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


1. Seventh USBIG Congress: Call for papers and presentations
2. Poll shows Americans sympathetic to goals of BIG while prominent politicians begin to discuss its merits
3. The BIG Bill to be Reintroduced in the 110th Congress
4. Alaska Permanent Fund Hits New High
Basic Income Studies Releases its Third Issue
6. South Africa: “Appears to be growing support” for BIG
7. Correction: British Labour MP and Leadership Candidate Endorses BIG
8. Basic Income on Front Page of Germany’s Number 1 Weekly
Slovenian President Endorses BIG
10. United Nations: Basic Income Proposal is “Good Practice Model”
11. Recent Events
Upcoming Events
Recent Publications
New Links
15. New Members
Links and Other Info


The USBIG Network will hold its Seventh Congress at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel on March 7-9, 2008. The Keynote Speaker will be Philippe Van Parijs, of Harvard University and Catholic University of Louvain, Author of Real Freedom for All (1995). The Congress will be based on the theme: What Next: Framing a BIG Discussion for the Next Election and Beyond.

The Call for Papers will be released in a few days. Scholars, activists, and others are invited to propose papers, and organize panel discussions. Proposals and panel discussions are welcome on BIG or topics related to the distribution of wealth and income. All points of view are welcome. Submissions from any academic discipline are invited and non-academics are invited to submit as well. Anyone interested in presenting a paper or organizing a panel should submit either an abstract of their paper or a panel proposal to the chair of the organizing committee:

     Michael A. Lewis:

Please include the following information with your abstract and/or panel proposal:

1. Name
2. Affiliation
4. City, State, Zip, and Country
Telephone, FAX
Email Address
7. Paper or Presentation Title
Abstract of 50-150 words

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: October 29th, 2007

Proposals for panel discussions should include a title, topic, and description of the panel and the information above for each participant. If the participants are not presenting formal papers, the title of the paper and abstract may be omitted. Panels with formal paper presentations should be limited to four presentations, although discussions without formal papers can include more.

Chair: Michael A. Lewis (
     Associate Professor, SUNY School of Social Welfare, at Stony Brook
Eri Noguchi (
     Columbia University and the Association to Benefit Children
Almaz Zelleke (
     Director of Academic Affairs, The New School for General Studies


A Pew Poll, reported by the Center for American Progress and mentioned in the July 9 issue of the Nation magazine shows that 69% agree that "the government should guarantee every citizen enough to eat and a place to sleep" and an identical 69% agree that "it is the responsibility of the government to take care of people who can't take care of themselves." Even 58% of Republicans agree. These figures are up 10 and 12 points respectively relative to their recent low point in 1994. The poll, conducted in January, 2007, also showed that two-thirds of Americans want the government to guarantee health insurance for all citizens.

The National Summit on America’s Children hosted by Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill included many academic papers documenting the role of poverty in the deteriorating physical, mental and emotional condition of an increasing number of US children, according to Sara Dustin who attended the event. Being younger than four years old is now the most significant risk factor for food insufficiency in the United States. Presenters discussed how food insecurity among pregnant women has been causing very tiny premature babies whom the medical profession is hard pressed to rescue and who grow up with physical and mental disabilities.

As a solution, Professor J. Lawrence Aber, of the Institute for Human Development and Social Change, New York University, suggested the expansion of the EITC until it becomes a truly substantial refundable tax credit for all families with children who are under a certain income level whether the family has earnings or not. In other words, they are looking at a BIG, although restricted so far in their thinking to families with children.


On the west coast, Robert Reich, U.S. Secretary of Labor under President Clinton, and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley endorsed a basic income guarantee as part of a strategy to reduce global warming. According to Professor Reich’s own blog, “The best idea I’ve heard so far to deal with global warming is not a carbon tax. … The best idea I’ve heard is described as a carbon auction. Companies would have to bid for the right to pollute. And, most ingeniously, the money raised in the auction would be shared equally by all citizens in the form of yearly dividend checks – just like the residents of Alaska now get yearly dividends for their share of the state’s oil revenues. I mean, it’s our atmosphere, right? Think of a national park or a national forest. No company is simply allowed to take what they want from it, free of charge. Why should the atmosphere be any different?” Reich’s blog comments and be found at Reich also mentioned the plan in a commentary, which aired on National Public Radio on June 20, 2007. It can be found on line at:


It is not known whether Reich or Pelosi’s attention to BIG will affect the prospects of the BIG bill. Representative Robert Filner, who introduced the original BIG bill into the 109th Congress in May, 2006, has agreed to reintroduce it into the 110th Congress. The bill—known as “the Tax Cut for the Rest of Us Act”—would transform the standard income tax deduction into a standard tax credit of $2000 per adult and $1000 per child, thus providing a small basic income guarantee to all Americans.

Because of the new "pay-as-you-go" rules which the Democrats adopted in January, 2007, a new bill cannot be introduced until its cost and a way to pay for it are determined. Filner also felt it was important to gain the support of members of the House Ways and Means Committee, to which the bill will be sent for evaluation. The bill is currently on hold until the Joint Taxation Committee can determine its cost.

Over the past four months, Al Sheahen has led attempts to gain the support of members of the House Ways and Means Committee. Some members gave favorable responses to the idea of the bill, but no commitments or endorsements.

"I was able to meet for nearly an hour with the legislative director of Charles Rangel, the powerful Chairman of the W&M Committee," Sheahen said. "He was very sympathetic to the idea of a BIG, but said we needed a movement from the ground up, rather than a bill from the top down. No surprise, there, but we've always felt that having a bill circulating in Congress would at least help bring the idea of BIG back onto the national agenda."

