USBIG NewsFlash Vol. 15, No. 76, October, 2014

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.

 

Table of Contents

1. Editorial
2. New York, NY: Call for Proposals released for The 14th Annual NABIG Congress, Feb. 26 –Mar. 1, 2015: Deadline for submission: November 10, 2014
3. Green Party Congressional Candidate Endorses BIG
4. Events

A. INTERNATIONAL: Basic Income Week Observed in Several Countries
B. CYBERSPACE: BIEN organizes Basic Income AMA Series: The 7th Annual International Basic Income Week, September 15-21, 2014
C. LONDON, UK: Citizen’s Income: A solid foundation for tomorrow’s society, 6th June 2014

5. BIG news from around the world

A. BRAZIL: Eduardo Suplicy, long-term advocate of Unconditional Basic Income, defeated in his bid for reelection to the Brazilian Senate
B. CANADA: A Guaranteed Income is the Way of the Future, Says Minister Blais
C. EUROPEAN UNION: Basic Income Supporter Elected President of European Commission

6. BI Literature
7. Audio-video
8. More news, links and other info

1. Editorial: BI News Expands with the UBI Movement

            Unconditional Basic Income is a movement. Five or ten years ago the idea was little discussed outside of a few limited—mostly academic—circles. Now activists are campaigning for it all over the world. The mainstream media is writing about it. It is becoming a part of the political debate.

            When I agreed to write the USBIG NewsFlash in 1999, Basic Income was so far out of the popular mindset, I didn’t think there would be enough news to fill a newsletter every two months, but even in those pre-Great-Recession days, there was always something to report. The expansion of worldwide attention to basic income has been great for the movement, but it’s created a difficult task for BI News. There is so much Basic Income-related news that Basic Income News (the website) and its accompanying NewsFlashes (email newsletters) will have to expand along with the movement. With this issue, both the BIEN and the USBIG NewsFlashes will become monthly (instead of bi-monthly) publications.

            Basic Income News—once mostly written by one or two people—is now written by a growing team of volunteer reporters. Toby Rane and Jenna van Draanen have recently completed training to join Josh Martin, Craig Axford, F. H. Pitts, and me as members of the group of rotating volunteers who keep up with all the BIG news—as best we can—making sure Basic Income News is updated daily. Four others (Pablo E. Yanes Rizo, Andrea Fumagalli, Jason Burke Murphy, and Toru Yamamori) are currently in the training process. Yanes and Fumagalli are far enough in the process that they have already contributed pieces to the website and the accompanying NewsFlashes.

            We have found that a rotating team of about five or six people can keep up with most of the English-language news leads that come up. Usually a different reporter takes full responsibility for the news section of the website each week. We now have a functioning, rotating English-language team, and we hope to have similar teams in Spanish, French, German, and other languages. We hope also to expand our features section as well to include regular blogs, interviews, and opinion pieces.

            Since the retirement of two past editors, Philippe Van Parijs and Yannick Vanderborght, both of whom had great multi-lingual skills, Basic Income News has fallen behind in our coverage of news from non-English-language sources. We hope that to expand the team in ways that will also allow us to cover many more languages. We have currently have a few volunteers with knowledge of Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Japanese. We could certainly use more volunteers with skills in those and other languages (including English). If you would like to volunteer for Basic Income News, please send me an email: Karl@Widerquist.com.

-Karl Widerquist, Mojo Coffee House, October 7; revised the Rook Café, Freret Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, October 8, 2014

 

 

2. New York, NY: Call for Proposals released for The 14th Annual NABIG Congress, Feb. 26 –Mar. 1, 2015

USBIG has released the following call for papers for the 14th Annual NABIG Congress:

The Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) is suddenly a major topic of conversation in America and around the world. Activist movements have sprung up to push for it. Recent articles in the popular press have discussed it as a part of strategies to address recession, poverty, inequality, carbon pollution, and technological unemployment. In an economy forcing increasing numbers of people into precarious employment situations, is BIG a necessary and achievable part of efforts to retrieve democratic social stability? Can we afford it? How will it affect the economy? Will the new activist movements for BIG take off?

We invite participants to address these and other questions at the Fourteenth Annual North American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) Congress, which will take place in New York City starting Thursday, February 26 – Sunday March 1, 2015. The congress is organized by the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG) in cooperation with the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN/RCRG). It will be held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Economic Association (EEA). It will also include free event(s) to be held at other venues and announced later.

Featured speakers at the conference confirmed so far include Marshall Brain, futurist and author of How Stuff Works and Manna; Peter Barnes, environmentalist and author of Who Owns the Sky?, With Liberty and Dividends For All, and Capitalism 3.0; Ann Withorn, welfare rights activist and Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts Boston, author of Serving the People: Social Services and Social Change and co-editor of For Crying out Loud: Women and Poverty in the U.S.; Jim Mulvale, Dean of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba and Vice-Chairperson of the Basic Income Canadian Network (BICN/RCRG), and Mary Bricker Jenkins, Professor of Social Work, Temple University, and US Welfare Rights Union leaders.

