USBIG NewsFlash Vol. 14, No. 70, Fall 2013

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 to: http://www.usbig.net/newsletters.php.
For questions, contact the editor, Karl Widerquist <Karl@Widerquist.com.>

Contents

1. Editorial

2. Call for papers: BIEN and NABIG Congresses: Montreal, Quebec, Canada, June 26-29, 2014

3. The Alaska Permanent Fund recovers from the financial crisis as worries continue about future revenues

4. Occupy Strategy Group includes BIG in its top 10 recommended strategic objectives

5. Green Party platform endorses BIG

6. One petition combines proposals from two different Swiss petitions while another calls for Basic Income

7. BIG News from around the world

8. Events

9. Publications

10. Audio-Video

11. New Links

12. Links and other info

 

1. Editorial: Too much news of one newsletter

Thanks largely to the success of the Swiss petition drive for basic income, there has been an enormous increase in media attention to the issue of basic income around the world in the last few months. Major media outlets across Europe, in the United States, and father afield have been talking about the idea. The attention has been exiting and literally overwhelming. The coverage of Basic Income News and its accompanying NewsFlashes has increased, but it cannot be comprehensive. We will keep readers up-to-date as much as we possibly can on the most important issues related to BIG in the world’s media. The publications section below now reports only on some of the more significant articles on basic income in the World’s media. The USBIG NewsFlash focuses more on news and publications from the United States and North America, with coverage of the more important stories from around the world. Links to even more articles can be found on Basic Income News (BInews.org).

-Karl Widerquist, Doha, Qatar, December 1, 2013

 

 

2. Call for papers: BIEN and NABIG Congresses: Montreal, Quebec, Canada, June 26-29, 2014

 

15th International Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN): “Re-democratizing the Economy,” Friday June 27th to Sunday June 29th, 2014 McGill Faculty of Law, Montreal, Quebec. The Thirteenth Annual North American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) Congress will take place as the Preconference day: Thursday June 26.

 

The BIEN Congress 2014 now invites proposals for individual papers, themed panels of up to three papers and discussion roundtables that cover any aspect of the justification, design or implementation of basic income. The DEADLINE for proposals is Monday 13 January 2014.

 

For more info about the congress and how to submit proposals, visit the conference website at www.biencongress2014.com.

 

The BIEN Congress 2014 will take place on 27-29 June 2014 at McGill University (Montreal) on the theme of “Re-democratizing the Economy.” A pre-conference workshop focusing on political strategies for pushing BIG on the agenda in Canada and the United States will take place on 26 June as part of the 13th annual North-American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) conference.

 

Featured speakers for the BIEN Congress 2014 include:

• Alicia Bárcena Ibarra, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), United Nations

• Roberto Gargarella, Professor of Constitutional Theory and Political Philosophy at the Universidad de Buenos Aires and Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor at University College London

Renana Jhabvala, President of the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA), Bharat, India

• Joe Soss, Cowles Chair for the Study of Public Service at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

• Guy Standing, Professor in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and Co-President, BIEN

• David Stuckler, Senior Research Leader at University of Oxford and Research Fellow of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Chatham House

 

 

3. The Alaska Permanent Fund recovers from the financial crisis as worries continue about future revenues

On October 3, 2013, most Alaskans received their yearly dividend check—Alaska’s small, nearly unconditional, and nearly universal basic income. This year the dividend was $900, up slightly from last year’s dividend of $878, but still far below the level dividends reached at the height of the stock market bubble in 2008. Now that the fund that finances the dividend has recovered from the financial crisis of 2008-2009, dividends are like to rise over the next few years. However, the long-term future of the dividend is in danger from falling oil revenues.

 

Every U.S. citizen who meets Alaska’s residency requirement (and fills out forms verifying their residency) receives a yearly dividend from the state government. A dividend of $900 per person, therefore, amounts to $4,500 for a family of five. The dividend is financed by the Alaska Permanent Fund, a sovereign wealth fund created out of state oil revenues in 1976. Since then, each year a small fraction of Alaska’s oil revenues have been deposited into the fund, which as grown to $48.5 billion as of December 1, 2013. The fund began paying dividends in 1982. Nearly 600,000 Alaskans received the 2013 dividend.

 

The fund itself is financially healthy. It has recovered all its losses from the 2008-2009 and it has grown to record high levels. But the rest of the state budget is not in such good shape. Last year the state government reduced taxes on oil companies in hopes that they would respond by producing more oil. The state has yet to see the additional drilling, but they are feeling the effects of lost revenue. Some legislators are talking now about raising taxes on individual Alaskans to make up for the revenue lost to the oil companies. With low taxes on oil and declining oil revenue, pressure could eventually amount to divert the returns of the Alaska Permanent Fund away from the Alaska Dividend toward ordinary state spending. At least some Alaskan legislators, State Senator Bill Wielechowski for example, argue for restoring taxes on the oil companies.

 

Recent articles on the Fund and Dividend include:

 

Senator Bill Wielechowski, “Compass: Repeal SB 21 and start real partnership with oil industry,” Anchorage Daily News, November 23, 2013. http://www.adn.com/2013/11/23/3192309/compass-repeal-sb-21-and-start.html

 

Alex DeMarban, Bigger dividend checks likely as Permanent Fund swells $4.3 billion in 2013,” the Alaska Dispatch, September 27, 2013. http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130927/bigger-dividend-checks-likely-permanent-fund-swells-43-billion-2013

 

Craig Medred, “Alaska PFD: Oil wealth dividend will help federal workforce,the Alaska Dispatch, October 2, 2013. http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20131002/alaska-pfd-oil-wealth-dividend-will-help-federal-workforce

 

Alaska Daily News, “Alaskans get direct deposits of oil-wealth checks,” Alaska Daily News, October 3, 2013. http://www.adn.com/2013/10/03/3107071/alaskans-get-direct-deposits-of.html

 

Dermot Cole, “Forget $900. The important Alaska Permanent Fund amount is $47 billion,the Alaska Dispatch, September 18, 2013. http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130918/forget-900-important-alaska-permanent-fund-amount-47-billion

 

Jennifer Canfield, “Alaskans to receive $900 for 2013 PFD check,” Juneau Empire, September 18, 2013. http://juneauempire.com/state/2013-09-18/alaskans-receive-900-2013-pfd-check#.UkvpdiQ6RCU

 

Carey Restino, “Opinion: When used thoughtfully, the annual Dividend can be far more permanent,” the Arctic Sounder, September 27, 2013. http://www.thearcticsounder.com/article/1339when_used_thoughtfully_the_annual_dividend

 

Linda Watt, “Alaska far from 'self-reliant' image,” The Spectrum, Aug. 26, 2013. https://www.thespectrum.com/article/20130826/OPINION/308260008/

 

Austin Baird, “Looking Back at the Permanent Fund, Looking Ahead to the PFD [Interview with Jamie Love],” KTUU-TV, August 16, 2013. http://articles.ktuu.com/2013-08-16/permanent-fund_41419329

 

4. Occupy Strategy Group includes BIG in its top 10 recommended strategic objectives

The Occupy Strategy Group has included the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) on its top 10 list of recommended strategic objectives. The group is an email list of over 100 people who have met to craft strategy for the Occupy Movement. The group reviewed surveys, research, emails, articles, and other sources. After intense deliberations—and with the desire to be as inclusive as possible—the group chose 10 recommendations based on urgency, doability, and degree of impact.

BIG is included not once but twice on the list. Item 5 is “Replace all entitlements with a Basic Income Guarantee.” Item 10 is “Institute a carbon and other natural resource use tax based on ‘full resource use accounting’ and allocate the revenue derived from it for a Basic Income Guarantee.” The group quotes the USBIG network for a definition of BIG, “‘The Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) is a government ensured guarantee that no one’s income will fall below the level necessary to meet their most basic needs for any reason.’ – The U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network

http://www.usbig.net/whatisbig.php”

Other items on the list include the following: Abolish Corporate Personhood. Nationalize health care. Establish a strong “commons” to protect the Earth and nourish community.  Enact a sustainable large scale energy, jobs, and environmental recovery program. Stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Discontinue the practice of using federal reserve notes to back US currency and replace them with U.S. notes. Dismantle the CIA; end private military forces and prohibit private intelligence agencies. Stop the Patriot Act, NDAA and Drones.

The group invites individuals to join their ongoing conversation about current and future studies of strategic objectives by going to the following website: https://lists.mayfirst.org/mailman/listinfo/occupy-strategy

For more information see the following web page: “Occupy Strategy Group’s Top 10 Recommended Strategic Objectives,” InterOccupy, first published October 11, 2013: http://interoccupy.net/occupystrategy/2013/10/occupy-strategy-groups-top-10-recommended-strategic-objectives/

Or contact the Occupy Strategy Group at: OccupyStrategy@interoccupy.net

 

5. Green Party platform endorses BIG

The platform of the Green Party of the United States endorses basic income. In Section IV: Economic Justice and Sustainability, the Party writes, “We call for a universal basic income (sometimes called a guaranteed income, negative income tax, citizen's income, or citizen dividend). This would go to every adult regardless of health, employment, or marital status, in order to minimize government bureaucracy and intrusiveness into people's lives. The amount should be sufficient so that anyone who is unemployed can afford basic food and shelter. State or local governments should supplement that amount from local revenues where the cost of living is high.”