Sheahen also met with 10 other aides to legislators and several non-profit groups. "The mood in Washington is still not favorable to bold ideas," Sheahen said. "The Democrats are still very timid. They've done a few good things, and feel they can win the Presidency in 2008 if they don't rock the boat too much. Thus, they refuse to end the Iraq occupation and are reluctant to push any really progressive legislation. … Like most liberal activists, I disagree with this approach."

When the Center for American Progress recently announced a year-long study of how to end poverty, it did not include the concept of BIG in its report. When asked why not, the CAP director said BIG is too radical for this Congress and would have no chance. Instead, CAP recommended incremental changes, such as more food stamps, more funds for Head Start, health insurance for children, increasing the earned income tax credit, and making the child tax credit fully refundable.

The latter would actually be a significant achievement. Today, parents can't get any child tax credit unless they have annual earned income of at least $11,300. They can't get the full $1000 child tax credit unless their income is over about $23,000. Making the credit fully refundable would provide, for the first time, a tax credit to people who are not in the paid labor force and not making money from investments.

The original idea in getting a BIG bill introduced in Congress was to try to educate legislators and non-profit groups that BIG is the best way to provide economic freedom and security to everyone. To a small degree, that has been done. Hopefully, the 500 or so legislators and groups who have been contacted during the past couple of years will at least think about BIG when the political climate is more favorable.

Some BIG activists met in Washington recently to discuss the possibility of forming a 501c3, raising some money, opening an office, and promoting BIG in a major way. Al Sheahen is leading this effort. You can reach him for suggestions or offers of help by calling 818-981-1996 or emailing


Alaskan state officials confirmed that the Alaska Permanent Fund (APF) topped 40 billion dollars in total assets on July 13, 2007, according to Wesley Loy of the Anchorage Daily News. The APF funds Alaska’s basic income guarantee, the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD). The APF is invested in a wide range of assets, but the recent increase in its value is mostly attributable to recent stock market gains.

The size of the dividend is also estimated to rise this year to about $1,575 per person or $6,300 for a family of four, also according to Wesley Loy. Official figures for the size of the PFD will not be released until mid-September, but the estimate represents an increase of $468 over last year’s dividend of $1,106.96. However it is still substantially below the largest PFD of $1,963.86 in 2000.

A record size of the fund does not directly translate into a record-size dividend because the dividend is determined by five-year average earnings of the fund rather than its total value. The total value of the fund is determined not only by its earnings, but also by new investments in the fund out of the state’s oil revenues. Recent oil revenue windfalls do not directly determine the dividend, but they are likely to lead to continued high dividends in the future.

According to Loy, “The big reason for this year's jump is that a relatively poor year, 2002, is falling out of the equation to make room for this past year, which was a strong one for profits. Next year's dividend is likely to be even bigger as another weak year, 2003, will fall out of the equation.” If investment returns remain high as the state begins to make returns on recent oil revenues, Alaskans could see record-size dividends within a few years.


Volume 2, Issue 1 of Basic Income Studies (BIS) was released by the Berkeley Electronic Press in June 2007. BIS is the first academic journal on basic income. It has a free guest access policy so that everyone can access its content free by filling out a form requesting a library or an institution to subscribe.

This issue contains three research articles by Michael W. Howard, José A. Noguera, and Tony Fitzpatrick; two research notes by Almaz Zelleke and Tero Auvinen; and book reviews of " Major Douglas: The Policy of a Philosophy", "The Ethics of Stakeholding", " Income Security as a Right: Europe and North America", and " The Civic Minimum: On the Rights and Obligations of Economic Citizenship". The issue also contains a debate, guest-edited by Rubèn Lo Vuolo (CIEPP, Buenos Aires), on the prospects of basic income for improving employment opportunities in developing countries. Abstracts of the research papers and notes are below along with links to the reviews and the debates.

BIS welcomes submission of research articles and notes on basic income and cognate polices. To submit your next paper, visit, and click "Submit Article". If you would like to discuss your contribution informally, contact Jurgen De Wispelaere or Karl Widerquist at To inquire about books in need of reviewers contact Sandra Gonzalez at


Michael W. Howard (2007) "A NAFTA Dividend: A Guaranteed Minimum Income for North America", Basic Income Studies: Vol. 2: No. 1, Article 4.

ABSTRACT: This paper explores the desirability and feasibility of a minimum income for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) region. I review arguments in support of a basic income or a negative income tax for the European Union (EU). Then I examine ways in which the NAFTA countries do and do not resemble the EU in aspects relevant for the desirability and feasibility of a regional basic income. I argue that a case can be made for a North American guaranteed income, grounded, with respect to desirability, in a globalist theory of justice, and with respect to feasibility, in the necessity of moderating the flow of labor migration. A universal regional basic income is a useful tool for regional development that is fair and that insures better than does the current NAFTA that cooperation benefits the least advantaged.

José A. Noguera (2007) "Why Left Reciprocity Theories Are Inconsistent", Basic Income Studies: Vol. 2: No. 1, Article 5.
ABSTRACT: The reciprocity objection is one of the most widespread criticisms against Basic Income (BI). In this article I challenge the consistency between the reciprocity principle and the preferred policy options of left reciprocity theorists. I argue that any consistent policy design for a reciprocity theory should satisfy two conditions: 1. Everyone who benefits from social resources contributes relevantly (reciprocally) to society's efforts; and 2. Everyone who contributes relevantly to society benefits from social resources. BI is accused by reciprocity theorists of failing to satisfy Condition 1. But, surprisingly, their preferred policy pack also fails to satisfy Condition 1, and seems badly prepared to satisfy Condition 2. Significantly, left reciprocity theorists reject those options that would satisfy both conditions. I suggest that other normative values and intuitions may explain that inconsistency and indicate that the reciprocity objection to BI is wrong for principled reasons.

