The United States is in the midst of an early 2008 Presidential election season. Although the nation is focused on President George Bush’s foreign policy and the “war on terror,” the current administration has left an extensive domestic legacy as well: massive tax cuts, a controversial prescription drug plan for the elderly, educational reform through No Child Left Behind, increased work requirements for welfare recipients, more support for faith-based initiatives, and a rightward shift of the United States Supreme Court. When it comes to poverty, Bush has argued that poverty can most successfully be addressed through higher rates of marriage and increased work effort. With a change of administration coming, many hope that there will be new domestic policy initiatives as well as a change in foreign policy. Yet none of the major candidates are proposing policies that would eradicate poverty, nor ensure a safety net for future generations.
The Seventh Congress of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee (USBIG) Network provides a forum for considering alternative frameworks for addressing poverty. USBIG Network is a discussion group on the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) in the United States—a policy that would unconditionally guarantee at least a subsistence-level income for everyone. The congress brings together academics, students, activists, policy analysts, and others interested in exploring the merits of this proposal. Philippe Van Parijs, of Harvard University and of the Catholic University of Louvain, will be the keynote speaker. He is the author of dozens of articles and several books including Real Freedom for All: What (if anything) can justify capitalism? Other featured speakers include Sean Healy and Brigid Reynolds, co-directors of the Justice Commission of the Council of the Religious of Ireland. Together, Healy and Reynolds have written or edited 21 books on public policy and two books on spirituality for social engagement. Their work has also been published in a wide range of other books and journals. Their book, Social Policy in Ireland, (1998, 2nd edition 2006) has become a standard textbook on social policy in Ireland.
Scholars, activists, and others are invited to propose papers, and organize panel discussions. Proposals and panel discussions are welcome on BIG or topics related to the distribution of wealth and income. All points of view are welcome. Submissions from any academic discipline are invited and non-academics are invited to submit as well. Anyone interested in presenting a paper or organizing a panel should submit either an abstract of their paper or a panel proposal to the chair of the organizing committee:
Michael A. Lewis: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include the following information with your abstract and/or panel proposal:
4. City, State, Zip, and Country
5. Telephone, FAX
6. Email Address
7. Paper or Presentation Title
8. Abstract of 50-150 words
DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: October 29th, 2007
Proposals for panel discussions should include a title, topic, and description of the panel and the information above for each participant. If the participants are not presenting formal papers, the title of the paper and abstract may be omitted. Panels with formal paper presentations should be limited to four presentations, although discussions without formal papers can include more.
Chair: Michael A. Lewis (email@example.com)
Eri Noguchi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Columbia University and the Association to Benefit Children
Almaz Zelleke (email@example.com)
Director of Academic Affairs, The New School for General Studies