 

Section IV of the party platform is online here. http://gp.org/index.php/what-we-believe/our-platform/17-platform/41-iv-economic-justice-and-sustainability.html#LivableIncome

 

6. One petition combines proposals from two different Swiss petitions while another calls for Basic Income

A recent Swiss petition drive has mandated a national referendum on a Basic Income. Parliament will have more than a year to craft the wording and call for a vote. An entirely separate petition drive has called for limiting CEO pay to no more than 12 times the lowest pay in the company. The vote on this issue will happen this month. Although the two petition drives in Switzerland were entirely separate, and to some extent competing, a new petition drive in the United States had combined the two proposals, calling for both limits on CEO pay and a basic income guarantee. This proposal is online at: http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=8734

 

Another petition is online at the Whitehouse.gov website reading, “we petition the Obama administration to: Establish a basic income guarantee for all Americans, similar to what is being proposed in Switzerland. This would establish a guaranteed income for all Americans, immediately eliminating poverty and reducing bureaucratic costs.” Posted on November 15, 2013, this petition has only 30 days (until December 15, 2013 to collect 100,000 virtual signatures to trigger an official response by the White House. This petition is online at: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/establish-basic-income-guarantee-all-americans-similar-what-being-proposed-switzerland/jFbgDZ4h

 

Neither of these petitions are organized or sponsored by the USBIG Network.

 

7. BIG News from around the world

SWITZERLAND: Citizen’s initiative formally accepted

[Original by Enno Schmidt & Daniel Straub, translated by Joerg Drescher]

 

Today [November 8, 2013], the Federal Chancellery of Switzerland announced that the citizen’s initiative for an Unconditional Basic Income has been formally accepted. It stated that after the validation of the signatures on 4 October, 126,408 valid signatures were submitted. Thus, the Federal Chancellery of Switzerland confirms formally: There will be a national referendum [on Unconditional Basic Income].

 

Now, the Federal Council will consider Basic Income and prepare a report on it. This will take about one year. Afterwards there will be a debate in the parliament. The national referendum will follow in two to three years. The question is: Should each person in the country receive the financial basis for a living unconditionally?

 

Source (in German):

Enno Schmidt &  Daniel Straub, "Volksinitiative zum Grundeinkommen formell zustande gekommen," grundeinkommen.ch, November 8, 2013: http://www.grundeinkommen.ch/volksinitiative-zum-grundeinkommen-formell-zustande-gekommen/

 

 

SWITZERLAND: National Referendum will be held on Basic Income

Switzerland will hold national referendum to vote on basic income. On October 4, 2013 activists delivered more than the necessary 100,000 to call for the vote. The organizing committee for the initiative has been collecting signatures for months in preparation for this event. The proposal is for a substantial basic income of 2,500 francs ($2,756US) per month for every adult legal resident of Switzerland.

 

Along with the signatures, supporters held a large demonstration outside the Federal Palace in Bern. At the demonstration they dropped a dump truck load of 8 million five-rappen coins, one for each person living in Switzerland. Assuming the signatures are valid, the government is now obliged to schedule a vote in the near future.

 

For more on the initiative see:

Alice Baghdjian (author) Denis Balibouse (reporter), and Gareth Jones (editor), “Swiss to vote on 2,500 franc basic income for every adult,” Reuters, October 4, 2013: www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/04/us-swiss-pay-idUSBRE9930O620131004. Reposted by MSN: http://news.msn.com/world/swiss-to-vote-on-dollar2800-monthly-income-for-all-adults?stay=1

VIDEO: “Cash Bern: Swiss may grant unconditional income for all” Ruplty TV, YouTude: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqKkERp-ias

VIDEO: “Switzerland: Parliament forced to debate basic income for nationals”

Ruptly TV, Oct 3, 2013: Enno Schmidt, founder of Generation Basic Income Initiative, talks through the aims of the unconditional basic income initiative: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFCMNNny6EQ

Max Rivlin-Nadler, “Swiss to Vote on Guaranteed $2800 Monthly Income for All Adults,” Gawker, October 5, 2013: http://gawker.com/swiss-to-vote-on-guaranteed-28-000-monthly-income-for-1441514881

Common Dreams staff, “Swiss Showing the World How to Take on Pay Inequality” Common Dreams, Saturday, October 5, 2013: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/10/05

Ivan Botoucharov, “The Abolition of Poverty in Switzerland: A Template for Europe?” One-Europe, 04 Oct 2013: http://one-europe.info/the-abolition-of-poverty-in-switzerland-a-template-for-europe

Anna Edwards, “Streets of Basel paved with gold: 15 TONS of five cent coins are dumped on city's streets as protesters demand a basic minimum income for every Swiss household,” The Mail Online, 4 October 2013: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2443812/Streets-Basel-paved-gold-15-TONS-cent-coins-dumped-citys-streets-protesters-demand-increased-minimum-wage.html. This story includes pictures of how the coins were assembled to be dropped during the demonstration in Bern.

VIDEO: “Swiss prepare to vote on basic income,” Belfast Telegraph: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/video-news/video-swiss-prepare-to-vote-on-basic-income-29640651.html

 

 

NAMIBIA: Churches and other NGOs to use BIG for drought relief

Namibia is experiencing its worst drought in decades. Hundreds of thousands of people are affected. Several groups have decided to use the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) as a model for distributing relief aid. The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) initiated the effort, which will give a short-term monthly grant of N$100 to 4 000 drought affected people. The cash will be disbursed from mid-September 2013 until March 2014 when the next (hopefully improved) crop is harvested. The LWF selected four communities, one in each of the hardest hit regions of Hardap, Kunene, Omusati and Kavango.

The idea of using BIG as a method of distribution for disaster relief aid has been discussed for years, but this is the apparently first time it has been implement anywhere in the world. The decision to use this method follows the successful BIG pilot project conducted recently in Otjivero, Namibia.

BIG has several potential advantages of as a form of emergency relief. It allows individuals to tailor their relief to their needs. Food aid is good for people who need food, but not as good for people who need medicine, seeds for next year, or money to relocate. Direct food aid crowds out market provision of food, but BIG attracts more companies to bring food into the area. Donations can be more quickly turned into BIG than they can be turned into almost any other form of aid. Experts will be watching this project closely to determine whether BIG lives up to this potential.

The cash response of the Churches received media attention yesterday. The Bishops of the Lutheran Churches, the LWF Africa Secretary and TARA informed the media about the joint drought relief programme. The three major newspapers of Namibia reported in detail about it, two on the front page.

People can donate to the project online via the following link by entering the keyword “Appeal NAM 131”: http://www.lutheranworld.org/content/emergency-drought-angola-and-namibia

For more information about the project see these three articles:
ENGLISH: Fifi Rhodes, “Cash for drought victims,” New Era, September 3, 2013

http://www.newera.com.na/features/cash-drought-victims/
ENGLISH: Clemans Miyanicwe, “Lutherans give N$100 to the poor,” the Namibian, September 3, 2013: http://www.namibian.com.na/indexx.php?id=3150&page_type=story_detail
GERMAN: Catherine Sasman, “Lutherse gemeenskap staan saam teen droogte,” Voorgele deur Republikein, September 3, 2013
http://www.republikein.com.na/plaaslike-nuus/lutherse-gemeenskap-staan-saam-teen-droogte.210917

 

CANADA BICN announces: “the BIG Push”

Basic Income Canada Network (BICN—BIEN’s affiliate in Canada) has announce the BIG Push, a new national campaign for a basic income guarantee in Canada. The campaign's web site is up and running. The BIG Push campaign embraces work to raise awareness about basic income, build public support and secure public commitments for an expanded system of basic income, building on several existing income security programs that are working fairly well. The website includes information how individuals can get involved with or donate to the effort.

 

For more information: Rob Rainer, Director, The BIG Push: rob.causeworth@gmail.com.

Or see the big push website: http://www.thebigpush.net/

 

 

EUROPEAN UNION Citizens’ Initiative for Basic Income Collects 77,000 Signatures

 

The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) for Basic Income (BI) has so far collected more than 77,000 signatures from all 28 member countries of the European Union (EU). The ECI is a petition to encourage cooperation between the Member States aiming to explore BI as a tool to improve their respective social security systems. If one million EU citizens, who are nationals of at least one quarter of the Member States, sign the petition the European Commission to propose a legislation to promote BI within the member states. The initiative is a long way from its goal of one million signatures, but so far, neither has any other initiative since the treating creating the possibility went into affect. The initiative has made great strides in raising awareness of the issue across the EU.

A major push for the initiative is happening this week during the International Week of the Basic Income, which is taking place worldwide from 16 to 22 September 2013.

The Initiative’s website is: http://basicincome2013.eu/

To support the initiative go to: https://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/REQ-ECI-2012-000028/public/index.do

For information on the International Week of the Basic Income go to: http://basicincome2013.eu/ubi/ai1ec_event/6th-international-week-of-the-basic-income?instance_id=97

 

 

CYPRUS: “Guaranteed minimum income” is not a guaranteed minimum income

In July 2013, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades announced the implementation of a “guaranteed minimum income,” but the president’s language was self-contradictory. The program was supposed to be a “guaranteed minimum income,” assuring “a dignified living, irrespective of age, class or professional situation.” But he also said, “The single but absolutely necessary precondition is that they don’t refuse to accept offers for employment and to participate in the policies of continuous employment that are determined by the state.”

 

The name of the program and the first quote imply that the program would be a negative income tax—a form of basic income guarantee with some features in common with an unconditional basic income. However, the second quote demonstrates that it is neither a negative income tax nor an income guarantee of any kind. If recipients are held to a work requirement they are not guaranteed to have an income. Those who refuse employment or who are unable to take employment but unable to prove that inability cannot receive the income that is supposedly guarantee.

 

Whether the program (which will take effect in 2014) involves a practical step in the direction of a basic income guarantee at all is questionable. However, it does represent a rhetorical step toward a basic income guaranteed. It seems to show that politicians are finding it necessary to use the language of guaranteed incomes or of universality. This development might be an indication that universality is becoming more politically acceptable. Some politicians want to have it both ways to say that support is guaranteed for all but to restrict it for only those who fulfill conditions.