Tony Fitzpatrick (2007) "Streams, Grants and Pools: Stakeholding, Asset-Based Welfare and Convertibility", Basic Income Studies: Vol. 2: No. 1, Article 6.
Many recent policy-related debates have centred on the possibility of constructing post-social insurance and post-means tested forms of income provision. Such asset-based welfare and stakeholding proposals have included Basic Income (BI) and some form of endowment or Capital Grant (CG) scheme. Although the differences between these systems are certainly real, and present us with distinct policy options, they are often overstated. This article has two objectives, therefore - the first of which is to identify the key similarities and differences between BI and CGs, and to argue the case for a partial, non-time-limited and unconditional BI. Second, this article reviews the issue of convertibility, i.e., the main normative questions to consider when designing a system permitting the mortgaging of income streams into lump-sum grants or pools.

Almaz Zelleke (2007) "Targeting Benefit Levels to Individuals or Families?", Basic Income Studies: Vol. 2: No. 1, Article 7.
ABSTRACT: In this article, I take for granted agreement on the merits of an unconditional basic income, and I consider the form its distribution might take. I explore the equity, efficiency, and incentive effects of several basic income models in order to provide a plausible example of what a basic income in the US might look like. I present four basic income models, discuss their advantages and disadvantages, and consider whether any one of these models is conclusively superior to the others in terms of the trade-offs involved. I conclude with a tentative proposal for a level and distribution for introducing an unconditional basic income in the US.

Tero Auvinen (2007) "A Monetary Reformist Road to Universal Basic Income", Basic Income Studies: Vol. 2: No. 1, Article 8.
ABSTRACT: This note identifies three arguments from the monetary reform debate that are particularly relevant to universal basic income (UBI) and explores their contribution to the cumulative case for UBI.


Corina Rodríguez Enríquez "Basic Income and Labour Market Conditions: Insights from Argentina".

Eduardo Matarazzo Suplicy "Basic Income and Employment in

Claudia Haarmann and Dirk Haarmann "From Survival to Decent Employment: Basic Income Security in Namibia".

Jeremy Seekings "The Inconsequentiality of Employment Disincentives: Basic Income in South Africa".

Louise Haagh "Basic Income, Occupational Freedom and Antipoverty Policy".


Stephen Winter "Review of John W. Hughes, Major Douglas: The Policy of a Philosophy".

Athina Vlachantoni "Review of Keith Dowding, Jurgen De Wispelaere, and Stuart White, The Ethics of Stakeholding".

Mònica Clua Losada "Review of Guy Standing, Income Security as a Right: Europe and North America".

Cristian Pérez Muñoz "Review of Stuart White, The Civic Minimum: On the Rights and Obligations of Economic Citizenship".


South African newspapers report continued support for BIG in progressive organizations and at least discussion of the idea within the ruling ANC government. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has repeated his call for a basic income grant. According to the Times, Tutu said, "I hope our government can re-think the need for a basic income grant," in his address at the South African Council of Churches’ (SACC) triennial conference in Johannesburg. “Tutu said overseas research showed that once income grants were achieved, the health of children improved, their attendance at school rose and so did their achievement level,” The Times reported. According to the Mail & Gaurdian, SACC general secretary Eddie Makue said, "Grants are meant for the elderly, children and people with disabilities. It is imperative that we look at the basic income grant. It will make a difference in the lives of poor people."

According to Business Report, the basic income grant was “high on the agenda” of delegates as the ANC policy conference debated the issue of BIG, but according to the Independent on Line, more delegates felt that if there was to be income support, it had to be linked to "work activity" to avoid creating dependency. According to Business Report, public works minister Thoko Didiza said BIG should now be given consideration by the government, but she also emphasized that whatever system was finally forged should be associated with job creation, by linking it to either a public or private works program. Although it is unlikely that the ANC will endorse a full BIG branches have recommended that child grants be increased to the age of 18, according to SABC News. Child grants are essentially a Basic Income Grant for children.

According to Donwald Pressly, writing about the ANC conference for Business Report, “There was much focus on the need for a social wage and the need for ‘targeted interventions’ to support able-bodied but unemployed young adults through providing subsidies and grants, but which should be linked to creating long employment for the marginalized. There appears to be growing support in the movement for a basic income grant.”

The Times Article on Tutu’s speech:
Story on the ANC’s policy conference from the Independent on Line:
Story on the ANC’s policy conference from Business Report:

Story from SABC News:,2172,151107,00.html

Mail & Guardian Story:
Donwald Pressly’s article in Business Report:



John McDonnell has been an MP for the British Labour Party since 1997. The Spring Issue of the USBIG Newsletter misidentified him as being Australian. The editor apologizes for the error.

McDonnell led a campaign against Gordon Brown for leadership of the Labour Party after Tony Blair announced his resignation. McDonnell’s campaign demanded a democratic election for the party leadership and an open debate about the policies that a Labour Government should implement. McDonnell is considered a more left-oriented member of the party who has resisted the party’s rightward “New Labour” shift. His leadership campaign endorsed establishing social rights to a Citizen’s Income (or BIG) along with affordable housing, free education, childcare, healthcare, and care in older age. McDonnell’s website is on line at


BIEN reports: On April 12, 2007, the front page of the German weekly Die Zeit had as its main title: "Basic Income: the dream of money without work", and inside a very long article by Zeit journalist Kolja Rudzio drawing on the pleas for an unconditional basic income by businessman Götz Werner (at a level of EUR 800, possibly rising to EUR 1500 per person and per month) and by the President of the East-German Land of Thüringen, the Christian-Democrat Dieter Althaus (at a far more modest level). The article is written with some sympathy for the idea, which is presented as a reaction to the failure of the German version of workfare ("Harz IV") to put the long-term unemployed back to work, and it quotes at length the Hamburg "market-liberal" economist Thomas Staubhaar, who argues that the idea makes economic sense and should be taken seriously. However, it concludes on a skeptical note. It is possible to extend parental leave allowances, to take child care years into account in determining pension rights or even to have sabbaticals fostered by the state. "True this is less enchanting than the grand social utopia of income without work - but it is real."