A major focus of this conference is to introduce BIG to new audiences and to explain why it matters to so many. Therefore, we invite participants either to present a paper or to organize a dialogue or a workshop. For example, we suggest submitting proposals for a dialogue about BIG and today’s social movements, which could focus on labor issues (full employment, minimum wage, etc.), on racial and gender justice, on environmental issues, on immigration concerns and so on. The goal is to engage an open conversation about the connections (and possible tensions) between movement activists and BIG supporters. A dialogue is not a debate, but an effort to promote discussion across movements. Alternatively, workshops might involve an exercise to bring out the group’s thoughts and feelings about some issue relating to BIG.

Everyone attending the events at the EEA Conference must register with the EEA and pay their registration fee. If you register as a USBIG participant, you can register for the EEA members’ price of $110 without paying the EEA’s membership fee—saving $65. All registered attendees of the North American Basic Income Congress are welcome to attend any of the EEA’s events. Participants attending only the free event(s) need not register. Details of those events will be announced later.

All points of view are welcome. To present a paper, to organize a workshop, or lead a dialogue at the congress, submit a proposal to the congress organizer, Karl Widerquist of USBIG, at Karl@widerquist.com.

Please include the following information with your proposal:

1. Name(s)

2. Affiliation(s)

3. Address

4. City, Province/State, Postal/Zip Code, and Country

5. Telephone

6. Email Address(es)

7. Title of Paper, Presentation, or Panel

8. Abstract or description of the presentation or workshop (50-150 words)

9. Indicate your availability for the free events, the paid events, or both.

Panels: Proposals for panel discussions should include a title, topic, and description of the panel and the names and contact information for each participant. For dialogues, only one or two moderators need to be listed.

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: November 10th, 2014

For updated information on featured speakers, registration, and accommodations as it becomes available, visit the USBIG website: www.usbig.net. For more information about the Eastern Economics Association Annual Meeting, visit the EEA website: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/eea/41st-annual-conference/.

Essential information:

Conference dates: Thursday, February 26 – Sunday, March 1, 2015
The deadline for participant submissions: November 10, 2014
Location: New York, NY
Organizing committee: Karl Widerquist <Karl@Widerquist.com> (organizer), Ann Withorn <withorn.ann@gmail.com>, Shawn Cassiman <scassiman1@udayton.edu>, and Jurgen De Wispelaere <jurgen.dewispelaere@gmail.com>
Website: USBIG.net.

3. Green Party Congressional Candidate Endorses BIG

Ian Schlakman, Green Party candidate for Congress in Maryland’s Second Congressional District, has made the Basic Income Guarantee a major issue in his campaign. He uses the term Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) and describes it as “Social Security for all,” arguing that the young need as much security for the old and that we need to “Think BIG.” He also supports internet freedom, a $15-per-hour minimum wage, and universal health care.

Schlakman discusses BIG:

Š      In his announcement speech.

Š      At a debate as an answer to a question about Social Security.

More information about his candidacy is available:

Š      On his campaign website

Š      And in the following article: Maryland Green Party, “Ian Schlakman Announces Campaign for United States House, District 2,” Maryland Green Party, January 16, 2014

 

4. Events

 

A. INTERNATIONAL: Basic Income Week Observed in Several Countries

The Seventh International Basic Income Week began on Monday, September 15, 2014 and ran through Sunday, September 21. Basic Income (BI) week is “a yearly event for promotion of Basic Income.” BI is an unconditional cash income granted to all citizens without means test or work requirement. BI week included dozens of events in at least nine countries and cyberspace events originating from more than six more countries.

The Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN)’s contribution to BI Week was a series of live internet interviews called “AMAs” (“Ask Me Anything”), in which people all around the world typed in questions and had them answered live by experts. Participants included some of the key activists who have brought basic income to the forefront of contemporary politics; noted authors such as Peter Barnes and Marshall Brain; experts in fields such as economics, philosophy, sociology, Christianity, feminism, and automation. Participants wer from countries including the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Qatar, Korea, Japan, and more. There will be at least one and as many as four AMAs per day all week. Karl Widerquist, co-chair of BIEN, kicked off the AMA series starting at Noon (Eastern Time, USA) on Monday, September 15. Louise Haagh, co-chair, and Anja Askeland, secretary of BIEN closed the series with an AMA starting at 1pm (Eastern Time, USA) on September 21.

BI Week in Austria included lectures, workshops, discussions, free meals, radio shows, and a street action. The Belgian program included events inFrench and English in all three Belgian regions. Basic Income UK launched of a UBI support statement during International UBI week, with a discussion about basic income on September 16th 19:00 tot21:00 in London. BI Week in the Czech Republic included a film, an outdoor workshop, and even a drum jam session for basic income. Events in France took place in Nantes, Paris, Bordeaux, Nice, and Montpellier, and they included films, lectures, discussions, and a conference. The largest and most diverse program of BI Week events were in Germany, which scheduled 5 to 11 events each day all across the country. The Hungarian program included three days of discussions; a debate; a forum bringing together a politician, an economist, and an activist; a film; an activist program for the BIG Movement. BIN Italy presented a BI Week meeting entitled, “Fundamental Rights: Europe and the Guaranteed Income.” The program for the Netherlands included events in Amsterdam, Borger, Tilburg, Zoetermeer, and several other cities.