 

Several articles about the Cypriot program are online include two on Basic Income News:

 

Angela Mitropoulos, “Basic Income, Workfare & affirmations of productivity,” S0metim3s.com, August 16, 2013. http://s0metim3s.com/2013/08/16/basic-income/

 

Stanislas Jourdan, “Cyprus to implement a ‘guaranteed minimum income,’” Basic Income UK, August 8, 2013. http://basicincome.org.uk/news/2013/08/cyprus-guaranteed-minimum-income/

 

Basic Income Initiative in Europe, “Cyprus’ Guaranteed Minimum Income plan and the basic income,” Basic Income Initiative in Europe, August 1, 2013. http://www.basicincome.gr/portal/guaranteed-minimum-income-in-cyprus/

 

BIEN, “CYPRUS: ‘President announces ‘Guaranteed Minimum Income’ program,” Basic Income News, August 5, 2013. http://binews.org/2013/08/cyprus-president-announces-%E2%80%9Cguaranteed-minimum-income%E2%80%9D-program/

 

Malcolm Torry, “OPINION: Means-testing in Cyprus,” Basic Income News, November 4, 2013. http://binews.org/2013/11/opinion-means-testing-in-cyprus/

 

CYPRUS: President announces “Guaranteed Minimum Income” program

The president of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, has announced the creation of a “Guaranteed Minimum Income for all citizens.” The president said, “Beneficiaries will be all of our fellow citizens who have an income below that which can assure them a dignified living, irrespective of age, class or professional situation.” According to Cyprus Mail, the policy will begin in June 2014. The exact level of the grant will be determined between now and then, but every citizen would be guaranteed “the minimum needs for a dignified living in a European Country.”

If the program goes into affect as described, it will be the world’s first full “Basic Income Guarantee” (BIG) as defined by the U.S. Basic income Guarantee Network: “government ensured guarantee that no one's income will fall below the level necessary to meet their most basic needs for any reason.” However, the details of the program available so far indicate that it will be the negative income tax version (NIT) and not the basic income (BI) version of BIG. The difference is that NIT gets everyone to the minimum by paying only those whose incomes are below some minimum level, while BI gets everyone to the minimum, pay paying all citizens regardless of means. What will actually happen remains to be seen.

For more information, see “President announces ‘Guaranteed Minimum Income’ program,” Cypress Mail, July 26, 2013: http://cyprus-mail.com/2013/07/26/president-announces-guaranteed-minimum-income-for-all-citizens/

 

INTERNATIONAL: Cult-Debunker Accuses Equal Life Foundation of Deceptively Using the Term, “Basic Income Guaranteed”

Robert W. Lester, a blogger who specialized in debunking cults, has accused the Equal Life Foundation (ELF) of deceptively using the term “Basic Income Guaranteed”—BIG with a “D” added at the end. For a while, ELF was using the term BIG with a D for a program that had some similarities to the Basic Income Guarantee as usually defined by groups such as the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) and the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee (USBIG) Network. Although ELF’s proposal was substantially different from most BIG proposals (for example, it was means tested and included a temporary work requirement), ELF not only used a similar term but also referred to BIEN- and USBIG-affiliated researchers. These efforts was the basis for Lester’s claim of deception. Lester also accused ELF for being a cult because it is affiliated with a questionable money-making effort called Desteni. According to Lester, ELF had hoped to fool people into believing that giving money to Desteni would support research done by BIEN-affiliated researchers.

Since the release of a video by Lester earlier this year, ELF has reduced its use of the term BIG with a D, replacing it with the term Living Income Guaranteed (LIG). People at ELF might simply have made an honest mistaking, thinking their proposal was closer to BIG than it actually is. However, one Cult-debunking website claims that ELF still uses BIG with a D occasionally, still uses the domain name basicincome.me, and still refers to some BIEN-affiliated work without nothing the difference between LIG and BIG. Some argue that ELF’s overall program, of which LIG is only a small part, is totalitarian.

 

Several links in the confusion between LIG and BIG are below.

 

VIDEO: Robert W. Lester, “Desteni Basic Income - Scam?,” YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dpaSfyzgc-A, claims ELS is a cult deceptively using the term BIG.

 

The Desteni Cult, “Equal Life Foundation & Living Income Guaranteed,” October 2013: http://destenicult.blogspot.com/p/basic-income-equal-life-foundation.html, this article, on a website entirely dedicated to examining Desteni as a cult accuses ELF of misusing BIG and LIG.

 

Robin Ketelaars, “You can also abuse the term Basic Income for personal gain” Orthelius.info, July 4, 2013: http://orthelius.info/blog/Index.php/you-can-also-abuse-the-term-basic-income-for-personal-gain-by-ems-elf-destini/. In this article, Robin Ketelaars, of BIEN’s affiliate in the Netherlands and of the European Citizens’ Initiative for Basic Income, discusses Desteni as a cult and outlines differences between LIG and BIG.

 

Karsten Lieberkind, “OPINION: Living Income Guaranteed – A proposal for a Basic Income from Equal Life Foundation,” BI News, September 23, 2013: http://binews.org/2013/09/opinion-living-income-guaranteed-a-proposal-for-a-basic-income-from-equal-life-foundation/. In an earlier opinion piece on BI News, Karsten Lieberkind, of BIEN’s Danish affiliate discusses the LIG as an proposal related to Basic Income, without discussing the cult accusations.

 

The Living Income Guaranteed: http://basicincome.me/. A website run by ELF/Desteni has links to many articles related to their LIG proposal.

 

 

NAMIBIA: Central Bank to Discuss the Basic Income Grant

The Bank of Namibia (Namibia’s central bank) will discuss the Basic Income Grant at it’s upcoming annual symposium. The focus of this year’s symposium is “Social safety nets in Namibia: Assessing current programmes and future options.” Karl Widerquist, of Georgetown University-Qatar and co-chair of the Basic Income Earth Network, will be one of the featured speakers. He will discuss, “The Basic Income Grant as Social Safety Net for Namibia: Experience and lessons from around the world.” The event will be attended by Namibia and international economists, executives of the Bank of Namibia, and members of the Namibian government.

 

More information about the symposium is online at: https://www.bon.com.na/Annual-Symposium.aspx

Information about the speakers is online at: https://www.bon.com.na/Annual-Symposium/Annual-Symposium-Speakers.aspx

 

 

INTERNATIONAL: Roisin Mulligan wins BIS Essay Prize

Roisin Mulligan of Dublin, Ireland won the Basic Income Studies (BIS) Essay Prize for papers presented at the 14th Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) Congress held in Munich, Germany in September 2012. She received the award for her paper entitled “UBI and Recognition Theory - A Tangible Step towards an Ideal.”

 

The BIS Essay Prize is organized by BIS in association with BIEN. The prize encourages promising research on basic income and related policies and is awarded to an essay that exemplifies a high standard of quality and original basic income research. The prize winner’s paper is published as an article in BIS. 

 

Two additional individuals who presented papers at Munich received honorable mention. They are (in alphabetical order): Dr. Tomohiro Inoue, Tokyo, Japan, “The economic sustainability of a Basic Income under the Citizen-oriented Monetary Regime” and Dr. Nam Hoon Kang, Seoul, South Korea, “The necessity and distributional effects of ecological basic income in Korea.”

 

8. Events

 

Guy Standing to give several presentations on basic income in Italy, Norway, Finland, and the United Kingdom, 2-13 November 2013

 

Guy Standing, honorary co-president of BIEN and Professor of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, will be taking part in a debate on basic income at the Salone dell’Editoria Sociale book fair in Rome. The event will take place on Saturday 2 November 2013 at 6.15pm to 8pm at the Porta Futura, Via Galvani 108 (Testaccio), Rome. For more details, see http://www.editoriasociale.info/

 

On Monday 4 November, Standing will talk about basic income to the Bergen Students Society. The event will take place at 6pm at the Akademiske Kvarter, Olav Kyrres gate 49, 5015 Bergen. For more information see http://samfunnet.sib.no/events/basic-income/

Standing will then speak at two venues in Helsinki on issues related to the precariat, identified in his 2011 book The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, including why the precariat needs a basic income. On Wednesday 6 November he will give a keynote address to the 2013 Finnish Conference on Youth Studies entitled “Generations, Economy and Equity”. The conference will take place from 10am to 6pm at the House of Science and Letters, Kirkkokatu 6, Helsinki. For more information see http://www.nuorisotutkimusseura.fi/nuorisotutkimuspaivat-2013/information-in-english.

On Thursday 7 November he will give a guest lecture at 2pm at Aalto University, Arkadia building, Lapuankatu 6, Helsinki, lecture room AE-127. For more information see https://into.aalto.fi/display/enmanagement/Visiting+lecture+by+Guy+Standing,+7th+of+November,+2+pm+(AE-127)  

On Saturday 9 November Standing will be one of the speakers at the 2013 Forum organized by the Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) Society of Warwick University. The title of the forum is “All Work and No Pay in 2013: The Automation of the Global Economy”, and will address, inter alia, how technological progress can be used for the benefit of all rather than just an elite. The Forum will take place at 2pm to 6pm at the Arts Centre, Warwick University, Coventry CV4 7AL. For more information and to buy tickets, see http://www.warwicksu.com/events/9430/10622/

On Wednesday 13 November, Standing will give a seminar on “Basic Income in India: Evaluating a Pilot Scheme” at the India Institute, King’s College, University of London, Strand, WC2R 2LS. The seminar, based on the results of an unconditional cash transfer pilot scheme in a number of Indian villages, will be held from 5pm to 7pm. For more information, see http://www.kcl.ac.uk/aboutkings/worldwide/initiatives/global/indiainstitute/Events/India@Kings-Seminar-Series-2013.aspx

 

 

Copenhagen, Denmark: “Lectures with Philippe Van Parijs,” Nov. 1-2, 2013

Philippe Van Parijs, professor at the Faculty of Economic, Social and Political Sciences of the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, will give two lectures in Copenhagen on November 1 - 2. In the first, on Nov. 1, he will talk about his idea of financing a European Unconditional Basic Income through the European tax system, the so-called Value Added Tax or VAT. The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion headed by associate professor Christian RostbŅll from the Centre for European Politics, a branch of the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen. The title of this lecture will be "No Euro-zone without EU-dividend".