BIEN reports: Janez Drnnovsek, Slovenia's President since 2002 after being its Prime Minister from 1992 to 2002, has a blog on which he expresses his personal views (, including, on several occasions, his sympathy for a universal basic income. Along the same lines, he also intervenes in his personal capacity on other blogs. Here is, for example, a commentary he published on on 6 May 2006:
"One of [the interesting suggestions you are making] is for example the idea of a universal basic income. The idea is to guarantee a basic income to everyone, irrespective of who or what he is, and of whether or not he is working. To guarantee to every citizen and eventually to every person a decent level of subsistence conforms to the aims of the Movement for Justice and Progress [the civil society movement founded by Janez Drnovsek in 2006 in his personal capacity]. This should be the final goal of a well balanced and just society. Just think what a huge change it would be if suddenly every citizen enjoyed the possibility of guaranteed subsistence. There would be no more lamentation about being unemployed and marginalized. Up to a point everyone would be equal - up to the level of the universal basic income. Beyond this, there would be differences, different incomes as a function of work performed and resources managed. The incapacity to survive, this sword of Damocles, would no longer be hanging above our heads. We would be more relaxed in our relationships and we may even produce more than we are producing now. The state is already allocating substantial resources to a range of social expenses, and the increase in public expenditures required may not be very big. On the other hand, the system would be more transparent, simple and possibly just."


BIEN Reports: In February 2007, Bishop Zephania Kameeta of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN) had discussed basic income during his presentation at the 45th Session of the UN's Commission for Social Development in New York. The recently released Chairman's Summary report highlights basic income as a " good practice model " : " There are several good practices relating to full employment and decent work ", the report states. " A family stipend programme - the Bolsa Familia - provides small cash transfers for 11 million low income families and has the long run goal of poverty reduction through increases in human capital among poor families. In another case study, early strategies had produced limited effects on curbing unemployment and limited sustained benefits for the poor. A recent proposal for a basic income grant for all had emerged as a good practice model for alleviating poverty, and for empowering the poor to improve their livelihoods. Under the proposal, a monthly cash grant would be issued to each citizen up to pensionable age. " In addition, the report points to the importance of social protection and cash transfers in poverty reduction and development. For further information: and


REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN (CANADA): Economic Security For All In Saskatchewan: Weaving an Unbreakable Social Fabric
Organized by the University of Regina Department of Justice Studies and the community-based Regina Anti-Poverty Network
June 6-7, 2007
Anti-poverty and social justice activists, social and public policy analysts and government policymakers gathered in Regina for a two-day conference discussing how to address the widening gap between the rich and the poor. The conference largely focused on basic income as a possible solution. Themes and topics will included: re-establishing a strong social safety net, re-committing to the principle of universality in income support, health care, and access to education, ensuring a living wage for working people, and moving toward a guaranteed annual income or basic income in Saskatchewan and Canada.

"What we are trying to do is take a step back and look at the whole picture. Hopefully by doing this we can come up with possible alternatives that would alleviate and, in the long run, eradicate poverty while also providing a more effective and humane safety-net,'' said conference chairman Professor Jim Mulvale with the Department of Justice Studies, according to the Leader-Post of Regina.

Keynote speaker Yannick Vanderborght of the Basic Income Earth Network with the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium examined international trends and new approaches to economic security. The conference also featured National Anti-Poverty Organization executive director Rob Rainer and president Debbie Frost, who examined the strengths of Canada's social safety net, universal government programs and guaranteed adequate income policies.

An article on the conference written by Anne Kyle appeared in the Leader-Post on Monday, June 04, 2007 is on line at
For further information go to:,
or contact: Jim Mulvale at

BUENOS AIRES (AR), 28 April 2007, "The Right to Existence beyond the Territorial Borders: A Basic Income Proposal also for Immigrants".
This conference by Alex Boso (University of Barcelona and Secretary of the Spanish Basic Income Network) was organized by the "Centre for Philosophical Investigations" and the Argentinean Basic Income Network. Even though there are many recent studies on unconditional and universal minimum income schemes, they have not fully addressed the very pertinent process of international migration. The aim of the paper presented at this conference is to examine the normative justification of a Basic Income for immigrants as entitled members of a political community. Recent empirical evidence suggests that a Basic Income proposal for immigrants is not only possible but also desirable in order to resolve some of the more problematic aspects of international migration. Hence, in his presentation Alex Boso aimed at exploring both deontological and consequentialist arguments. For further information: Àlex Boso, Departament de Teoria Sociològica, Filosofia del Dret i Metodologia de les Ciències Socials, Universitat de Barcelona,
-From BIEN

VIENNA (AT), 28 April 2007, Basic income conference
A conference on basic income was held at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna on April 28, with Margit Appel, member of the Austrian network, Benediktus Hardrop (Mannheim/Germany) and representatives of the Austrian Civil society. Margit Appel stressed that a basic income would give everyone more freedom to choose what to do in life. Whereas politicians are mainly pessimistic - they think that people would abuse their freedom and rather do nothing - persons in favour of a BI are optimistic that people would engage (politically, in their neighborhoods, in the social field,…) and would also choose to work (paid as well as unpaid work). Benediktus Hardrop (Germany) who has developed a BI-proposal based on taxation of consumption together with German CEO Götz Werner argued that such taxation would not lever poor people and inflation would not necessarily rise. Other participants were Erhard Rauch ("European Association for the Promotion of Sustainable Development"), Gerhard Schuster from "Euro Vision" and Rahel Uhlendorff from the Berlin-based "Bürgerinitiative Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen". About 150 participants took part in this event. This event was organized by "Karl Julius Schröer-Zweig" and "Landesgesellschaft Österreich" der "Allgemeinen Anthroposophischen Gesellschaft.
-From BIEN