Links to BI Week events

Š  BasicIncomeWeek.org

Š  Program for Reddit – Ask Me Anything

Š  Program for Austria

Š  Program for Belgium

Š  Program for Britain

Š  Program for Czech Republic

Š  Program for France

Š  Program for Germany

Š  Program for Hungary

Š  Program for Italy

Š  Program for The Netherlands

 

B. CYBERSPACE: BIEN organizes Basic Income AMA Series: The 7th Annual International Basic Income Week, September 15-21, 2014

The Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) has released the tentative schedule for its series of Internet events on the Seventh Annual International Basic Income Week, September 15-21, 2014. Each event will be an “Ask Me Anything” (also know as AMA or sometimes as “As Us Anything”). In these events, an expert in a given topic promises to be available for a given amount of time to type answers to questions submitted from anyone around the world. The AMAs will appear on Reddit. The following presenters have been confirmed for the following times. A few more are still to be confirmed. Additions will be announced on binews.org and reddit.com/r/basicincome.

Date | Time (EDT) | Subreddit | Name | Bio

15th | 12 pm | /r/IAmA | Karl Widerquist | Co-chair of BIEN, Associate Professor at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University, editor of Basic Income News, and author of A Theory of Freedom as the Power to Say No

15th | 1 pm | /r/Futurology | Marshall Brain | Founder of HowStuffWorks.com, entrepreneur, and author of Manna and Robot Nation & Robotic Freedom

16th | 5 am | /r/BasicIncome | Toru Fujimori | Executive committee member of BIEN in Japan and co-founder of Japanese Association for Feminist Economics

16th | 11 am | /r/IAmA | Michael Bohmeyer | German entrepreneur and founder of Mein Grundeinkommen "My Basic Income", a successfully crowdfunded basic income

16th | 12 pm | /r/BasicIncome | Adriaan Planken | President of the Vereniging Basisinkomen (NL). Helped organize the “European Citizens Initiative for an Unconditional Basic Income

16th | 2 pm | /r/IAmA | Peter Barnes | Author of Who Owns the Sky?, Capitalism 3.0, and With Liberty and Dividends for all

17th | 10 am | /r/BasicIncome | Popho E.S. Bark-Yi | Feminist scholar whose major research interests are basic income, sexuality, gender, queer theory, emotion, and patriarchal capitalism. Steering committee member of Basic Income Korean Network (BIKN)

17th | 1 pm | /r/IAmA | Ed Dolan | Economist and blogger at Ed Dolan’s Econ Blog; author of the textbook Introduction to Economics from BVT Publishing. Ph.D. in economics from Yale with many years of experience teaching economics in the U.S. and Europe

17th | 4 pm | /r/TwoXChromosomes | Ann Withorn and Shawn Cassiman | Ann-Withorn, Ph.D. is Professor of Social Policy, Emeritus. University of Massachusetts/Boston. Shawn-Cassiman, MSW, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the University of Dayton in Ohio

18th | 10 am | /r/BasicIncome | Mike Howard | Editor of Basic Income Studies, coordinator of USBIG, and a socialist philosopher at the University of Maine-Orono, with expertise on the Alaska dividend & the cap-and-dividend approach to global warming

18th | 8 pm | /r/BasicIncome | Pablo Yanes Rizo | of Red Mexicana Ingreso Ciudadano Universal (BIEN’s affiliate in Mexico)

18th | 10 pm | /r/BasicIncome | Hyosang Ahn | Director of the Basic Income Korean Network (BIKN) and editor of the Left Monthly

19th | 12:30 pm | /r/Philosophy | Jason Murphy and Gaura Rader | Jason Murphy is a philosopher at Elms College and Gaura Rader is a philosopher at Ohio University and of the Socratic Diablogues

19th | 1 pm | /r/Christianity | Charles Clark | Professor of Economics, Tobin College of Business, and Senior Fellow, Vincentian Center for Church and Society, St. John’s University, New York

19th | 2 pm | /r/Europe | Unconditional Basic Income Europe | Barb Jacobson, Stanislas Jourdan, and Enno Schmidt, of Universal Basic Income Europe and leaders of people’s initiatives that raised a total of more than 400,000 signatures for basic income in 2013-2014

19th | 10 pm | /r/IAmA | Generation B.I.G. | Juon Kim, Télémaque Masson, and Stanislas Jourdan of Generation B.I.G., a new youth group recently organized to pursue basic income activism

20th | 10 am | /r/IAmA | Jeffery Smith | Edits The Progress Report, contributor at TruthOut, and is published in the academic press. Coined “Citizen’s Dividend” and “geonomics”. A member of the International Society for Ecological Economics and of Mensa

21st | 1 pm | /r/IAmA | Louise Haagh and Anja Askeland | Louise Haag, co-chair of BIEN and Reader in politics and the University of York (UK) and Anja Askeland, Secretary of BIEN and member of BIEN-Norway

 

C. LONDON, UK: Citizen’s Income: A solid foundation for tomorrow’s society, 6th June 2014

Conference report: 63 people attended the conference, held by invitation of the British Library at its conference centre.