In the second lecture, titled "Basic Income and Social Justice", on Nov. 2, Van Parijs will discuss the reasoning behind his Basic Income proposal in a more generalized form. The lecture will take place at the Danish Film Institute in Copenhagen in collaboration with the Department of Political Science, Aarhus University. As an introduction to the seminar, the Swiss Basic Income film "Grundeinkommen - ein Kulturimpuls" will be shown on a big cinema screen with Danish subtitles. This will be followed by the lecture itself and another panel discussion with invited participants, among others a former colleague of Van Parijs, professor Robert van der Veen and associate professor SŅren Midtgaard.

Lecture 1:
Time and date: 2-4pm, 1. November 2013
Place: Room 35.01.06. Building 35, CSS, University of Copenhagen, Įster Farimagsgade 5.
The lecture is open to all, but registration is necessary.
Language: English
Website: http://www.cep.polsci.ku.dk/lecture_with_phillipe_van_parisj/

Lecture 2:
Time and date: 12-2pm (film), 2:15-4pm (lecture), 2. November 2013
Place: The Danish Film Institute, Gothersgade 55, 1123 Copenhagen K
Detailed information about the second lecture is listed (in Danish) at the following website: http://www.dfi.dk/Filmhuset/Cinemateket/Billetter-og-program/Serie.aspx?serieID=9259

 

Windhoek, Namibia, “Basic Income Grant: A remedy for poverty and inequality in Namibia?” 24 September 2013

 

Karl Widerquist, Associate Professor at SFS-Q, Georgetown University, will give a public lecture entitled, “Basic Income Grant: A remedy for poverty and inequality in Namibia?” at 6:30pm on Tuesday, 24 September 2013 at the Windhoek Multipurpose Youth Centre, Auala Street, Windhoek, Namibia. The lecture is organized by the University of Namibia’s Department of Sociology and the Theological Institute for Advocacy and Research in Africa. Widerquist will speak on a related topic two days later at the Bank of Namibia's Annual Symposium.

 

Topic: Basic Income Grant: A remedy for poverty and inequality in Namibia?

Date: Time: Venue: Tuesday, 24 September 2013 18h30 Windhoek Multipurpose Youth Centre, Auala Street, Katutura (near Independence Arena)

Guest Speaker: Prof. Karl Widerquist

For further details please contact Heidi at 081 440 1194 or 235 420

 

9. Publications

Several articles on the Swiss Basic Income Referendum

As reported recently on BI News, following a successful petition initiative, Switzerland will hold national referendum to vote on basic income. The referendum has received significant attention in world news media, including the following articles:

 

Alice Baghdjian (author) Denis Balibouse (reporter), and Gareth Jones (editor), “Swiss to vote on 2,500 franc basic income for every adult,” Reuters, October 4, 2013: www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/04/us-swiss-pay-idUSBRE9930O620131004. Reposted by MSN: http://news.msn.com/world/swiss-to-vote-on-dollar2800-monthly-income-for-all-adults?stay=1

VIDEO: “Cash Bern: Swiss may grant unconditional income for all” Ruplty TV, YouTude: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqKkERp-ias

VIDEO: “Switzerland: Parliament forced to debate basic income for nationals”

Ruptly TV, Oct 3, 2013: Enno Schmidt, founder of Generation Basic Income Initiative, talks through the aims of the unconditional basic income initiative: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFCMNNny6EQ

Max Rivlin-Nadler, “Swiss to Vote on Guaranteed $2800 Monthly Income for All Adults,” Gawker, October 5, 2013: http://gawker.com/swiss-to-vote-on-guaranteed-28-000-monthly-income-for-1441514881

Common Dreams staff, “Swiss Showing the World How to Take on Pay Inequality” Common Dreams, Saturday, October 5, 2013: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/10/05

Ivan Botoucharov, “The Abolition of Poverty in Switzerland: A Template for Europe?” One-Europe, 04 Oct 2013: http://one-europe.info/the-abolition-of-poverty-in-switzerland-a-template-for-europe

Anna Edwards, “Streets of Basel paved with gold: 15 TONS of five cent coins are dumped on city's streets as protesters demand a basic minimum income for every Swiss household,” The Mail Online, 4 October 2013: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2443812/Streets-Basel-paved-gold-15-TONS-cent-coins-dumped-citys-streets-protesters-demand-increased-minimum-wage.html. This story includes pictures of how the coins were assembled to be dropped during the demonstration in Bern.

Jameson, “Swiss to Vote on Whether to Give a $2,800 Monthly Income to Every Citizen,” ClassWarfareExists.com, 5 Oct 2013: http://www.classwarfareexists.com/swiss-to-vote-on-whether-to-give-a-2800-monthly-income-to-every-citizen/

Richard Cook, “Swiss in Forefront With Basic Income Proposal,” Global Research,

6 October 2013: http://www.globalresearch.ca/swiss-in-forefront-with-basic-income-proposal/5353952

Rubin Report, “Switzerland Might Guarantee A $2800 Monthly Income for All Adults,” The Rubin Report, Oct 14, 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyKBVsiuiHc

Adam Taylor, “Switzerland Mulls Giving Every Citizen $2,800 a Month,” Business Insider, Slate, Oct. 19 2013: http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_insider/2013/10/19/swiss_government_giveaway_2_800_a_month_for_all_citizens.html

Ivan Botoucharov, “The Abolition of Poverty in Switzerland: A Template for Europe? The success of a ‘Basic Income’ campaign in Switzerland provides momentum to an equivalent EU initiative.” One: Society, Democracy, Europe, 04 Oct 2013: http://one-europe.info/the-abolition-of-poverty-in-switzerland-a-template-for-europe

Josh Eidelson, “Rather than savage cuts, Switzerland considers ‘Star Trek’ economics: Switzerland will vote on giving every adult in the country a $2,800 check every month. How would that work?” Salon.com. Friday, Oct 11, 2013: http://www.salon.com/2013/10/11/rather_than_savage_cuts_switzerland_considers_star_trek_economics/

 

If you know of more articles on the BI referendum in Switzerland, please leave the publication information and link in the comments section. If it’s in a language other than English, please indicate what language it’s in.

 

 

Karl Widerquist, Jose Noguera, Yannick Vanderborght, and Jurgen De Wispelaere (editors), Basic Income: An Anthology of Contemporary Research

 

Basic Income: An Anthology of Contemporary Research presents a compilation of six decades of Basic Income literature. It includes the most influential empirical research and theoretical arguments on all aspects of the Basic Income proposal. According to the publisher, it presents the best theoretical and empirical arguments for and against Basic Income. It includes unpublished and hard-to-find articles. It is the first major compendium on one of the most innovative political reform proposals of our age. It explores multidisciplinary views of Basic Income, with philosophical, economic, political, and sociological views. It features contributions from key and well-known philosophers and economists, including Tony Atkinson, James Buchanan, Milton Friedman, Erick Fromm, Andre Gorz, Claus Offe, Philip Pettit, John Rawls, Herbert Simon, Philippe Van Parijs, and many more.

 

Karl Widerquist, Jose Noguera, Yannick Vanderborght, and Jurgen De Wispelaere (eds.), August 2013. Basic Income: An Anthology of Contemporary Research, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell

The publisher’s U.S. webpage for this book is: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1405158107.html

The publisher’s E.U. webpage for this book is:

http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1405158107.html

 

 

Guinevere Liberty Nell, Basic Income and the Free Market: Austrian Economics and the Potential for Efficient Redistribution

This book is collection of essays by economists and political scientists, each with an interest in arguments of the Austrian school of economics. The book, Basic Income and the Free Market, outlines Austrian arguments for and against the BIG. According to the publisher, it includes critiques of Austrian theory from market-socialist and post-Keynesian perspectives that lead to defense of the BIG; critiques of BIG that consider Austrian and other heterodox theory; comparisons of the policy to proposals by others, such as Milton Friedman's negative income tax; pragmatic arguments for the policy; and proposals which discuss complex systems theory (which is embraced by 'left' and 'right' thinkers alike) and its relationship to Hayek's spontaneous order.

The collection opens a dialog between Austrian and other heterodox economists as well as between 'classical liberal,' libertarian, and left-leaning or socialist political scientists and policymakers. The authors discuss whether the BIG could offer an alternative to both laissez-faire and existing welfare systems in developed countries, which are often criticized by both advocates and critics of laissez-faire, opening a constructive dialog in policy discussion. Included in this discussion is a systematic critique of pure laissez-faire interpretations of Austrian theory, and the analysis of the addition of a BIG to pure laissez-faire in the place of existing interventionist systems. Proposals making this case form the first section, followed by rebuttals and proposals against the policy, and rejoinders.

Guinevere Liberty Nell, Basic Income and the Free Market: Austrian Economics and the Potential for Efficient Redistribution, Palgrave Macmillan, August 2013

http://us.macmillan.com/basicincomeandthefreemarket/GuinevereLibertyNell

 

 

 

 

Philippe Van Parijs, “The Universal Basic Income: Why Utopian Thinking Matters, and How Sociologists Can Contribute to It”

 

ABSTRACT: Utopian thinking consists of formulating proposals for radical reforms, justifying them on the basis of normative principles combined with the best possible scientific analysis of the root causes of the problems the proposals are meant to address, and subjecting these proposals to unindulgent critical scrutiny. Such utopian thinking is indispensable, and contributing to it is part of sociology’s core business. This article illustrates these claims by considering one particular utopian proposal: an unconditional basic income paid to every member of society on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement. It summarizes the main arguments that support this proposal, mentions a number of contexts in which it is being taken seriously, and sketches a number of ways in which sociological insights and research are crucially relevant to the discussion of the economic and political sustainability of an unconditional basic income.