CAPE TOWN (ZA), 2 May 2007, Roundtable Discussion on Basic Income
At the initiative of Ellen Rosskam, Visiting Professor at the University of Massachusetts (Lowell, USA), a well-attended roundtable discussion on basic income was held in Cape Town, South Africa on 2 May, 2007. The event was sponsored by the International Honors Program through Boston University, School of Public Health. Under the title "Can the Basic Income Grant play a role in sealing the leaks in South Africa's social security net?", the discussion was launched by Sibonile Khoza (Senior researcher with the Socio-Economics Rights project at the Community Law Centre, University of the Western Cape), Sidney Kgara (Parliamentary Officer for the National Education, Health, and Allied Workers Union), Chance Chagunda (Researcher at SA Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office), and Keith Vermeulen (SACC Public Policy Unit). For further information:
-From BIEN

INNSBRUCK (AT), 5 May 2007, Congress "Security and flexibility"
This year´s annual congress of the basic income Austrian network took place in the city of Innsbruck in cooperation with the Green Party´s Academy. Basic income was discussed in the context of "security and flexibility". Although the Green Party officially favours a means-tested scheme there was great openness among the participants regarding the potential of a guaranteed income to solve current social problems. The question of lacking participation of women in Austria´s society was at the center discussions. Three members of the Austrian network- Margit Appel, Manfred Füllsack and Dietmar Köhler - took an active part as experts.
-From BIEN

KLAGENFURT / St. GEORGEN a. LÄNGSEE (AT), 11-14 May 2007, "BI - week" panel discussions, congress, workshops, round tables
In the Southern province of Austria, Carinthia, the debate on basic income is moving forward. On Friday, May 11th, two specific events took place. "I don´t want a job, I want a basic income" was the provocative title of a panel discussion organized by the Institute of Sociology of the University of Klagenfurt. For the Austrian network, Andreas Exner took part together with sociologist Armin Pongs, philosopher Alice Pechriggl and others. A BI grant would create new opportunities for freedom, yet it would remain within the borders of capitalism. The congress: "Work without money, money without work" started in St. Georgen/Längsee near Klagenfurt in the evening of May 11th. Representatives of the Salzburg network against poverty, the Greens, the Chamber of Labor, the Catholic Social Academy of Austria (ksoe) as well as publicists from alternative media took part. The notion of "full employment" was heavily criticized by economist Schüssler (ksoe), Wölflingseder (alternative magazine "Streifzüge") discussed the way unemployed persons are being treated by the AMS (Labour market agency), Moritz (women´s department of the Austrian labor chamber) showed how new forms of employment concern women, Buggler (anti-poverty network) criticized the federal governments plans for a welfare-reform (concerning social assistance). Barbara Lesjak´s (Greens) stated that in the long run the Greens would be in favour of a BI, but at the moment the party would only be capable to support a means-tested scheme.

On Saturday 12 May, four workshops followed. These experts participated: Werner Rätz (German BI-network), Susanne Dermutz (University of Klagenfurt), Wolfgang Stix und Clemens Schneider ( trade union - department called "work@flex"), Klaudia Paiha (Federal trade union), Maria Hintersteiner (representative of unemployed people) and Robert Buggler.

On May 14, Markus Schlagnitweit , director of KSOE (Catholic Social Academy of Austria) held a workshop in Carinthia on the differences between various schemes of basic income and between models of means-testes-schemes. He argued for a basic income from the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. On the same day a "Round table on BI" met for the second time in Carinthia. These events received good media coverage ("Kärnter Tageszeitung" and Carinthian Radio). For further information, see
-From BIEN

MADRID (ES), 21-23 May 2007, Seminar on "Human Rights, the Utopia of Excluded People"
Convenors: Bartolomé de las Casas Institute for Human Rights & Norberto Bobbio Chair of Equality and Non-Discrimination
This Seminar aimed to raise the question of the integration of all those social groups that had traditionally been disregarded by the discourse on human rights. The critical voice of these groups constitute, in present-day societies, a valuable tool for the articulation of an optimal political society in which human rights of present and future generations become real and fully effective. Speakers will include J.C. Davis, Javier de Lucas, María José Añón, Isabel Fanlo, Christian Courtis, Domenico Rizzo, Rafael de Asís, Gregorio Peces-Barba and Daniel Raventós, who gave a talk on "Basic Income: The Material Basis of Citizens' Existence".
-From BIEN

LJUBLJANA (SI), 23-25 May 2007: Lectures and interviews on basic income in Slovenia.
Philippe Van Parijs's “What's Wrong with a Free Lunch?” was published a couple of years ago by Slovenia's left-wing publisher Krtina (the first three letters KRT stand for "critical revolutionary theory"). At the initiative of Krtina, Van Parijs spent three days in Ljubljana giving lectures on basic income at Slovenia's House of Culture (cankarjevega doma) in central Ljubljana and at the Social Science Faculty of the University of Ljubljana, and on "A Political Philosophy for the Left of the 21st Century" at the students-run Workers-Punks University in the squatted barracks of Metelkova's alternative neighbourhood (see He also gave extensive interviews on basic income to the national radio and TV, as well as to Slovenia's main independent daily newspaper and to its main political weekly Mladina ( For further information: Zalozba Krtina <>
-From BIEN

