USBIG NEWSLETTER VOL. 10, NO. 51 Winter 2009

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:


Table of Contents

1. The Eighth Congress of the USBIG Network: New York February 27-March 1
            The Basic Income Studies (BIS) Essay Prize
2. The Effects of Alaska’s BIG on Growth and Equality in Alaska, by Scott Goldsmith
3. Alaska’s BIG Suffers from the Global Financial Crisis
4. The Income Security Institute
Three Things You Can Do
6. Editorial: Healing but not yet a cure
7. New Issues of Basic Income Studies
BIG Supporter Receives 4.5% of the Vote in West Virginia Gubernatorial Election
9. Several Organizations Endorse BIG
10. Marshall Brain Presents BIG as a Response to Structural Unemployment
Man Sues Representative for Failure to Represent Him
12. BIG News From Around the World
            NAMIBIA: Controversies Around BIG Pilot Project
            CANADA: Conservative Senator Calls for BIG
            TAIWAN: Economic Stimulus includes $108 universal payment
            ARGENTINA: Basic Income Study Center Established
            SOUTH AFRICA: BIG Picks Up Endorsements
            NEW ZEALAND: Social Credit Party Endorses BIG
            BELGIUM: Flemish Green Party Endorses Basic Income
            FRANCE: Large Reform of the Minimum Income Scheme
            GERMANY: Campaign For Basic Income
            UNITED KINGDOM: Teenagers start political party advocating BIG
            ITALY: Students Vote for Minimum Income
13. Recent Events
Upcoming Events
Recent Publications
New Members
New Links
18. Links and Other Info

1. The Eighth Congress of the USBIG Network: New York February 27-March 1

Sixty-seven speakers will participate in the USBIG Network’s Eighth Congress in New York February 27 – March 1. The conference will cover a large range of topics, including “Basic Income and the Economic Recovery;” “Human Behavior, Incentives, and Anti-Poverty Policy;” “Social Justice and Economic Wellbeing;” “Government as the Employer of Last Resort;” “Alternative Responses to Poverty;” “Monetary Reform;” “The Politics of BIG;” “Poverty in Canada;” “Bringing Basic Income into Mainstream Politics;” and many more.

The conference will take place over three days and will be held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Economic Association (EEA) at the Sheraton New York Hotel at 811 Seventh Avenue at 53rd Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York. Anyone who attends the USBIG Conference can attend any of the hundreds of EEA sessions as well as our own sessions.

Speakers at the USBIG Conference include Senator Hugh Segal of Canada; Steve Pressman, co-editor of The Ethics and Economics of the Basic Income Guarantee; Joel Blau, author of The Visible Poor: Homelessness in the United States; Irwin Garfinkel, of Columbia University and author of The American Welfare State: Laggard or leader?; Ingrid van Niekerk, of the Economic Policy Research Institute; Al Sheahen, author of Guaranteed Income: The Right to Economic Security; Steve Shafarman, author of Healing Politics: Citizen Policies and the Pursuit of Happiness; Alanna Hartzok, author of The Earth Belongs to Everyone; Stanley Aronowitz, author, union leader, professor of sociology at the City University of New York, and former Green Party Nominee for New York Governor; Frances Fox Piven, author of Poor People's Movements; Brian Steensland, author of The Failed Welfare Revolution: America’s Struggle over Guaranteed Income Policy; Jeff Manza, author of Why Welfare States Persist: The Importance of Public Opinion in Democracies; Tony Martin, Member of Parliament, New Democratic Party, Canadian House of Commons; and Eduardo Suplicy, Senator, Workers Party, Brazilian Senate. The conference will also include a screening of the film: A Day’s Work, A Day’s Pay followed by a discussion with director Kathy Leichter.

Everyone who attends the USBIG conference must register with the Eastern Economic Association. Instructions for registration are on the USBIG website ( USBIG presenters & attendees (who are not economists) can register for $45—less than half the price that economists pay to attend the event—and registration comes with a free electronic subscription to the Eastern Economic Journal.

The Basic Income Studies (BIS) Essay Prize

Basic Income Studies (BIS), the first journal of basic income research, will award its 2008 Essay Prize to one of the papers presented at the 2009 USBIG Congress. A three-judge panel will choose one outstanding paper from this year’s USBIG Congress to receive the award. The winning paper will be published in a future issue of BIS. The winning author will receive free admission to either the next BIEN or USBIG Congress. All papers presented at the Congress and submitted by March 31, 2009 will be eligible for the award. The winner will be announced later this spring in the USBIG and BIEN Newsletters.

2. The Effects of the Alaska Permanent Fund on Growth and Equality in Alaska, by Scott Goldsmith

Scott Goldsmith, Professor of Economics, University of Alaska Anchorage

Last year marked the 30th year that the Alaska Permanent Fund (APF) has been in existence and the 25th year that every Alaska citizen has received an annual dividend from fund earnings. During that time the Alaska economy has matured and the Permanent Fund Dividend has played an important role in that process.