 

Philippe Van Parijs, “The Universal Basic Income: Why Utopian Thinking Matters, and How Sociologists Can Contribute to It,” Politics & Society June 2013 vol. 41 no. 2 171-182: http://pas.sagepub.com/content/41/2/171.short

 

Matt Bruenig: More than a half dozen blogs about BIG in 2013

Matt Bruenig is a journalist who has written politics, economics, and political theory for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, and many other publications. In 2013 he has written ten articles on basic income. Mostly for Demos’s Policy Shop, and also for the Atlantic and his own blog. His writing on basic income covers a wide rage of topics including its cost, its affect on poverty, its political prospects, and so on.

 

Matt Bruenig’s articles on BIG include:

 

Matt Bruenig, “Argumentation 101,” MattBruenig: Politics, May 9, 2013. http://mattbruenig.com/2013/05/09/argumentation-101/

 

Matt Bruenig, “The weak feminist case against a basic income,” MattBruenig: Politics, May 11, 2013. http://mattbruenig.com/2013/05/11/the-weak-feminist-case-against-a-basic-income/

 

Matt Bruenig, “Is a Universal Basic Income Really Utopian?” Policy Shop, Demos May 12, 2013. http://www.demos.org/blog/universal-basic-income-really-utopian

 

Matt Bruenig, “How Much Money Would It Take to Eliminate U.S. Poverty?” Policy Shop, Demos, September 23, 2013. http://www.demos.org/blog/9/23/13/how-much-money-would-it-take-eliminate-us-poverty

 

Matt Bruenig, “How a Universal Basic Income Would Affect Poverty,” Policy Shop, Demos, October 3, 2013. http://www.demos.org/blog/10/3/13/how-universal-basic-income-would-affect-poverty

 

Matt Bruenig, “Sasha Abramsky’s The American Way of Poverty,” Policy Shop, Demos, October 14, 2013. http://www.demos.org/blog/10/14/13/sasha-abramsky%E2%80%99s-american-way-poverty

 

Matt Bruenig and Elizabeth Stoker, “How to Cut the Poverty Rate in Half (It's Easy),” the Atlantic, Oct 29 2013. http://mattbruenig.com/?s=%22basic+income%22

 

Matt Bruenig, “Have Hope: Conservatives Rationalize Leftist Stuff They Like,” Policy Shop, Demos, November 2, 2013. http://www.demos.org/blog/11/2/13/have-hope-conservatives-rationalize-leftist-stuff-they

 

Matt Bruenig, “What Would a Basic Income Actually Cost?” Policy Shop, Demos, November 13, 2013. http://www.demos.org/blog/11/13/13/what-would-basic-income-actually-cost

 

Matt Bruenig, “Thinking About Government Costs in Three Buckets,” Policy Shop, Demos, November 14, 2013. http://www.demos.org/blog/11/14/13/thinking-about-government-costs-three-buckets

 

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, “What would Milton Friedman think of shutdown debate?”

[Craig Axford]

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and food stamp program, recently renamed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), are programs that serve as tentative steps toward conservative economist Milton Friedman’s vision of a negative income tax. In this article the author argues today’s conservatives are increasingly turning their back on these programs, however, and the recent government shutdown reflects this change in attitude.

 

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, “What would Milton Friedman think of shutdown debate?” TireBusiness.com, October 15, 2013: http://www.tirebusiness.com/article/20131015/NEWS/131019944/other-voices-what-would-milton-friedman-think-of-shutdown-crisis

 

Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute, “Report on SADC-wide Basic Income Grant: Alternatives to financing SADC-wide Basic Income Grant”

This document reports on a conference that was hosted by Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII) and the Ecumenical Service on Southern Africa (KASA) in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was held on 25 and 26 April 2013 at the Economic Rights Programme. The conference was aimed to develop an innovative and comprehensive case for the introduction of a universal cash transfer in the form of a Basic  Income Grant for the entire Southern African Development Community  (SADC). The grant will be funded by a tax on extractive activities, such as mining and drilling.

Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute, “Report on SADC-wide Basic Income Grant: Alternatives to financing SADC-wide Basic Income Grant,” KASA, June 11, 2013, The report is online at: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CEAQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fccs.ukzn.ac.za%2Ffiles%2FSADC%2520BIG%2520Conference.pdf&ei=VcCZUpWbGePiywONsoKwCQ&usg=AFQjCNFVmDoi8IsY6QDMVJRF8FHf7MqvbA&sig2=q53gOcla6oE8zE3DxGCfXA&bvm=bv.57155469,d.bGQ
For more details, contact Thabileng <thabileng@spii.org.za> and Taku <taku@spii.org.za>

 

 

LiveMint & The Wall Street Journal, “A universal basic income for all Indians”

Taking inspiration from the Swiss referendum, this article argues for BIG in India, claiming, “the idea is to help the poor and ensure that government intervention is minimized.”

LiveMint & The Wall Street Journal, “A universal basic income for all Indians.” Hindustan Times, November 25, 2013. http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/lrBg4qDddoKgtlx1zgNwQJ/A-universal-basic-income-for-all-Indians.html

 

Tim Kreider, “The ‘Busy’ Trap”

The author connects the way out of the busy trap to BIG, writing, “My old colleague Ted Rall recently wrote a column proposing that we divorce income from work and give each citizen a guaranteed paycheck, which sounds like the kind of lunatic notion that’ll be considered a basic human right in about a century, like abolition, universal suffrage and eight-hour workdays.”

Tim Kreider, “The ‘Busy’ Trap,” The New York Times Opinion Pages, June 30, 2012. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/?_r=0

 

The Economist, “The check is in the mail: A government-guaranteed basic income”

This article begins a rather philosophical discussion of basic income with the following, “What if America were to scrap all its anti-poverty programmes—welfare, food stamps, unemployment benefits, the works—and replace them with an unconditional basic income (UBI) for everybody? Even in a Congress beset by less extraordinary levels of dysfunction, the idea would have little chance of becoming law. It’s fun to theorise, though. And if Switzerland approves a referendum to send all of its citizens $2,800 a month, the debate will have a fascinating new reference point.”

The Economist, “The check is in the mail: A government-guaranteed basic income,” The Economist, Nov 19th 2013. http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/government-guaranteed-basic-income

 

Annie Lowrey, “Switzerland’s Proposal to Pay People for Being Alive”

[Ian Orton]

News of the forthcoming Swiss referendum on the Basic Income proposal continues to make inroads in the popular press; this time across the Atlantic where The New York Times features this important political moment in a positive light. The article runs through the manifold arguments in favour of the idea, elaborates on the different types of proposal that could come into being (i.e. unconditional/means tested), how it appeals both to left and right persuasions, and charts its historical roots both in North America and elsewhere. Significantly, the author recognises its potential and how it could make sense in the United States too (i.e. helping to address its current social ills such as stagnant wages, high and stubborn long term employment): ‘If our economy is no longer able to improve the lives of the working poor and low-income families, why not tweak our policies to do what we’re already doing, but better — more harmoniously? It’s hardly uplifting news, but minimum incomes just might be stimmig [‘coherent, harmonious and beautiful’] for the United States too’. More importantly still, the author senses the idea may just sneak into the Swiss system. Such a hunch reflects a discernable quickening and intensification of the momentum gathering behind the Basic Income proposal.

 

Annie Lowrey. “Switzerland’s Proposal to Pay People for Being Alive”. The New York Times, November 12, 2013:

www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/magazine/switzerlands-proposal-to-pay-people-for-being-alive.html?_r=1

 

 

The Economist. “Cash to the poor, Pennies from heaven: Giving money directly to poor people works surprisingly well. But it cannot deal with the deeper causes of poverty”

[Ian Orton]

The evidence that simply giving cash to the poor and vulnerable households is successful is well accepted by those familiar with the BI.  Elsewhere, in more mainstream debate this recognition has lagged somewhat behind the empirical evidence, until now where a change seems to be afoot. A recent article in The Economist: “Cash to the poor: Pennies from heaven” charts both the origins of cash transfers (both in their unconditional and conditional forms), and most importantly gives its seal of approval that giving cash, when combined with wider measures, is an effective way forward for addressing inequality and poverty.

 

The article reaffirms the overwhelming evidence that giving cash improves key human development incomes (increased vaccinations and school attendance/attainment), spending money on improved living conditions, bolsters psychological well being (e.g. reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisone in the blood of recipients), depicts positively the capabilities of the poor by illustrating how transfers unlock and resource their economic potential, resulting in increased micro-economic activity and entrepreneurialism.

 

However, the article goes far beyond this, showing a nuanced understanding of the different outcomes generated by the incentives of soft and tough conditions (the latter credited with giving more significant results); the fact that pilot projects or one-off basic income-type transfers from Google or Facebook (as has occurred recently via ‘Give Directly’ in Kenya), might distort relations between recipient and non-recipient villages therefore skewing regional developmental goals. Moreover, from a Real Politick position the article also recognises the important strategic complementarity between conditions and cash and therefore political viability: conditions are the easiest way to assure political support by reassuring middle-class taxpayers that the poor are not violating the ‘norm of reciprocity’ through something-for-nothingism. And perhaps most importantly it lends weight to emerging concerns about the tendency of politicians and media to transform  ‘shame’ and cash transfers into an ironclad collocation, especially in OECD countries, by dispelling this idea: ‘[UCTs] dent the stereotype of poor people as inherently feckless and ignorant’. In short, the article represents something of a popular breakthrough in legitimising cash transfers, whether they be unconditional or the ‘soft’ and ‘tough’ conditional variants. 