ZURICH (CH), 24 May 2007, Discussion on Basic Income with Dieter Althaus
Dieter Althaus is the Minister-President of Thüringen (one of Germany's Lander), and has developed a model for financing a basic income of €600/month in Germany. At the initiative of BIEN-Switzerland, he came to Zurich to present his model and discuss it with a few experts. For further information : and
-From BIEN

KASSEL (DE), 1-3 June 2007: Unconditional Basic Income: How? Financing models, implementation, and perspectives
This conference aimed to supply essential information on the subject as well as comparing different approaches to questions such as tax-based financing, societal integration and advanced perspectives of a basic income. Concepts connected to the names of Dieter Althaus, Gotz Werner and others were presented. Speakers included Dieter Althaus, Ronald Blaschke, Roland Duchâtelet, Kai Eicker-Wolf, Gerald Häfner, Sascha Liebermann, Reinhard Loske, Ulrich Morgenthaler, Christoph Strawe, Johannes Stüttgen, Götz Werner, Stefan Wolf, Birgit Zenker et al. Full conference programme from: Kulturinitiative im Anthroposophischen Zentrum Kassel, Wilhelmshöher Allee 261, D-34131 Kassel. Tel: +49 (0)561 930 88 47; Email:;
-From BIEN

BRUSSELS (BE), 3 July 2007: Basic Income at the EU Parliament
"Basic Income. A concept for decent living and working conditions for everyone" (July 3, 2007, 9.30-13, European Parliament, Brussels). A seminar organized at the initiative of Carl Schlyter, member of the European Parliament for the Swedish Green Party, with the participation of Michael Opielka and Benedictus Hardrop (Germany), Lieselotte Wohlgenannt (Austria), Brigit Reynolds (Ireland), Loek Groot (Netherlands) and Philippe Van Parijs (Belgium).
For further information:
Sepp KUSSTATSCHER - MEP, Rue Wiertz 60 - ASP 08G108 B-1047 Brüssel
Tel: +32-2-28 45143; Fax: +32-2-28 49143
-From BIEN

BERLIN (DE), 4 July 2007: Basic Income from a Feminist Perspective

The Humboldt University in Berlin organised a lecture series on Feminist Economics. In this framework, Ingrid Robeyns (University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands) gave a talk entitled "Revisiting Basic Income from a Feminist Perspective" (4th of July).

For further information:
-From BIEN


BASEL (SWITZERLAND), 5-7 October 2007, Second German-speaking Basic income Congress
"Unconditional and securing everyone’s needs!
Basic Income as a human right" is the title of the second German speaking congress to be held on October 5-7, 2007, in the Swiss city of Basel. Several panels as well as various workshops will take place, dealing with the following questions:
-Basic Income as a human right
-Concept(s) of "labor"/"work" and the "idea of man"
-Social security system - Labour as the centre of traditional models
-How European social security systems could be changed with regard to BI
-Workfare / atypical work / Working poor - what impact do these new forms of work have on the idea of BI
-How to finance a BI
All workshops and discussions will pay attention to the Gender dimension. Among the experts invited are Anne Alex, Margit Appel, Ronald Blaschke, Alex Demirovic, Wolfgang Engler, Andreas Exner, Maria Hintersteiner, Nicole Lieger, Ueli Maeder, Dagmar Paternoga, André Presse, Harald Rein, Klaus Sambor, Franz Segbers, Aji Sirmoglu, Peter Ulrich, Mag Wompel. This international congress is organized by the BI-networks of Switzerland, Austria and Germany together with "Attac Deutschland", "Inhaltsgruppe Grundeinkommen - Attac Österreich" and "Attac Schweiz".
For further details:
-From BIEN

UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, UK: Conference: Towards a 'Basic Income Society'?

26-27 October 2007
The Centre for the Study of Social Justice, along with the Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford's Public Policy Unit, and the Association for Legal and Social Philosophy (ALSP), will be hosting a two-day conference entitled 'Towards a Basic Income Society?'
The past two decades have witnessed a remarkable revival in both academic and policy circles of the idea that every citizen should be granted an unconditional basic income by right, without a means test or work requirement. Nevertheless, many questions remain before this idea could be turned into a workable policy. Prominent amongst these are questions about the very shape of a basic income society: what would a society in which an unconditional basic income takes a central place look like in terms of its broader policies and institutions? There are also important debates about the normative justification and political feasibility of a basic income society. The conference reflects on these questions, aiming to chart both promising avenues and pitfalls in the current debate.
Participants include Simon Birnbaum, David Casassas, Jurgen De Wispelaere, Antoni Domènech, Tony Fitzpatrick, Louise Haagh, Bill Jordan, José Antonio Noguera, Michael Opielka, Carole Pateman, David Purdy, Daniel Raventós, Yannick Vanderborght, Stuart White and Karl Widerquist.
For further information visit the conference website at, or contact the organizers David Casassas (University of Oxford) and Jurgen De Wispelaere (Trinity College Dublin) at

BARCELONA (ES), 22-23 November 2007: 7th Symposium of Red Renta Básica and Third Seminar of Emerging Human Rights
Convenors: Red Renta Básica (RRB-XRB) & Institut de Drets Humans de Catalunya (IDHC)
Apart from opening and closing plenary sessions (definitive programme will be published in due course), the Symposium will include 8 panels on the following issues:
1) Human Rights and Basic Income
2) Women and Basic Income
3) Labour Market, Right to Work, and Basic Income
4) Basic Income: Financial and Economic Issues
5) Rights of Immigrants and Basic Income
6) Normative Justifications of Basic Income
7) Basic Income and Social and Political Actors
8) Right to Basic Assets Security (water, food and energy) and Basic Income
Languages of the Symposium: Spanish and Catalan
A provisional list of the papers that will be given can be found at
More information can be found at
-From BIEN


COOK, Richard C. Credit as a Public Utility: the Key to Monetary Reform: Review Article
Global Research, May 26, 2007
COOK, Richard C. Poverty in America: Progressive Schemes to Reduce Poverty will Fail without Monetary Reform
Global Research, June 7, 2007
COOK, Richard C. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson: Coming Financial Crash Shows Need for Immediate Monetary Reform
Global Research, July 23, 2007
These three articles advocate a basic income guarantee as part of a larger monetary reform package based on Social Credit.