Anne Miller, Chair of the trustees, welcomed everyone to the conference, offered a brief history of the recent Citizen’s Income debate in the UK, and explained that an important aim of the conference was to help the Citizen’s Income Trust’s trustees to develop a strategy for the next few years. Jude England, Head of Research Engagement at the British Library, then introduced the British Library and its many research and educational facilities. Malcolm Torry, Director of the Citizen’s Income Trust, explained a few terminological matters: that a Citizen’s Income is an unconditional, nonwithdrawable income paid to every individual as a right of citizenship; that different rates can be paid for people of different ages; that a Basic Income is the same thing as a Citizen’s Income (as is a Universal Benefit or a Social Dividend); and that in the UK the words ‘minimum’ and ‘guarantee’ are tainted by association with means-testing and so should be avoided. Child Benefit would be a Citizen’s Income for children if it were paid at the same rate for every child. Debate ensued on the definition of a Citizen’s Income, and on the meaning of citizenship.

Guy Standing, Professor of Development Studies, SOAS, University of London, spoke on ‘Citizen’s Income: an income floor for the Precariat, and the means of global development’. He explained that we are in the midst of a painful transition. More flexible labour markets are leading to the breakdown of social insurance methods for sustaining income and to a resultant increase in means-testing, which in turn leads to categorising people as deserving and undeserving poor. Means-testing reduces incentives to seek employment so coercion, sanctions and ‘workfare’ are the result. The precarity trap (the fact that it is irrational to take short-term low-paid employment if that means frequent benefits applications) might now be as significant as the poverty trap. Professor Standing described some of the results of the recent Citizen’s Income pilot projects in Namibia and India, and offered four justifications for a Citizen’s Income:

1.     Justice: our wealth is due to the efforts of our forebears, so we all deserve a social dividend.

2.     Rawlsian: a policy is only justifiable if it improves the position of the poorest member of society. A Citizen’s Income can pass this test

3.     A policy must pass the paternalism test: that is, no policy is just if it imposes tests on some groups that are not imposed on others. A Citizen’s Income passes this test, too.

4.     The ‘rights not charity’ principle. Due process was an important provision in the Magna Carta. Means-tested benefits allow discretion to State officials, thus bypassing due process.

John McDonnell MP introduced Tony Benn’s theory of political change: that new policies are thought ‘bad’ and then ‘mad’ before everyone claims to have thought of the idea. Thomas Kuhn’s research on scientific change suggested that current theory becomes problematic, new possibilities emerge, and suddenly a paradigm shift occurs. Iain Duncan Smith’s Universal Credit and other changes are revealing the problematic nature of the current benefits system, but there is a vacuum in terms of new ideas. A Citizen’s Income brings together debates about citizenship and poverty, and provides the necessary new paradigm: but obtaining agreement on the implementation of a Citizen’s Income won’t be easy. For the Labour Party, Ed Miliband will only move when it is safe to do so (as he has, for instance, over energy bills). When he does move, then he gathers support. We therefore need to make a Citizen’s Income safe for politicians. We need to lead so that the leaders can follow. The Labour Party is bereft of policies designed to tackle poverty and precarity, so the Trust needs to work with think tanks to provide the required package, and it needs:

Š      A seriousness of intent

Š      A professional approach

Š      Confidence

Š      Excitement and enthusiasm

Natalie Bennett (Leader of the Green Party) suggested that the outcome of a successful campaign would be that she would be able to say ‘Basic Income’ on Newsnight and everybody would know what she meant. People do ‘get it’ when the idea is explained to them, because the welfare safety net has fallen apart and they want to be able to feed their children without going to food banks. Public education is essential. Biological evolution is punctuated evolution: that is, alternating periods of stability and change. A Citizen’s Income constitutes the next major change because it would change everything, and in particular would provide both economic security and ecological sustainability. The Trust’s task is to educate people about a Citizen’s Income and its effects.

Tony Fitzpatrick (Reader, University of Nottingham) entitled his paper ‘Schemes and Dreams’. The welfare state established after the Second World War was the closest that we’ve ever got to achieving both security and freedom. We must now ask how we should achieve that combination today. Dr. Fitzpatrick discussed four moral contexts: productivism, distributivism, the deliberative, and the regenerative. A post-productivist settlement is needed if we are to conserve the world’s resources. A Citizen’s Income could contribute to that happening, and it could conform to all four moral contexts.

After discussion, and then lunch, three working groups met and then presented their findings at a plenary session:

Brief reports from the working groups

1.     Funding options: If the level of the Citizen’s Income is too low then it might not be politically inspiring. A variety of funding methods were discussed, but because policymakers are cautious, in the short term it might be important to concentrate attention on the Citizen’s Income itself rather than on possible funding mechanisms: so initially a Citizen’s Income would need to be funded by reducing existing tax allowances and benefits, with other mechanisms being considered later.

