHOULD GIVE MONEY DIRECTLY TO THE PEOPLE”, Living Income Guaranteed, 2014 September 17
Steve Randy Waldman, “The political economy of a universal basic income.”, interfluidity, 2014 September 19
Simon Duffy and John Dalrymple, "Let's scrap the DWP: The case for basic income security in Scotland", The Centre for Welfare Reform, 2014 September
In this post the author shares his fantasies about some of the many political activities he might find the time and energy for if only he had a little more of the kind of economic security that would come with a basic income guarantee.
Charlie Hallam, "Why a citizen's income is essential for a real democracy", fearlessknits, October 12, 2014
To learn which candidates that support a basic income may be running in your area, use the links provided here.
Basic Income Now, "Your
Guide to the 2014 US Elections", Basic
Income Now, Oct 12, 2014
In this post from BillMoyers.com 10 different steps to eliminating poverty in the United States are outlined. Though a basic income guarantee is not mentioned directly, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is. Currently childless workers don't benefit from this tax credit much. By expanding the program to include all workers, together with an increase in the minimum wage, the authors point out that millions could be lifted out of poverty.
Rebecca Vallas and Melissa
10 Solutions to Cut Poverty and Grow the Middle Class", BillMoyers.com, October 3, 2014
Gaura Rader, “Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything and Some Tangentially Related Thoughts on Basic Income”, The Socratic Diablogs, 2nd October 2014
In this article Elizabeth May, the leader of the Green Party of Canada, suggests the ‘implementation of a universal Guaranteed Livable Income. She argues that such a measure ‘would provide the means for every Canadian to avoid poverty. It would save the health care system, the criminal justice system, and a whole raft of other social programs from spending their valuable resources on issues whose root cause is poverty. It could easily be paid for by a modest carbon tax. It would make our economy stronger and our society more just. A GLI paid for by a carbon tax would help to bridge any perceived gap between the fights for social, labour, economic, and environmental justice. It would also help minimize the disproportionate carbon footprint of the wealthy while allowing the less wealthy the freedom to find good work, without being forced to take any job that will employ them. It would hopefully spur real change in the intertwined fights for a livable climate and a just society.’
Elizabeth May, “A $15 minimum wage will not solve inequality -- but it'll help”, Rabble, 3rd October 2014
Speaking as part of a roundtable discussion in the McKinsey Quarterly, Jeremy Howard suggests that we have to ‘accept that in this new world, there’s a large group of people who can’t really add economic value anymore, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get to live a decent human life.’ In response to this, ‘we have to start thinking about the policy implications—like a basic living wage, which Germany will be introducing, or a negative income tax, which has been off the agenda for decades but deserves to be back on it. I think people should start to think about these policy implications because the point at which we need to make decisions will be upon us suddenly.’
Erik Brynjolfsson, Jeremy Howard, Robert Schiller, “The Great Decoupling”, McKinsey Quarterly, September 2014
In this article, Cristina Brooks deals with the UK Conservative Party’s recent pledge to reduce the tax paid by low earners. She suggests that David Cameron, the party leader, ‘should consider the £12,000 basic income handout put forward by supporters of Basic Income UK (BI), targeting the same people who would be saved by the tricky tax rebate, as a way to proportionately simplify the unfair tax system.’
Cristina Brooks, “Tory tax cuts to take minimum-wage earners back to 2010”, Basic Income UK: Towards an emancipatory welfare, 6th October 2014
In this article, Zoe Williams surveys the options available to voters looking for a left-wing alternative. She mentions the basic income as one of the possible policies on offer from sections of the UK left, most notably the Green Party. She writes that ‘a huge amount of work has been done on a basic citizen’s income – how it could be afforded, how it could remake our perception of welfare, security, citizenship and belonging – yet very little has been said.’ This is indicative, she suggests, of a tendency on the left to ‘do the sums’ first but then fail to take things forward.
Zoe Williams, “Fed up with growth-focused politics?
For real change, look left”, The Guardian, 6th October
In this interview with Stanislas Jourdan, Guy Standing discusses how the basic income would remedy some of the insecurities experienced by the ‘precariat’.
Stanislas Jourdan, “Guy Standing: “The Precariat is growing angry”, Boiling Frogs, 8th November 2012
Don Pittis, “Free money for all could jumpstart the
economy”, CBC News, 24th September 2014
James Knox-Davies, “The Basic
Income ‘n’ Switch”, Mr JKD, 9th
In this article, David Jenkins assesses the possible impacts of a basic income upon inflation. He concludes that ‘[t]here is reason to believe then that UBI will not produce the kinds of inflationary effects for which it stands accused.’