TOMLINSON, John “The self-made man: admiring his creator”: Basic Income beats targeted welfare.
The New Community Quarterly Vol 4 No 4 Summer 2006 pp. 52-55
ABSTRACT: This article will look at some of the reasons why Australia perseveres with outmoded income maintenance policies which are targeted, categorical, means-tested, piecemeal and lacking in generosity. It will suggest that the introduction of a universal Basic Income would go some considerable way to providing increased income security for all permanent residents, removing stigma, and ending our centuries old preoccupation with a poor law system of welfare assistance. It will reflect upon the current debate about “social inclusion” arguing that the mechanisms enforced by governments’ to facilitate “social inclusion” actually result in the marginalisation and social exclusion of many poor people. The article will conclude with a brief summary of the advantages of a Basic Income over other forms of income maintenance.

TOMLINSON, John “Australia: Basic Income and Decency”
The New Community Quarterly Vol 5 No 1 Autumn 2007 pp.33-41

INTRODUCTION: Some have attempted to argue the case for the introduction of a Basic Income because of the ease with which it could be allocated to citizens. Others recognise its capacity to invigorate the economy. Amongst these writers, some believe the economy would expand following the introduction of a Basic Income because it would free up entrepreneurial imagining, provide opportunities for workers to engage in new occupations and remove many obstacles to further production. Others argue that the economy would contract if a Basic Income was introduced because many people would choose to live more sustainably and would work fewer hours. Some writers suggest that the presence of a Basic Income would lead to more people joining the labour force because of the greater flexibility in the work place and because a Basic Income removes welfare benefit poverty traps. … While others contend that many employees would leave work because they would no longer experience the economic necessity which forces them to seek employment. These writers propose that if a Basic Income were introduced it should have a work participation component attached to it.

OZAWA, Shuji: Radical tax overhaul would help the working poor
May 18, 2007, Asahi Simbun (Weekly)
The author, a professor of social policy at Kyoto Prefectural University, makes the case that a basic income would eliminate the problem of the working poor who fall through the cracks of Japan’s social welfare system.

CARTER, Valerie J. & HOWARD, Michael W. (2007), 'Income inequality', in G. L. Anderson & K. G. Herr (eds.), Encyclopedia of activism and social justice (Vol. 2), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, pp. 733-737.
This entry makes reference to basic income, both nationally and internationally, as one possible solution to the problem of income inequality.

CITIZEN'S INCOME TRUST (2007), Citizen's Income Newsletter, Issue 2, 2007, available at
This issue of the CIT's Newsletter includes a report on the BIEN Conference held in Cape Town (by Karl Widerquist), and a report on the latest USBIG Congress (by Annie Miller).

KORNBLUH, Felicia (2007), The Battle for Welfare Rights: Politics and Poverty in Modern America, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, ISBN 978-0-8122-4005-4. Author's address: <>
This book by Felicia Kornbluh (Department of History, Duke University, USA) concerns the debate over the guaranteed income in the U.S. in the 1960s, and the grassroots movement for welfare rights that was largely responsible for moving the basic income agenda forward. It also includes a chapter on President Nixon's Family Assistance Plan of 1969-1972, which draws on extensive archival evidence that has not been used previously to explore this elite legislative and bureaucratic effort to create a minimum income in the United States.

Virmani, Arvind (2007) Poverty can be eliminated
The Business Standard, New Delhi June 29, 2007
In this article, author Arvind Virmani, Director and Professor, the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, discusses the costs of and possible solutions to poverty in India. He argues that a modern “smart card” system that delivers cash basic income guarantee in the form of a negative income tax could eliminate poverty in India. This would be no small achievement in a country of nearly one billion people possibly one-third of whom live in poverty. The full text of the article can be found at:


The website proposes various sections discussing basic income in an international perspective.

The Webmaster, Lisinka Ulatowska, is looking for authors advocating basic income and interested in publishing texts on the website, which is designed as a resource for activists around the globe. Her address is: Lisinka Ulatowska <>
-From BIEN

One of the numerous interviews with Götz Werner, currently the most prominent advocate of basic income in Germany, is available in English (translation of an interview published in Die Welt on April 25, 2007)
-From BIEN


Three new members have joined the USBIG Network since the last issue of the Newsletter. The USBIG Network now has 136 members from 29 U.S. states and 22 foreign countries. Membership in USBIG is free and open to anyone who shares its goals. To become a member of USBIG go to, and click on “membership.”