 

The Economist, “Cash to the poor, Pennies from heaven: Giving money directly to poor people works surprisingly well. But it cannot deal with the deeper causes of poverty”, The Economist, October 26, 2013.

www.economist.com/news/international/21588385-giving-money-directly-poor-people-works-surprisingly-well-it-cannot-deal

 

Charo Castelló “WMCW International Plan of Action ‘for a Universal Basic Income’”

[Aynur Bashirova]

 

The article published in the World Movement of Christian Workers (WMCW), talks about their meeting with the motto of “conducting a more just, fraternal, and sustainable society” where they decided that in order to reach the outcome of their motto, they need conduct a Universal Basic Income (UBI) awareness campaign. Analyses by many WMCW delegates around the World showed that many families living on Earth are living in poverty and do not have even the minimum means to make their ends. In the light of the current crisis, argues the article, there is a growing unemployment and inability to offer jobs and these problems cannot be tackled by current economic policies. There is a need to offer something different, such as UBI, which is, as its name suggests, universal (offered without condition to everyone) and basic (enough to fulfill basic necessities). The UBI is already on the agenda of several international institutions such as United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU).

 

Charo Castelló “WMCW International Plan of Action ‘for a Universal Basic Income’.” World Movement of Christian Workers, 18th September 2013. http://www.mmtc-infor.com/m/index.php/en/press-releases/34-wmcw-international-plan-of-action-qfor-a-universal-basic-incomeq.html.

 

 

Citizen’s Income Trust Citizen’s Income News Letter 2013

The Citizen’s Income Trust (BIEN’s affiliate in the United Kingdom) has released the third issue of the 2013 volume of the Citizen’s Income Newsletter. It contains editorials, news, and nine book reviews.

 

Citizen’s Income Trust Citizen’s Income News Letter 2013, issue 3: http://www.citizensincome.org/resources/Newsletter20133.htm

 

Arthur de Grave & Benjamin Tincq, “Can debt catalyse the next global rebellion? An interview with David Graeber”

[Craig Axford]

In this wide-ranging interview with the anthropologist David Graeber, ideas such as a debt jubilee and basic income guarantee are discussed.  According to Graeber, a basic income would allow people to “find a valuable occupation” of their own choosing instead of forcing people to work in increasingly unproductive “bullshit jobs” that exist simply to perpetuate the perception that work is a moral undertaking.

Arthur de Grave & Benjamin Tincq, “Can debt catalyse the next global rebellion? An interview with David Graeber,” OUIShare, October 9, 2013: http://ouishare.net/2013/10/graeber-morality-debt/

 

 

Kevin Zeese & Margaret Flowers, “Time for an Economy of, by and for the People”

[Craig Axford]

An overview of current economic policy and a number of alternative directions we might follow are discussed here, including a shorter work-week at current wage levels, an increase in the minimum wage to reflect increases in productivity, and a basic guaranteed income set above the poverty line. 

Kevin Zeese & Margaret Flowers, “Time for an Economy of, by and for the People,” Dissident Voice, June 26, 2013: http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/06/time-for-an-economy-of-by-and-for-the-people/

 

 

Georgette Jasen, “Research Finds Outright Grants of Cash Are Surprisingly Effective Form of Aid to the Poor”

[Craig Axford]

Researcher Christopher Blattman investigated the impacts of a Ugandan grant program financed through a loan from the World Bank and discovered it paid huge dividends both for the grant recipients and the communities they belonged to.  Though the grants were largely unconditional with no follow-up to determine how the money was spent, Blattman found that grant recipients learned a trade, started a business, or otherwise spent the money responsibly.

Georgette Jason, “Research Finds Outright Grants of Cash Are Surprisingly Effective Form of Aid to the Poor,” Global Impact, October 8, 2013: http://news.columbia.edu/global/3240

 

 

Duncan Black, “Minimum income proposal worth considering”

With positive reference to the Swiss referendum, this opinion piece in the popular national paper, USA Today discusses Basic Income as something the United States should consider.

Duncan Black, “Minimum income proposal worth considering,” USA Today, October 10, 2013: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/10/10/swiss-referendum-minimum-income-column/2945657/

 

 

Rich Smith, “A Radical Fix for the Social Safety Net: Replace It All With One BIG Idea”

[Craig Axford]
Arguing the current safety net is a “messed up” tangle of confusing and poorly managed programs, Rich Smith endorses the basic income guarantee (BIG) as a means of both starting over and eliminating poverty.  Citing Alan Sheahen’s recent book on the subject, Basic Income Guarantee: Your Right to Economic Security, Smith agrees it’s an idea whose time has come.

Rich Smith, “A Radical Fix for the Social Safety Net: Replace It All With One BIG Idea, Daily Finance, October 3, 2013-10-12: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/10/03/radical-social-safety-net-fix-basic-income-guarantee/

 

 

Erin Andersen, “To end poverty, guarantee everyone in Canada $20,000 a year.  But are you willing to trust the poor?”
[Craig Axford]

In 2010, a Canadian House of Commons committee on poverty released a report recommending a guaranteed basic income for every Canadian with disabilities.  In Quebec, a task force also recommended a basic income guarantee of $12,000 for each of the province’s citizens.  In Canada, home of the Dauphin, Manitoba experiment, the BIG idea has receives some support from across the political spectrum.

Erin Anderson, “To end poverty, guarantee everyone in Canada $20,000 a year. But are you willing to trust the poor?”The Globe and Mail, November 19, 2010 (updated August 23, 2012): http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/to-end-poverty-guarantee-everyone-in-canada-20000-a-year-but-are-you-willing-to-trust-the-poor/article560885/?page=1

 

Matt Bruenig, “How a Universal Basic Income Would Affect Poverty”

[Craig Axford]

This short blog post provides an overview of the basic income guarantee idea along with an easy to use calculator that enables visitors to calculate the cost of providing everyone in the United States with a basic income.  By experimenting with the calculator tool it’s possible to see how much various basic income levels will decrease poverty and how much of GDP the program will cost. 

 

Matt Bruenig, “How a Universal Basic Income Would Affect Poverty”

Policy Shop, October 3, 2013: http://www.demos.org/blog/10/3/13/how-universal-basic-income-would-affect-poverty

Allan Sheahen, “America needs a basic income guarantee”

[Craig Axford]

 

In this recent post in The Hill, Alan Sheahen reminds us that a basic income guarantee (BIG) is not a new idea.  Dr. Martin Luther King advocated for it writing in 1967 “I am now convinced that the simplest solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a new widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.”  In 1969, a Presidential Commission voted 22-0 in favour of the concept, and in 1972 the Democratic Party included BIG in its platform.  Sheahen argues it’s time we revisited a basic income guarantee.  “The U.S. is a wealthy nation…A basic income guarantee would establish economic security as a universal right.”

Allan Sheahen, “America needs a basic income guarantee,” The Hill, August 21, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-a-budget/317887-america-needs-a-basic-income-guarantee#ixzz2cn22OJSW

 

 

Linda Raven, “Basic Income Grant in Namibia”

 

Linda Raven, an American who works in Namibia teaching visiting university students, uses this blog to discuss Karl Widerquist’s two talks on BIG in Namibia in September. Raven contrasts the two talks—one given at a symposium hosted by the central bank, the other given at a community center in a poorer area of Windhoek—and connects these contrasts to the need for BIG in Namibia.

 

Linda Raven, “Basic Income Grant in Namibia,” Center For Global Education-Southern Africa, Tuesday, October 1, 2013: http://cgesouthernafrica.blogspot.com/2013/10/basic-income-grant-in-namibia.html

 

See also the following related stories on BI News:

Windhoek, Namibia, “Basic Income Grant: A remedy for poverty and inequality in Namibia?” 24 September 2013: http://binews.org/2013/09/windhoek-namibia-%E2%80%9Cbasic-income-grant-a-remedy-for-poverty-and-inequality-in-namibia%E2%80%9D-24-september-2013/

 

WINDHOEK, Namibia, “Social safety nets in Namibia: Assessing current programmes and future options,” September 26, 2013: http://binews.org/2013/08/windhoek-namibia-%e2%80%9csocial-safety-nets-in-namibia-assessing-current-programmes-and-future-options%e2%80%9d-september-26-2013/

 

Elvis Muraranganda, “US academic wants Namibia to go BIG:” http://binews.org/2013/10/elvis-muraranganda-“us-academic-wants-namibia-to-go-big”

 

Elvis Muraranganda, “US academic wants Namibia to go BIG”

This article reports on Karl Widerquist’s lecture on BIG at the Bank of Namibia conference and on Social Safety Nets on September 26, 2013. The article also reports on the debate over BIG in Namibia.

 

Elvis Muraranganda, “US academic wants Namibia to go BIG,” The Namibian Sun, Wednesday September 25, 2013: http://sun.com.na/government/us-academic-wants-namibia-go-big.57674

 

Tina Rosenberg, "The Benefits of Cash Without Conditions"

[Timothy Roscoe Carter]
In a recent op-ed piece in the New York Times, Rosenberg summarizes recent results from the GiveDirectly campaign in Kenya and a couple of other unconditional cash transfer programs in Uganda and contrasts them with conditional transfer programs in Mexico and Brazil.

Tina Rosenberg won a Pulitzer Prize for her book “The Haunted Land: Facing Europe’s Ghosts After Communism.” She is a former editorial writer for The Times.

Tina Rosenberg, "The Benefits of Cash Without Conditions", New York Times Opinion pages, August 28, 2013. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/28/the-benefits-of-cash-without-conditions/?_r=0)

 

Olga Khazan, “The Case for Unconditional Handouts to the Poor”

 (Craig Axford)

 

In this article in The Atlantic, Olga Khazan points to recent research coming out of Morocco that demonstrates unconditional handouts to those in need leads to better outcomes than conditional handouts. Many fail to enrol in conditional programs at all, fearing they may not be able to meet the requirements, while those receiving unconditional support have no such concerns. Unconditional programs also come with fewer administrative burdens saving both time and resources. 