Interestingly, the economic effects of the Dividend have not been studied very much, primarily because of the suspicion of many Alaskans that any study would be motivated by a desire to change or eliminate the popular Dividend program. However it is possible to say some things about the economic effects of the Dividend. The Dividend is a relatively small share of total cash income for the median family, but it is certainly not insignificant. Furthermore it is growing at a rapid rate because the formula for the payout is based on the average return of the fund over the previous 5 year period and until this past year the annual return has been quite high.

Because each person gets the same amount, it clearly tends to equalize the income distribution by raising it at the lower end. It in effect creates a floor below which no one falls. However not all of the leveling of the distribution in Alaska in recent years can be attributed to the Dividend because the mix of new jobs added to the economy has favored relatively low wage jobs in retail and services. This lower-than-average marginal wage has reduced the share of households with very high incomes.

The Dividend has not had a noticeable effect on the labor market. For structural reasons the Alaska unemployment rate has always been higher than the US average. There is no evidence that the labor force participation rate has fallen because of the Dividend (although there is little real data). There could possibly be some long term effect however, since a worker who has collected all 25 Dividends might choose to retire 6 months or a year sooner because of it.

One of the interesting features of the APF is that the Dividend is distributed in an economy with open borders to the rest of the US (New Alaska residents become eligible for the Dividend after essentially a 1 year "waiting period"). Economic theory would suggest the Dividend would draw population into the state, driving down the wage rate and driving up the price of housing. That would lead to dissipation of the benefit of the program away from the Dividend recipients. (A lower wage and higher cost of housing would offset part or all of the Dividend payment.)

There is no evidence that the wage rate is lower or that housing costs are higher due to the Dividend, yet. However as the size of the Dividend grows relative to total household income, one would expect to see those effects begin to appear. There is some evidence that the Dividend has served as a "population magnet", particularly for some population groups that are not in the labor market—retirees for example. However Alaska has neither an income nor sales tax and their absence is also a "population magnet" for this group as well as others.

Economists wonder whether the Dividend is treated by households as a windfall or as part of permanent income. One would think that after 25 years it is viewed as part of permanent income, and one recent study published in the American Economic Review reached that conclusion. My feeling, however, is that although this conclusion might describe the behavior of some households (such as higher income households for which the dividend is a small increment), there are two reasons why it does not adequately describe what is going on for many other households.

First, for lower income households liquidity constraints often prevent them from making purchases of consumer durables. When a low income family of four receives four $2000-Dividends (totaling $8,000), their liquidity instantly jumps. They can buy a big ticket item (a snow machine [snow mobile], boat motor, etc.) that might otherwise be beyond their reach. These purchases of consumer durables represent a form of savings since the services the consumer receives from these purchases will extend over a number of future years.

Second, I think there are significant "framing" effects associated with the Dividend distribution. These influence how people spend their Dividend. These framing effects are in the form of private advertisements and "special deals" offered by retailers that appear just as the Dividend is being distributed, obviously in an attempt to attract consumer dollars. Combined with the fact that the Dividend distribution occurs just as the Christmas holiday shopping season has begun, the result is a "Christmas bonus" effect. This may not undercut the permanent income hypothesis that says most of the money will be spent, but it does influence what the money is spent on. For example, if the Dividend were distributed in 12 equal monthly installments, I think that it would be spent quite differently.

The state government has taken a passive role regarding the "framing" question. Its position seems to be that the APF and consequently the Dividend belong to the citizens and consequently the government has no role in fostering any particular kind of behavior regarding the Dividend. Specifically, there is no effort to educate recipients on the opportunities for investment or asset building that the Dividend represents.

Furthermore there is no attempt to counter the barrage of private sector advertisements and special deals that might be biasing recipients towards spending rather than saving or investing. Critics of the dividend argue that it is spent primarily on current consumption and that a larger share of it should be invested within the state. Since the border is open to other states, some individual Dividends are “lost” as people migrate elsewhere (admittedly a small share). That is one reason that former governor Hickel, for example, advocates a "community dividend". It has the attractive features that spending it would require a communal decision, and the likelihood that it would be spent on something that would remain in the state and produce long term benefits.

On the question of whether the Dividend has helped to create a strong economy, I think the answer is that it has helped to expand the size of the economy, and the annual cash infusion into the economy it represents has provided some stability to the economy.

It is important to understand that one cannot measure the strength of the Alaska economy based on gross state product data. The gross state product data in Alaska is dominated by oil production and fluctuations from year to year tend to be dominated by changes in the market price of oil. And although the per capita GSP is higher than the US average, it has been growing more slowly that other states, mostly because oil production has been declining. After more than a generation, the Alaska economy is still very highly dependent on oil. Investments to broaden the economic base have not borne much fruit. This is not the fault of the Dividend. On the other hand the Dividend has not stimulated development of other resources that would broaden the economic base.