The current members of the USBIG Network are:

Karl Widerquist, Cassopolis, MI; Eri Noguchi, New York, NY; Fred Block, Davis, CA; Michael A. Lewis, New York, NY; Steve Shafarman, Washington, DC; Brian Steensland, Bloomington, IN; Al Sheahen, Van Nuys, CA; Philippe Van Parijs, Brussels, Belgium; Stanley Aronowitz, New York, NY; Carole Pateman, Los Angeles, CA; Frances Fox Piven, New York, NY; Eduardo Suplicy, Sao Paolo, Brazil; J. Philip Wogaman, Washington, DC; Chris LaPlante, Blacksburg, VA; John Marangos, Fort Collins, CO; Fransisco Sales, Carretera Mexico City, DF, Mexico; Manuel Henriques, Lisbon, Portugal; Amelia Baughman, Williams, AZ; Robert F. Clark, Alexandria, VA; Jason Burke Murphy, Saint Louis, MO; Joel Handler, Los Angeles, CA; Glen C. Cain, Madison, WI; Timothy Roscoe Carter, San Fransisco, CA; John Bollman, Bay City, MI; George McGuire, Brooklyn, NY; Adrian Kuziminski, Fly Creek, NY; Hyun-Mook Lim, Seoul, Korea; Kelly D. Pinkham, Kansas City, MO; Michael Murray, Clive, IA; Josep LI. Ortega, Santa Coloma, Andorra; Michael Opielka, Königswinter, Germany; Brenden Miller, Cambridge, MA; Myron J. Frankman, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Frank Thompson, Ann Arbor, MI; Harry F. Dahms, Knoxville, TN; Buford Farris, Bastrop, TX; Roy Morrison, Warner, NH; Robley E. "Rob" George, Manhattan Beach, CA, Almaz Zelleke, Brooklyn, NY; Gonzalo Pou, Montevideo, Uruguay; Elisabetta Pernigotti, Paris, France; Ross Zucker, New York, NY; Sean Owens, La Mirada, CA, Dean Herd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Hugh Thompson, London, UK; Jan van Knippenberg, Kinrooi, Belgium; Adam Csillag, Berlin, Germany; Steve Gazzo, Pittsburgh, PA; Mike Cottone, Weaverville, CA; Brigitte Sirois, Quebec, Quebec, Canada; Guy Standing, Geneva Switzerland; G. W. Putto, Den Haag, the Netherlands; Anonymous, Berkeley, CA; Pete Farina, Washington, DC; Robert Wirengard, Fair Share, Florida; Urban Boljka, Ljubljana, Slovenia; Ronal Cohen, Bennington, Vermont; H.T.L. Quan, Chicago, Illinois; Lourdes Maria Silva Araujo; Espirito Santo, Brazil; Patrick S. O'Donnell, Santa Barbara, California; Stephen Nathanson, Boston, Massachusetts; Jerey Vogt, Washington, DC; Justine Lam, Arlington, Virginia; Ricardo A. Bunge, San Antonio, Texas; Aziz Akgul, Ankara, Turkey; Judith A. Kaluzny, Fullerton, California; Leonard Butters, Spokane, Washington; Peter Christiansen, San Francisco, California; Kyle Patrick Meredith, Chattanooga, Tennessee; Benjamin Hyink, LaGrange, Illinois; Nancy Folbre, Amherst, Massachusetts; Noaki Yoshihara, Kunitachi, Tokyo; Bernard Mueller, Torrance, California; Zool (Paul Zulkowitz); Woodmare, New York; Amanda Reilly, Wellington, New Zealand; Adam Sacks, Lexington, Massachusetts; Mark Levinson, New York, New York Kathy Fitzpatrick, Grand Rapids, MI; Stephen C. Clark, Port Hueneme, CA; Cristian Pérez Muñoz, Sauce, Uruguay; Richa, Grand Rapids, MI; Floyd Robinson, Ann Arbor, MI; Bradley Nelson, Portland, OR; Mark Ewbank, Coventry, United Kingdom; Bernard Cloutier, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Mark Erickson, Skokie, IL; Dale Carrico, Oakland, CA; Joseph Meyer, St.Vith, Belgium; A.R. Rowe, Brooklyn, NY; Pius Charles Murray, Somersworth, NH; John D. Jones, Milwaukee, WI; Troy Davis, Williamsburg, VA; William E Fraser, Santa Cruz, CA; Luke Mead, Astoria, OR; Ori Lev, Baltimore, MD; Ralph Rostas, Chester, VA; Laura Cornelius, Woodbridge, VA; Dylan Matthews, Hanover, NH; John (Jack) O'Donnell, Millville, NJ; Stefano Lucarelli, Ancona, Italy; Richard Lippincott Biddle, Philadelphia, PA; Alanna Hartzok, Scotland, PA; Hank Delisle, Fukuoudai, Japan; Michael LaTorra, Las Cruces, NM; Mike Roberts, Rochester, NY, Anson Chong, Fen Forest, HI; Michele Lewis, Washington, DC; Heather Boushey, Washington, DC; Nicolaus Tideman, Blacksburg, VA; John Carroll, Edinburgh, IN; Rosalind Diana, Seaside Heights, NJ; W. Robert Needham, Waterloo, ON, Canada; Cedric Neill, Orlando, FA; Richard Cook, College Park, MD; Miroslav Turcinovic, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; William DiFazio, Brooklyn, NY; Angel Garman, Hugo OK; Karin Nyquist, Emmaboda, Sweden; Larry Dansinger, Monroe, ME; Richard G. Wamai Cambridge, MA; Melissa Farrell, Staten Island, NY; Bill McCormick, Grand Junction, CO; Rashida Ali-Campbell, Yeadon, PA; Lenny Krosinsky, Albuquerque, NM; Rachel Crutcher, Allen, TX; Julie Hendrix, Little Rock, AR; Annie Miller, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK; Michael Howard, Orono, ME; Rae Amey, Los Angeles, CA; Colleen Chrisinger, Seattle, WA.


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

The USBIG Network Newsletter
Editor: Karl Widerquist
Research: Paul Nollen
Copyediting: Mike Murray and the USBIG Committee

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:

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

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

Thank you,
-Karl Widerquist, USBIG Coordinator.