2.     Political feasibility: We need to avoid current vocabulary in order to avoid stale current debates; we need to offer a clear message of hope through visual representations; we need both a core message and variants to appeal to different audiences; we need a group of sponsors to raise the debate’s profile; and we need to relate to MPs, MEPs, NGOs, and other groups, so that they can promote the idea. A Citizen’s Income is the route to emancipation and freedom, and to the exercise of a variety of rights, and rights language could be useful. A Citizen’s Income enables people to care for others, so care language could also be helpful. Pilot projects will be important.

3.     The research required: Qualitative research is needed to test the acceptability of different ways of expressing a Citizen’s Income. The level at which a Citizen’s Income would be paid would also affect the idea’s acceptability. We need to show that people would wish to work in order to demolish the myth that there would be numerous free-riders. We need to show that a Citizen’s Income would act as an economic stabiliser in the context of a gap between wages and productivity; and we need to show how a Citizen’s Income would impact on health and other outcomes.

Panel discussion

Natalie Bennett (Leader of the Green Party) asked the Citizen’s Income Trust to provide both a wide variety of material and a clear and simple message; Kat Wall (New Economics Foundation) asked the Trust to be clear how work and social participation would be affected by a Citizen’s Income; and Neal Lawson (Compass) said that the time is right for a Citizen’s Income so we need to grasp the opportunity. A moral argument is required, and not just the figures. We need the courage to be utopian. Whilst a Citizen’s Income isn’t about everything, it is about security. Such central connections need to be clearly represented in new ways. Bert Schouwenburg (of the GMB Trade Union) discussed the fact that no trade union has a position on Citizen’s Income, and that that needs to change. Trades unions are wage brokers, and it needs to be made clear that a Citizen’s Income would complement that activity. Chris Goulden (Joseph Rowntree Foundation) explained that researchers are meant to be sceptical. A Citizen’s Income is dignified and simple and it avoids stigma, but such questions as who gains and who loses are important. ‘Something for something’ remains a significant public attitude, and lifecourse redistribution is acceptable, but not redistribution across income groups. A Citizen’s Income campaign needs to take account of such attitudes.

Further discussion followed; and then Professor Hartley Dean (London School of Economics), who had chaired the panel discussion, summed up the conference:

Citizen’s Income is a technology, or policy mechanism, which can serve a variety of ends. We must ensure that it serves social justice. We need to say how it would work, and the detail matters. Citizen’s Income is also a philosophical proposition. It is elegant, and it challenges prevailing understandings, for instance, of work, of human livelihood, of relationships of care, and of rights. ‘Unconditional’ is a stumbling block when applied to people of working age: but ‘working age’ is socially constructed. Work is diverse, and not just what happens within a wage relationship. A Citizen’s Income would support a variety of forms of work. Social insurance is risk-sharing, and a Citizen’s Income would also constitute risk-sharing. It deals with risk now in ways that social insurance did sixty years ago.

A global Citizen’s Income is a distant prospect, but borders are breaking down and citizenship is changing. We need to keep alive a big vision.

 

5. BIG News from around the world

A. BRAZIL: Eduardo Suplicy, long-term advocate of Unconditional Basic Income, defeated in his bid for reelection to the Brazilian Senate

Eduardo Suplicy, long-term advocate of Unconditional Basic Income, was defeated in his bid for reelection to the Brazilian Senate. Suplicy is a former co-chair of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) and an honorary co-President of BIEN. Of any high-level elected official in the world, Suplicy is possibly the strongest advocate of Basic Income. He was one of the architects of the 2005 law that created Brazil’s Bosla Familia program, and it was at his insistence that the law included language making the Bosla Familia the first step in a transition to a full-fledge Basic Income program.

According to the Globe, José Serra, of Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira (PSDB—the Brazilian Social Democracy Party) defeat Eduardo Suplicy of Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT – the Brazilian Labor Party) by a vote of 58.72% to 32.28% of the vote, with Gilberto Kassab in third place with 5.95%. These results after 89.75% of the votes counted.

Suplicy was Senator for 24 years, and he remains personally popular. Some analysts say his defeat has more to do with recent decline in support for the PT than for his personal job approval. Suplicy has not yet announced what he plans to do next, but he is very likely to continue his advocacy of Basic Income from another platform.

For more information on the election see:

The Globe, “José Serra (PSDB) defeat Eduardo Suplicy (PT) and is elected senator in Sao Paulo.The Globe, October 5, 2014.

 

B. CANADA: A Guaranteed Income is the Way of the Future, Says Minister Blais

[Jenna van Draanen]

The Quebec Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, Franćois Blais, has publically said that the Canadian province of Quebec would benefit from establishing a basic income. While the present provincial government has no official plans to adopt this policy, Blais maintains it is being considered, with the goal of ensuring a better redistribution of wealth. He has said that this type of reform should be gradual, and that it is quite possible that this reform could take 20 or 25 years. The Minister does not intend to take action to put this reform in place, but has announced his support for it nonetheless.