Olga Khazan, “The case for Unconditional Handouts to the Poor: No, they don’t blow it on booze or drugs – at least not in developing countries.” The Atlantic, Aug 16, 2013. www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/08/the-case-for-giving-poor-people-handouts-with-no-strings-attached/278770/

 

 

Bob Lord, “Basic Income Guarantee”

This op-ed piece in the Tucson Citizen argues for a Basic Income Guarantee. The author, Bob Lord, writes, “We've reached a level of national income that we have the means to do so. The real question is whether we have the morality to do so.”

Bob Lord, “The Basic Income Guarantee,” The Tucson Citizen, Jul. 30, 2013

http://tucsoncitizen.com/in-the-aggregate/2013/07/30/the-basic-income-guarantee/

 

 

Chris Farrell, “It's Time for a Negative Income Tax”

Discussion of BIG has reached Bloomberg Businessweek. This opinion piece by Chris Farrell argues for BIG in the form of a Negative Income Tax. Farrell is contributing economics editor for Bloomberg Businessweek.
By Chris Farrell, “It's Time for a Negative Income Tax,” Bloomberg Businessweek August 08, 2013

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-08-08/its-time-for-a-negative-income-tax

 

 

Chris Ladd, “How to End the Welfare State”

This article argues that a basic income has something for Republicans and Democrats. Chris Ladd asks, “How would Republicans react to a proposal that would eliminate the food stamp program, shut down welfare, slash the state and federal workforce, replace Social Security, and end the minimum wage? How would Democrats respond if that same program extended the social safety net across the entire scope of the population, eliminating poverty and fueling opportunity in under-developed areas?”

Chris Ladd, “How to End the Welfare State,” GOPlifer: Which way is right? The Houston Chronicle, August 6, 2013 http://blog.chron.com/goplifer/2013/08/how-to-end-the-welfare-state/

Allan Sheahen, “Basic Income Guarantee: Why now is the right time”

In this article, Allan Sheahen discusses the growing problems of poverty, hunger, and inequality in the United States, and argues that BIG can provide the solution. Allan Sheahen is a board member of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network and the author of the Basic Income Guarantee: Your Right to Economic Security. He can be reached by email at alsheahen@prodigy.net.

Allan Sheahen, “Basic Income Guarantee: Why now is the right time,” The Californian, Sep. 5, 2013
http://www.thecalifornian.com/article/20130906/OPINION04/309060024/Basic-Income-Guarantee-Why-now-right-time?nclick_check=1

 

SEWA, “Unconditional cash transfers: SEWA pilots a unique experiment in Madhya Pradesh”

The Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) recently completed a large pilot project on Basic Income in India. The association’s June Newsletter reports on the methodology and findings of the study.

The project randomly assigned 8 out of 20 villages in the study to receive the grant, while the other 12 villages were used as controls. Every adult man and woman in the treatment villages received a grant of 200 Rupees (about US$3 or N$30) per month and every child received 100 Rupees per month. After one year, the amounts were increased to 300 Rupees and 150 Rupees respectively. A total of 6,000 individuals in the 8 villages received the grants for 12 to 17 months. The amount was equivalent to about 20 to 30 percent of household income for the lower-income families in the study.

Researchers conducting the study found that the grants significantly reduced hunger, malnutrition, and illness among recipients. Recipients increased ownership of livestock, reduced, improved school attendance, improved school attendance, and increased investment in agricultural implements. Researchers found no increase in alcohol consumption in the treatment villages. Importantly, the study also found that grant recipients worked more than people in the control villages and that they were three times more likely to start a new business. These results for a positive effect on work effort and earned income (found both the Uganda and the India studies) are confirmed by evidence from cash transfer programs. For example, in South Africa, the Old Age Pension, the Child Support Grant, and the Disability Grant all helped to raise labor force participation and employment.

SEWA, “Unconditional cash transfers: SEWA pilots a unique experiment in Madhya Pradesh,” We the Self-Employed: SEWA’s Electronic Newsletter, No. 50, June 2013.

http://www.sewa.org/enewsletter/Previous-E-News-Letter.asp

 

Jourdan, Stanislas. “The Dangers and Hopes of the Precariat: An Interview with Guy Standing.”

Aynur Bashirova – BI News – 2013.

 

Guy Standing, in his interview with Stanislas Jourdan, published in Basic Income UK, talks about the rising social class called “Precariat” and its dangers for society. Standing is a Professor of Economic Security at the University of Bath and one of the founders and co-president of BIEN. Precariat is a social class, members of which suffer from precarity, existence without predictability or security. It started with governments making labor markets more flexible and more and more people ended up being pushed into precariat. This social class encompasses three types of people. The first type is the people coming from working class conditions. Second type is the immigrants. The ones that belong to the final type are the young, educated people. All three of them have different social consciousness, but more and more they came to share the same feeling of precarity. Solution to this condition, according to Standing, is BI, which will create more security, both in private and work life of people belonging to this social group. He believes that movements led mostly by young people will become a wake up call for politicians to realize the existing situation and its solution. 

 

Jourdan, Stanislas. (6 August 2013). “The Dangers and Hopes of the Precariat: An Interview with Guy Standing.” Basic Income UK. http://basicincome.org.uk/article/2013/08/guy-standing-interview-precariat/.

 

 

Red Pepper, "David Harvey interview: The Importance of Post-Capitalist Imagination"

[Jason Burke Murphy - USBIG]

In a recent interview, Harvey, a Marxist professor of Geography at City University of New York, gives a list of important "post-capitalist" measures. A Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) will be needed if money is reformed to prevent the centralization of power. He argues that money should lose value if held over time “like air miles.”  BIG prevents this loss of value from rendering anyone vulnerable.

Red Pepper, “David Harvey Interview: The Importance of Post-Capitalist Imagination", Red Pepper, 2013. http://www.redpepper.org.uk/david-harvey-interview-the-importance-of-postcapitalist-imagination/

 

 

Guy Standing, “Pleasure Before Business”

In The European, Basic Income Earth Network co-founder Guy Standing argues that globalization and technological developments pose an opportunity if the precariat, and those who may join it, work together for economic security, including a BIG. He also seeks to counter frequent objections to BIG.

At the end of the article, there are links to 3 other economists, who were also part of a series on the “Changing Nature of Work.” One of them, by Bo Cutter, mentions BIG dismissively, argues that government should promote jobs, then asserts that it won’t do so anytime soon.

Guy Standing, “Pleasure Before Business,” The European; July 28th, 2013.
http://www.theeuropean-magazine.com/guy-standing--2/7231-life-after-labor

See also: Cutter, Bo; “Roll Up Your Sleeves”; The European; July 27th, 2013. 

http://www.theeuropean-magazine.com/bo-cutter--2/7223-automation-and-entrepreneurship

 

 

Baron, Alexander. “Op-Ed: Basic Income for Europe in 2014?”

[Aynur Bashirova – BI News]

 

Alexander Baron, in an article published in the Digital Journal, argues that today’s governments’ wage policies are not functional, will not get countries out of the economic crisis, and do not benefit people. People working in unskilled jobs, such as at McDonalds’, are paid so little that they cannot become a breadwinner. If Basic Income (BI) is not introduced in Europe, the poor will become even more desperate and highly paid professionals will stay crippled because of high taxes. On top of that, those who cannot find well paid jobs enter into crime. Introduction of BI will help with the economic crisis, people’s salaries, and lowering the crime rates.

 

Baron, Alexander. (7 August 2013). “Op-Ed: Basic Income for Europe in 2014?” Digital Journal. http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/354625.

 

Jacob Goldstein, “Is It Nuts to Give to the Poor Without Strings Attached?”

Discussion of BIG has gained strength in the United States recent with editorials in Slate, Bloomberg Businessweek, and it even got a mention from Paul Krugman. Although not by name, the discussion of BIG has now reached the New York Times Magazine. A column by Jacob Goldstein reports very positively on GiveDirectly and the Kenyan study on cash dividends, which essentially follows a BIG model.

See past BI News reports on these issues:
Karl Widerquist, “OPINION: Important study finds that giving money without conditions to the poor increases both employment and wages”
http://binews.org/2013/08/important-study-finds-that-giving-money-without-conditions-to-the-poor-increases-both-employment-and-wages/
“INTERNATIONAL: Google Gives $2.5 Million to a Direct Cash Transfer Charity” http://binews.org/2013/07/international-googlefives-2-5-million-to-a-direct-cash-transfer-charity/
“New non-profit uses unconditional cash transfers” http://binews.org/2013/01/united-states-kenya-new-non-profit-uses-unconditional-cash-transfers/

If you would like to support GiveDirectly, go to: http://www.givedirectly.org/.

Jacob Goldstein, “Is It Nuts to Give to the Poor Without Strings Attached?” the New York Times, August 13, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/magazine/is-it-nuts-to-give-to-the-poor-without-strings-attached.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&hp

 

Mayyasi, Alex, “The Basic Income Guarantee

This blog uses Harper Lee’s experience writing To Kill a Mockingbird as an example to support the basic income guarantee. Alex Mayyasi writes, “In the 1950s, Nelle Harper Lee was a single woman living in New York City. … [S]he worked as an airline clerk and wrote in her free time. She had written several long stories, but achieved no success of note. One Christmas in the late fifties, a generous friend gave her a year’s wages as a gift with the note, ‘You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas.’ A year later, Lee had produced a draft of To Kill a Mockingbird. Published two years later, it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, sold 30 million copies, and won such polls as ‘Best novel of the century.’”

Mayyasi compares Lee’s gift to a one-year basic income guarantee, reviews some of the history of the idea, and concludes, “The fear is that a basic income could disrupt the workings of the invisible hand, but especially in a world of plenty, it seems just as feasible to argue that it could remove the material barriers keeping people from achieving a higher potential. It’s worth asking, what would happen if we offered everyone the same gift that resulted in Nelle Harper Lee writing one of the greatest books ever written?”