David Jenkins, “A Perspective on
Inflation”, Basic Income UK: Towards
an emancipatory welfare, 8th October 2014
Brian Wang, “Politically enable the birth of a
cash cow to fund Universal Basic Income”, Next Big Future, 8th October 2014
In this this interview with Sarah Jaffe, Naomi Klein explains how the basic income can help move communities towards greener ways of living by making possible productive activities and relationships with nature that are not dependent upon presently existing economic motives.
Sarah Jaffe, “Naomi
Klein on Cause of Climate Crisis: "Capitalism Is Stupid"”, Truthout, 24th September 2014
Richard Pereira, “Universal
Basic Income and the Cost Objection: What are We Waiting For?”, World Economic Review, 5th August 2014
This article looks at how the basic income would support workers moving between jobs, giving them a greater degree of security.
Fidelis Spies, “Taking
Leave may mean the End of your Job – Solutions?”, Living
Income Guaranteed, 3rd October 2014
In this excerpt from David DeGraw’s book, The Economics of Revolution, he suggests that the money the US government used to stimulate the economy through quantitative easing constituted a hand-out to the rich, and would have been better directed elsewhere, namely towards the provision of a basic income. He writes that, ‘If they truly wanted to stimulate the economy, they could have given the $4 trillion to every non-millionaire household, which would have been $40,000 per household, or they could have given 114,285,714 people $35,000 each. If we clawback QE from the ultra-rich, we can eliminate poverty and guarantee a Living Income to every person over the age of 18.
David DeGraw, “The
Coming Revolution: Evolutionary Leap or Descent Into Chaos and Violence?”, The Economics of Revolution, 7th October 2014
Travis Gettys, “Occupy organizer calls for guaranteed income:
Cost of poverty greater than eliminating it”, Raw Story, 9th
Brain wrote this post partially due to his participation in an “Ask Me Anything” thread on Reddit for Basic Income Week, and in it he conducts a thought experiment on what sort of society we wish to live in. He then takes this thought experiment and applies it to the current situation in the USA, including a debate on what level the minimum wage should be. However, with jobs systematically being replaced by robot automation, Brain urges the reader to consider a basic income as a way to combat systemic unemployment and to reach aspects of an ideal society today.
Marshall Brain, “Why and How Should We Build a
Basic Income for Every Citizen?”, MarshallBrain.com,
15 September 2014.
Fearn’s article looks into what an independent Scotland could do in regards to implementing a citizen’s income. Fearn mentions the promises of the Green Yes party who claim Scotland could pay its citizens a basic income of £15,000 per year and also discusses the possibility of implementing an Alaska Permanent Fund style dividend based on its oil reserves.
Hannah Fearn, “Could
an oil-rich independent Scotland afford to pay a citizens income?” The News Hub, 16 September 2014.
This piece gives thorough insight into the issue of automation and robotics replacing human labor and thus leading to an influx of unemployed low-skill workers. Santens describes why a higher minimum wage would fail to properly address the problem and instead advocates a basic income to help ease this process into automated labor.
Scott Santens, “Machine Labor Day”, Medium, 1 September 2014.
Viktor Persson, “The Theory of Economy”, A Functional Economy, 10 September 2014.
Flanigan advocates a basic income because it “balances the reasonable complaints that people may have about the effects of a property system that they never consented to join. Though redistribution cannot justify forcing everyone to join a property system, it can at least compensate people who are very badly off partly because they were forced to join that property system. Some people will do very well under a property system that nevertheless violates their rights. But it is not a further rights violation if a property system doesn’t benefit the rich as much as it possibly could.”
Jessica Flanigan, “Political Authority and the Basic Income”, Bleeding Heart Libertarians, 11 September 2014.
Cristina Brooks, “UK social services are removing senior washing, ADASS warns”, Basic Income UK, 14 September 2014.
In this post on The Week, Cooper discusses the political debate surrounding a universal basic income. While some policy circles advocate it, politicians are stuck debating the “something for nothing” objection to the basic income, instead preferring to push work on those in poverty. However, Cooper points out trends in work that show decreasing job openings and increasing job seekers, leading him to say, “As someone with a nice, stimulating job, I agree that work can help people flourish. But in an economy that is flatly failing to produce enough jobs to satisfy the need, a universal basic income will start to seem more plausible — even necessary.”
Ryan Cooper, “America is running out of jobs. It's time for a universal basic income.”, The Week, 9 September 2014.