For more information on Blais’ position, see:

Mélanie Loisel, “Le revenu garanti est la voie de l’avenir, croit Blais” [A guaranteed income is the way of the future, Blais believes]. Le Devoir, June 30, 2014. 

 

C. EUROPEAN UNION: Basic Income Supporter Elected President of European Commission

[Andrea Fumagalli]

In July, Jean-Claude Juncker was elected as president of the European Commission.

In 2006, the former Luxembourg prime minister declared: "In Europe we need a basic income for all." In an interview published by German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau on 20 november, Juncker affirmed: “The European Union must also be a social union” And to the question: “What are the minimum standards they hold in the EU for essential?”, Jean-Claude Juncker answered: “A basic income. That means that anyone who lives in an EU member country is entitled to a minimum income has. This of course does not have to be the same everywhere. Brussels cannot set the height but should formulate basic rules for a social safety net”.

Now Juncker will assume the president of EC for a renewable term of five years. In an impassioned speech Juncker vowed to revive Europe’s economy with a Ř300bn industrial plan that aims to create jobs for the EU’s 25 million unemployed.

The aim is to restore once again a supply policy in support of the business system, aimed at re-industrialization of Europe (“We need a reindustrialisation of Europe” Juncker stated), just as the creation of wealth is induced more by immaterial production assets with higher added value and by knowledge economy. No mention of both the crisis of consumption and demand that of the increase in poverty. And of Basic Income, too.

The full Juncker’s interview is online:

Frankfurter Rundschau, “Wir brauchen in Europa ein Grundeinkommen für alle’. Jean-Claude Juncker au sujet de l'actualité européenne [‘We need Basic Income for all’. Jean Claude Juncker about current Europe]Frankfurter Rundschau, Nov. 19. 2006.

 

6. BI Literature

 

Nigel Todman, “Canada could eliminate Poverty and Homelessness overnight. But will they?”

[Toby Rane]

The author discusses a basic income proposal from Canadian Conservative Senator Hugh Segal, explaining what it entails and why providing a guaranteed basic income would be more cost-efficient than the current system. He also discusses the 1970s Mincome experiment.

Nigel Todman, “Canada could eliminate Poverty and Homelessness overnight. But will they?”, North American Association of Independent Journalists, 10 November 2013

 

Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig, “Pro-Life, Anti-Poverty”

[Toby Rane]

The author examines various solutions for the financial hardships of raising children and proposes a “child allowance”, which would be a “no-strings-attached $300 per month per child income”. This would essentially be a basic income for children.

Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig, “Pro-Life, Anti-Poverty”, The American Conservative, 8 July 2014

 

Gil Smart, “Smart Remarks: As jobs disappear, we may need even more government handouts”

[Toby Rane]

The author lays out the continuing increase of structural unemployment due to technological advances, stating that Thomas Rodham Wells' solution of a universal basic income “may be the simplest means of defusing rising tensions”.

Gil Smart, “Smart Remarks: As jobs disappear, we may need even more government handouts”, Lancaster Online, 27 July 2014

 

Mark Blyth and Eric Lonergan, “Print Less but Transfer More: Why Central Banks Should Give Money Directly to the People”

[Jenna van Draanen]

This article, published in Foreign Affairs, argues that the most effective way for current governments to stimulate the economy is to give money directly to citizens. The article reviews the historical impact of various fiscal policies in many different countries and concludes that an innovative and effective stimulus policy in the event of a recession is a basic income.

Mark Blyth and Eric Lonergan, “Print Less but Transfer More: Why Central Banks Should Give Money Directly to the People.Foreign Affairs. September/October, 2014.

 

Dylan Matthews, “Basic income: the world's simplest plan to end poverty, explained.”

SUMMARY: “In recent months, discussion of basic income proposals have become fairly mainstream, but not so mainstream that most people know what the phrase ‘basic income’ means. With that in mind, here are the basics (get it?) of the idea, in [answers to the following] eleven questions.”

1) What is basic income?
2) Who supports basic income?
3) Has a basic income been implemented anywhere?
4) Wouldn't this destroy the economy?
5) Could a basic income ever happen in the United States?
6) I believe it's customary to provide a music break? [“Money for Nothing”]
7) Will a basic income save us from the robot uprising?
8) What's the liberal/leftist case for basic income?
9) What's the conservative/libertarian case for basic income?
10) What's the liberal/leftist case against basic income?
11) What's the conservative/libertarian case against basic income?

Dylan Matthews, “Basic income: the world's simplest plan to end poverty, explained.Vox, September 8, 2014

 

Citizens Income Trust, Citizens Income Newsletter.

The latest issue of the Citizens Income Newsletter has been released. It includes editorials, conference reports from the Citizen’s Income Trust’s conference, 6th June, 2014, from the BIEN Congress, 27th to 29th June, and from the Social Policy Association Conference, 14th to 16th July, 2014.