Mayyasi, Alex, “The Basic Income Guarantee,” Priceonomics: the Price Guide for Everything, Aug 15, 2013 http://priceonomics.com/the-basic-income-guarantee/

 

Martin, Melissa, International Perspectives on Guaranteed Annual Income Programs

ABSRACT: Addressing the issue of poverty in Canada is an important challenge to policymakers. Establishing an income floor below which no citizen falls is a critical public policy goal for the Canadian welfare state. In responding to this policy issue, recent debate has revolved around a guaranteed annual income (GAI), defined as a basic income paid by the government to all citizens on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement. The purpose of this paper is to analyze past and present GAI programs to inform the public policy debate on the implementation of a GAI in Canada. Among the factors under consideration are the program’s efficiency in targeting payments, as well as its effect on family structure and labour force participation. On an implementation level, the paper also explores the potential for introducing a GAI through a negative income tax. It is also important to note, however, that relatively few GAI programs exist currently, and those that do, often are not sufficient alone in providing income maintenance to citizens.

 

Martin, Melissa, “International Perspectives on Guaranteed Annual Income Programs,” Queen’s Policy Review, Volume 2, No. 1 (Winter 2011), pp. 49-61
http://www.queensu.ca/sps/qpr/issues/vol2issue1/Martin.pdf

 

 

Walker, Jesse, Two articles on libertarian populism include a discussion of basic income

Libertarianism, in the United States, is a political ideology dedicated to the smallest possible government. Yet, there is a long history of at least some libertarians favoring basic income. In two articles in the libertarian magazine, Reason, Jesse Walker discusses basic income as a part of the libertarian agenda and the Alaska Dividend as an example of a working basic income. According to Walker, “The American safety net is a confusing maze of programs, many of which double as a way for paternalists to stick their snouts into poor people's lives. It would be both simpler and less intrusive to replace the lot of them with a single negative income tax or basic income grant.”

 

Jesse Walker, “One State Already Has a Basic Income Plan,” Reason: Free Minds and Free Markets, Aug. 2, 2013: http://reason.com/blog/2013/08/02/one-state-already-has-a-basic-income-pla

 

Jesse Walker, “How Far Will Libertarian Populists Go?” Reason: Free Minds and Free Markets, Aug. 1, 2013: http://reason.com/blog/2013/08/01/how-far-will-libertarian-populists-go

 

 

 

10. Audio-Video

 

VIDEO: Fox News calls Basic Income "A Great Idea"

 

Discussing the Swiss Basic Income Initiative, Fox news commentators stress how many other programs government could cut if BI were introduced, but they agree, "it's a great idea."

 

Fox, New, “Veronique De Rugy Discusses Switzerland's Minimum Income,” YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=07F1b3uPoGs

 

 

VIDEO: Fox News, “Should the government give you a ‘basic income’ just for being alive?”

In this Fox News video, economist Peter Morici and Economic Policy Institute’s Christian Dorsey discuss the proposal in Switzerland of a ‘basic income’ with host Melissa Francis.

 

Melissa Francis, “Should the government give you a ‘basic income’ just for being alive?” Fox News, Nov. 15, 2013. http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2842657107001/should-the-government-give-you-a-basic-income-just-for-being-alive/

 

 

VIDEO: Switzerland Basic Income Mountain of Money Performance”

VIDEO: TheLipTV, “Switzerland Basic Income Mountain of Money Performance” YouTube Oct. 17, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnL-1P4Qri0

 

VIDEO: Livable Income (Basic Income) Historic Proponents (QV)

VIDEO: “Livable Income (Basic Income) Historic Proponents (QV)” Livable Income for All: YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBTEAf6ZT7Q

 

VIDEO: The Swiss Activist Who Collected 100,000 Signatures to Provide Every Adult Citizen with $2,800/Month

[Steve Shafarman - USBIG]

 

This video, an exclusive interview is cofounder of the Basic Income Initiative, Enno Schmidt, includes references to Milton Friedman, Alaska, Namibia, and more. Enno is an artist and author of the film Basic Income: A Cultural Impulse.

 

Jessica Desvarieux, "The Swiss Activist Who Collected 100,000 Signatures to Provide Every Adult Citizen with $2,800/Month," The Real News Network, October 21, 2013: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=10859; republished at: http://www.commondreams.org/video/2013/10/21-0

 

AUDIO: Aaron Schachter [Interview with Karl Widerquist], “$2750 a month for every adult, guaranteed? Switzerland's considering it”

In this 3-minute, 46-second interview, host Aaron Schacter asks Karl Widerquist about Switzerland’s petition drive that has successfully mandated a national referendum on basic income. Schachter uses the opportunity to discuss basic income more generally and asks Widerquist whether the idea sounds “kooky.” Karl Widerquist is an Associate Professor at SFS-Q, Georgetown University and co-chair of the Basic Income Earth Network.

 

Aaron Schachter, “$2750 a month for every adult, guaranteed? Switzerland's considering it,” PRI's The World, Producer: Emily Files, October 14, 2013: http://pri.org/stories/2013-10-14/2750-month-every-adult-guaranteed-switzerlands-considering-it

 

VIDEO: Emily DeCiccio, “Giving cash directly to the poor”
[Craig Axford]

GiveDirectly.org takes a different approach to charity by giving money directly to those in need, no strings attached.  Emily DeCiccio of MSNBC reports that many people’s initial reaction to this type of giving is that people “will just drink away” the money they are given, but that kind of behaviour is rare.  Typically those in need use the money on things they really need.  According to GiveDirectly.org’s Jacob Goldstein, “there’s a very econ-101 idea going on here, which is each person knows what he or she needs.”

Emily DeCiccio, “Giving cash directly to the poor”

MSNBC, August 27, 2013-09-30

http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/08/27/giving-cash-directly-to-the-poor/

 

 

AUDIO: David Kestenbaum and Jacob Goldstein: Several National Public Radio reports on GiveDirectly, a charity that gives unconditional grants as form of development aid

[Jason Burke Murphy – USBIG]

Reporters David Kestenbaum and Jacob Goldstein interview the founders of GiveDirectly and travel to a village in Kenya where they gave many inhabitants $1,000 with no conditions. Most of these recipients were getting by spending about that same amount every year.

Reporters were able to verify that many recipients made purchases with long-term beneficial consequences. These included roof repair, motorcycles for a taxi service, and a dowry for marriage. Interestingly, many recipients had a very low assessment of their neighbor’s use of the money. Reporters found that most neighbors were making good choices.

GiveDirectly is conducting very intensive surveys to compare their approach to that made by other charities. They have received support from Google Giving.

GiveDirectly is not issuing a Basic Income Guarantee. They only give once to each recipient and they do not give to everyone in an area. They often choose recipients based on simple indicators of deep poverty-like grass roofs. They are giving money unconditionally and their arguments for their approach mirror closely argument for a BIG.

Planet Money also talked about another charity, Heifer Project International, which gives livestock to poor people alongside training in how to raise them. Recipients promise to give the next offspring as a gift to someone else in need.

Planet Money asserts that future research would determine which approach solves more problems for poor people. The podcast mentions government cash transfer programs like those found in Mexico and Brazil. These have soft conditions like school attendance and immunizations. They are also a regularly occurring source of income.

More people are hearing about unconditional cash transfer and government development programs like Brazil’s Bolsa Familia. This is likely to make a guaranteed income more familiar when people do hear about it.


Several different version of this report were broadcast on different NPR programs:

A 28-minute report was broadcast on This American Life:
David Kestenbaum and Jacob Goldstein, "Money for Nothing and Your Cows for Free,” as part of the one-hour episode, “I Was Just Trying to Help", This American Life, August 16, 2013: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/503/i-was-just-trying-to-help?act=1#play

A 6-minute report was broadcast on Planet Money:
David Kestenbaum and Jacob Goldstein, "The Charity That Just Gives Money to Poor People", Planet Money, August 23, 2013. http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/08/23/214210692/the-charity-that-just-gives-money-to-poor-people

Morning Edition and All Things Considered broadcast a two-part story on this report:
David Kestenbaum and Jacob Goldstein, "The Charity That Just Gives Money to Poor People", Morning Edition, August 23, 2013 and David Kestenbaum and Jacob Goldstein, "Cash, Cows, and the Rise of Nerd Philanthropy,” All Things Considered, August 23, 2013.

 

Huffington Post, 17-minute video discusses BIG: “America The Poor

The Huffington post included Allan Sheahen, author of the Basic Income Guarantee: Your Right to Economic Security, in a 17-minute panel discussion of BIG as “a solution to reversing this ever increasing problem,” of poverty.

It’s online at: http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/americas-poverty-line/5202961678c90a30d3000123

 

11. New Links

 

LINK: “Round Up: Universal Basic Income links”

This web page has a collection of links to articles and websites on basic income

 

“Round Up: Universal Basic Income links,” A Latent Existence, November 21, 2013. http://www.latentexistence.me.uk/round-up-universal-basic-income-links/

 

BIEN Congress 2014 now available on Facebook and Twitter

The 15th International Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) will take place on Friday June 27th to Sunday June 29th, 2014 at McGill University, Montreal. The conference theme is “Re-democratizing the Economy.” The conference now has websites on both Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/events/485269558223569/?fref=ts) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/BIENCongress14).

 

BIEN Congress 2014 invites proposals for individual papers, themed panels of up to three papers, and discussion roundtables that cover any aspect of the justification, design or implementation of basic income. The deadline for proposals is Monday 13 January 2014. For more info about the congress and how to submit proposals, visit the conference website at www.biencongress2014.com.

 

 

12. Links and other info

For links to dozens of BIG websites around the world, go to http://www.usbig.net/links.html. 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
Research: Paul Nollen
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 on the web at: http://www.usbig.net. More news about BIG is online at BInews.org.

You may copy and circulate articles from this newsletter, but please mention the source and include a link to http://www.usbig.net. 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 newsletter and the USBIG website are gladly welcomed.

Thank you,
-Karl Widerquist, editor
Karl@Widerquist.com