SUMMARY: Changes to Australia’s income support system over time have resulted in unintended complexities, inconsistencies and disincentives for some people to work. Achieving a simpler and sustainable income support system should involve a simpler architecture, a fair rate structure, a common approach to adjusting payments, a new approach to support for families with children and young people, effective rent assistance, and rewards for work and targeting assistance to need. The paper argues that a preferred alternative for achieving these goals would be Basic Income.
Judith S. Willis. “Response to Interim Report: Review of Australia’s Welfare System.” Australian Government, Department of Social Services, August 2014
Citizen’s income is one of the main topics of political moment today. Many people think that the state should take responsibility for the poor and unemployed, and that citizen’s income can be the right tool for this purpose. But the citizen's income, properly understood, is a monetary transfer to all citizens, to give to those who are able to work and choose not to do it, and even those who are rich and already has money in abundance. Citizen’s income means to give money to everybody without conditions. But it is possible to defend the idea of an income given to everybody, riches and poors, workaholics and lazybones? The ebook, which it is possible to read in a lunch break, seeks to clarify the essential terms of the issue, it presents arguments in support, it answers some of the most frequent criticisms, giving order in a debate in which citizen’s income is confused with other measures, from guaranteed income to the minimum wage. A text that, in an era of general restyling of systems of social protection, help the readers to get sense of the proposal beyond simplifications and shouted slogans”.
Corrado Del Bė and Emanuele Murra, Per un Reddito di Cittadinanza: Perché dare soldi a Homer Simpson e ad altri fannulloni [For Citizens Basic Income: Why give money to Homer Simpson and other slackers], GoWare, eBook, 4,99Ř
In this article, Scott Santens describes our current welfare system across the entire socioeconomic spectrum, and stresses the need for an improved safety net that exists as a basic income floor everyone can count on and no one can fall beneath.
Scott Santens, "Breaking Down Without a Spare - America’s lopsided welfare system of counterproductive public assistance", Medium, 13 October 2014.
[Jenna van Draanen]
Occupy London TV, “Basic income, Democratising money &
Social Security - 01” Youtube.
October 31, 2014
[Jenna van Draanen]
Minute Videos, “Unconditional Basic Income - short
December 27, 2013
In this TED Talk, Sun discusses current methods of delivering aid to countries facing extreme poverty, citing years of experience in Africa to paint a picture of what’s wrong with these current methods. Instead, Sun recommends giving those in poverty unconditional cash transfers by utilizing technological advances to put money directly in the hands of those who need it. These unconditional cash transfers could theoretically take the form of a basic income.
Joy Sun, “Should you
donate differently?”, TED Talks,
22 October 2014.
Rutger Bregman’s TED Talk in Maastricht does a phenomenal job at introducing the basic income, contextualizing its place in history, highlighting the diversity of academics who supported it, and addressing major questions facing the introduction of a basic income.
Rutger Bregman, “Why
we should give everyone a basic income”, TEDxMaastricht Talks, 22 October 2014.
Charl Schlyter, "Philippe Van Parijs: Real freedom for all with a basic income", Basic Income Europe, 2013 September 2
Prosocial Progress Foundation, "Transitions for
Society: Job Guarantee and Basic Income", Prosocial Progress Foundation, October 14, 2014
In this short video a representative of the Enspiral Foundation shares her views regarding the potential for a basic income guarantee to release the creative entrepreneurial potential within our culture.
Gareth Morgan, "A
universal basic income could help kickstart small business", Youtube, October 6, 2014
In this video, David DeGraw explains to Dennis Trainor how government failure to institute a basic income will result in a violent revolution.
David DeGraw and Dennis Trainor, Jr., “We Would Have Revolution Overnight If People Understood This One Thing”, Acronym TV, 7th October 2014
Guy Standing, Manos Matsaganis, Nikos Chrysogelos, “Basic Income: A vision for the future”, Youtube, 26th September 2014
NEW LINK: Basic Income website
Thorne, S., Thorne, N., and Lotz, S., 2014. www.basic-income.net [website]
For up-to-the-day news on BIG,
see Basic Income News. For links to dozens
of BIG websites around the world, go to USBIG’s links page. These links are
to any website with information about BIG, but USBIG does not necessarily
endorse their content or their agendas.
The USBIG NewsFlash
Editor: Karl Widerquist
Thanks to everyone who helped this issue.
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 at USBIG’s website. More news about BIG is online at BInews.org.
You may copy and circulate articles from this NewsFlash, but please mention the source and include a link to Basic Income News. 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: Karl@Widerquist.com.
As always, your comments on this NewsFlash and the USBIG website are gladly welcomed.
-Karl Widerquist, editor