It includes news, book reviews, an article by Alex Cobham, entitled, “Unconditional: The limits of evidence,” an article by Chris Stapenhurst, entitled, “Experiments in Euromod,” and an opinion piece by Harry Shutt, entitled, “Viewpoint: In Place of Pensions: Why there is no alternative to a Citizen’s Income, by Harry Shutt.”

Citizens Income Trust, Citizens Income Newsletter. Citizens Income Trust, issue 3, 2014.

 

Daniel Raventos and Julie Wark, “Disparaging the Poor: From Badmouthing and Sterilization to a Reclaimed Right of Existence.”

This article responds to those who disparage the poor and calls for a basic income. Ranventos and Wark write, “There is increasing awareness that the most basic human right, on which all the rest depend, is the right to exist and, for that to be possible, everybody must have an income above the poverty line. This, in a nutshell, is an unconditional, universal basic income for every single citizen and resident in the country. It is no longer seen as “utopian” or “hare-brained” as the well-to-do and their cronies have claimed in the past. More and more people understand that this guarantee is necessary for a truly democratic society. The obstacles faced by Basic Income have been political, just as they were (or are, depending on the place) in the cases of universal suffrage, paid holidays, and the rights to strike, to abortion and to same-sex marriage.”

Daniel Raventós is a lecturer in Economics at the University of Barcelona and author inter alia of Basic Income: The Material Conditions of Freedom (Pluto Press, 2007). He is on the editorial board of the international political review Sin Permiso. Julie Wark is an advisory board member of the international political review Sin Permiso. Her last book is The Human Rights Manifesto (Zero Books, 2013).

Daniel Raventos and Julie Wark, “Disparaging the Poor: From Badmouthing and Sterilization to a Reclaimed Right of Existence.Counter Punch, September 12, 2014

 

Stan Jourdan, “L’inconditionnel – journal sur le revenu de base” [The Unconditional – Newspaper about Basic Income]

[Jenna van Draanen]

The article, located on a fundraising site, describes a new French news publication that is being launched to explore different aspects of basic income through articles, interviews, and reports of workshop proceedings. The release date is set to coincide with the 7th Annual International Basic Income Week, September 15-20, 2014.   

Language: French

Stan Jourdan, “L’inconditionnel – journal sur le revenu de base” [The Unconditional – Newspaper about Basic Income]. Pick and boost,  No date.

 

Jordan GalienneQuand simplifier le systeme de redistribution deviant un imperative” [When simplifying the redistribution system becomes imperative]

[Jenna van Draanen]

This piece outlines current issues with the welfare system and the income redistribution system, more specifically, in France. The authors then propose basic income as a simple solution that has been longstanding in France and continues to be debated among thought leaders in political and economic fields. The article points out the current efforts of the French group “Mouvement Franćais pour un Revenu de Base”.

Language: French

Jordan GalienneQuand simplifier le systeme de redistribution deviant un imperative” [When simplifying the redistribution system becomes imperative]. Economie matin.fr, Sept 2, 2014. 

 

Ellen Brown, “Council on Foreign Relations: Give money directly to the people.”

Ellen Brown, “Council on Foreign Relations: Give money directly to the people.Scott.net: Signs of the Times, 01 Sep 2014. Published also in the Progress Report, Sept. 2, 2014.

 

Matt Zwolinski, “BIG and BIGger – On the Feasibility of a Basic Income”

[Jenna van Draanen]

Matt Zwolinski, “BIG and BIGger – On the Feasibility of a Basic IncomeCato Unbound: The Basic Income and the Welfare State. September 2, 2014

 

David Orrell, “We gave the banks money, so why can’t we give it to the people?”

[Jenna van Draanen]

David Orrell, “We gave the banks money, so why can’t we give it to the people?” World Finance: The Voice of the Market, September 1, 2014.

 

The Local, “Should we all get  Ř12,000 a year?”

[Jenna van Draanen]

The Local, “Should we all get  Ř12,000 a year?” The Local, July 25, 2014.

 

Thomas G. Clark, “Universal Basic Income vs the current welfare system”

[Jenna van Draanen]

Thomas G. Clark, “Universal Basic Income vs the current welfare systemAnother Angry Voice, August 15, 2014.

 

Conor Friedersdorf, “Icons of the Right Debate a Guaranteed Minimum Income”

[Jenna van Draanen]

Conor Friedersdorf, “Icons of the Right Debate a Guaranteed Minimum IncomeThe Atlantic, November 20, 2013

 

Jeff Spross,Why reform conservatives should embrace a universal basic income

[Jenna van Draanen]

Jeff Spross,Why reform conservatives should embrace a universal basic incomeThe Week, August 12, 2014.

 

The Centre for Welfare Reform, “New report proposes basic income”

[Jenna van Draanen]

The Centre for Welfare Reform, “New report proposes basic incomeThe Centre for Welfare Reform News, September 3, 2014.

 

Matt Zwolinski, “The Cato Debate on the Basic Income – Roundup”

[Jenna van Draanen]

Matt Zwolinski, “The Cato Debate on the Basic Income – Roundup”. Bleeding Heart Libertarian, September 2, 2014

Gaura Rader, “Guinea Pigs, Basic Income, and Something for Nothing”

[Jenna van Draanen]

Gaura Rader, “Guinea Pigs, Basic Income, and Something for Nothing.  The Socratic Diablogs. September 23, 2014.

 

Matt Bruenig, “The Universal Basic Income As Social Insurance's Insurance”

[Jenna van Draanen]

Matt Bruenig, “The Universal Basic Income As Social Insurance's Insurance.” Policyshop. September 27, 2014.

 

Dylan Matthews, “To Fix the Economy, Let’s Print Money and Mail it to Everyone

[Jenna van Draanen]

Dylan Matthews, “To Fix the Economy, Let’s Print Money and Mail it to Everyone.”

Vox. September 9, 2014.

 

Brian Romanchuk, “Consequences Of A Basic Income Guarantee”

[Jenna van Draanen]

Brian Romanchuk, “Consequences Of A Basic Income Guarantee.” Bond Economics. September 28, 2014.

 

Chris Ladd, “How to End the Welfare State”

[Jenna van Draanen]

Chris Ladd, “How to End the Welfare StateGOPLifer. November 17, 2013.

 

John Cunningham, “Basic Income and the 21st Century Working Class”

[Jenna van Draanen]

John Cunningham, “Basic Income and the 21st Century Working Class.” Worker’s Liberty. September 23, 2014.

 

Matt Pritchard, “Against the Basic Income Guarantee.”

[Jenna van Draanen]

Matt Pritchard, “Against the Basic Income Guarantee.” Vulgar Libertarians. February 13, 2014.

 

The Progress Report, “Martin Luther King on guaranteed income social dividend”

[Toby Rane]

The Progress Report, “Martin Luther King on guaranteed income social dividend”, The Progress Report, 3 May 2009

David Atkins, “Why the basic income movement will be mainstream soon”

[Toby Rane]

David Atkins, “Why the basic income movement will be mainstream soon”, Hullabaloo, 25 July 2014

Colin Lewis, “Me, myself and robots: Could basic income guarantees level the playing field?”

[Toby Rane]

Colin Lewis, “Me, myself and robots: Could basic income guarantees level the playing field?”, Robohub, 14 July 2014

 

Simmon Duffy. “Scottish Independence and Welfare Reform”

[Pablo Yanes]

Simmon Duffy. “Scottish Independence and Welfare Reform”. Huff Post: Politics. United Kingdom. 03/09/2014

José Antonio Jiménez Soler. “Contra Comunicado al Consejo Federal Suizo. [Communique against the Swiss Federal Council to the rejection of the People's Legislative Initiative Unconditional Basic Income]”

[Pablo Yanes]

Language: Spanish

José Antonio Jiménez Soler. “Contra Comunicado al Consejo Federal Suizo ante el rechazo de la Iniciativa Legislativa Popular por una Renta Básica Incondicional [Communique against the Swiss Federal Council to the rejection of the People's Legislative Initiative Unconditional Basic Income]”. Prorentabasica. 16 Sep 2014.

 

Robert Ulmer. “A full life in a degrowth societythe case for an unconditional basic income (UBI) and against modesty.

[Pablo Yanes]

Robert Ulmer. “A full life in a degrowth societythe case for an unconditional basic income (UBI) and against modesty. Wordpress.com, 26. April 2014

 

Simon Duffy and John Dalrymple. “Letęs Scrap the DWP”.

[Pablo Yanes]

Simon Duffy and John Dalrymple. “Letęs Scrap the DWP. The Case For Basic Income Security in Scotland.” The Centre for Welfare Reform. September 8, 2014.

 

7. Audio-video

VIDEO: David DeGraw, “The Economics of Revolution Interviews, Roundup 1 ~ Peak Inequality, Basic Income & the Emerging Revolution.”

David DeGraw, “The Economics of Revolution Interviews, Roundup 1 ~ Peak Inequality, Basic Income & the Emerging Revolution.The Economics of Revolution. September 3, 2014

 

8. More news, links and other info

For up-to-the-day news on BIG, see Basic Income News. For links to dozens of BIG websites around the world, go to USBIG’s links page. These links are to any website with information about BIG, but USBIG does not necessarily endorse their content or their agendas.

The USBIG NewsFlash
Editor: Karl Widerquist
Thanks to everyone who helped this issue.

The U.S. Basic Income Guarantee (USBIG) Network publishes this newsletter. The Network is a discussion group on basic income guarantee (BIG) in the United States. BIG is a generic name for any proposal to create a minimum income level, below which no citizen's income can fall. Information on BIG and USBIG can be found at USBIG’s website. More news about BIG is online at BInews.org.

You may copy and circulate articles from this NewsFlash, but please mention the source and include a link to Basic Income News. If you know any BIG news; if you know anyone who would like to be added to this list; or if you would like to be removed from this list; please send me an email: Karl@Widerquist.com.

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

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