In other economic circumstances a Dividend might be more successful in stimulating economic development. The challenge for Alaska is that we have a limited set of opportunities for economic development due to our dependence on natural resources (harvests are limited if we are to follow a sustainable development strategy), distance from markets, high cost of doing business, very small market, and open borders with the rest of the US.

In sum, the APF has probably had a small stabilizing effect on the Alaska economy, and it is at least part of the reason for the relatively high level of economic equality in Alaska. Its most certain effect is that is a big improvement in the incomes of the poorest Alaskans.

SCOTT GOLDSMITH has been a public policy researcher at the Institute of Social and Economic Research of the University of Alaska Anchorage since 1975 and its director since 2001. His primary research interests are in these areas: Regional Economic Analysis, Alaska Fiscal Analysis, and Energy and Natural Resources. He conducts policy oriented research on the particular fiscal problems of an economy dependent upon the petroleum industry.

For more information about Alaska and the role of the APF and Dividend in the economy see the website of the Institute of Social and Economic Research of the University of Alaska Anchorage at:
More information about BIG and the APF are on the USBIG website:

3. Alaska’s BIG Suffers from the Global Financial Crisis

The global bear market has hit the Alaska Permanent Fund (APF) hard. After the state calculated the biggest dividend in the APF’s history last summer, the fund lost 25% of its value in a matter of months, falling from a high of $40 billion to the current low of $28 billion. The fund is invested in a diversified portfolio of domestic and foreign stocks, bonds, real estate, and other assets, most of which have taken great losses during the financial crisis. The decline has already made the trustees consider keeping a larger portion funds into safer investments such as bonds.

The fund lost $8 billion during Governor Palin’s failed 9-week campaign for the Vice-Presidency. Her campaign can in no way have caused the drop in the fund, but Gregg Erickson, of the Anchorage Daily News, suggested that her preoccupation might have slowed the state’s reaction to the decline.

The drop in the fund will have an effect on the Permanent Fund Dividend for years to come. Normally the dividend is calculated based on an average for the last five years of returns, but the Alaska Constitution forbids the state to spend down the principal of the fund. With no returns to draw on this year, the state apparently cannot make any payments without drawing down the principal. However, there is some question how the principal of the fund is defined. The state might need to redefine the APF’s principal to make any payment this year, and according to Mike Burns, the Permanent Fund Corporation’s top executive, the constitutionality of a change in the definition of “principal” could easily become the subject of a lawsuit.

The financial position of the APF is further complicated by the recent spike and then enormous declaim in oil prices. Most of the state’s revenue (and all of the new additions to the principal of the APF) come from oil taxes. Oil, which reached a high of about $140 per barrel last summer, has recently traded below $40 a barrel. This greatly decreases both the prospects for future growth of the fund and the state’s ability to supplement the dividend, as it did last year with a $1200 resource rebate.

However, one action taken over the last few months will lead to greater deposits into the fund in the future. The APF again started receiving 50% of state oil revenue after a law reducing payments to 25% of oil revenue expired on October 1, 2008. The Alaskan Constitution mandates that at least 25% of oil revenues must go into the APF. Between 1979 and 2003, the state deposited 50% of oil revenues into the fund. A law passed in 2003, dropped the deposit rate to 25%. Since, that law expired on October 1, the state has again been depositing 50% of oil revenues into the fund. If the current rules remain in effect, they will lead to larger dividends in the future than would occur if deposits remained at 25%. But these larger percentage contributions cannot make up for market losses or the decline in oil prices.

Despite the hard times, the APF remains extremely popular. Many Alaska’s biggest fear is that the government will use the current economic situation as an excuse to divert money from the fund. Commentators have argued that they would rather have a $28 billion cushion in the bank than nothing at all. Even in the downturn the idea is being considered for export. A recent editorial by Lee Harding, of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, made the case for a Saskatchewan Permanent Fund.

Several articles on the fund’s losses are online:

Rhonda McBride for KTUU:
Rebecca Palsha for KTUU:
Lee Harding’s editorial in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix:
Pat Forgey for the Juneau Empire:
Gregg Erickson for the Anchorage Daily News:
Elizabeth Bluemink’s interview Mike Burns, the Permanent Fund Corporation’s top executive:
The states explanation for the increase in deposits to the fund:

4. The Income Security Institute

The Income Security Institute is a new nonprofit organization dedicated to education and research into income security through a Basic Income Guarantee. It is incorporated as a 501(c)3, and it is able to accept tax deductable donations on its website

The website is a portal of information about BIG, the host site for the Income Security Institute and a starting point for those who want to help someday form a campaign for BIG. Anyone who is interested can go to the Institute’s website to see how they can get involved.

The Income Security Institute is now able—for the first time—to take donations over the internet. Anyone can go to the Institute’s website and donate any amount via PayPal. All donations go to helping the Institute including its support of the USBIG Network.

The Institute was founded by Steve Shafarman (, who is also a member of the USBIG Committee. The Institute’s website is:

5. Three Things You Can Do

As editor of the USBIG Newsletter, many people ask me what they can do to help USBIG or to promote BIG. The USBIG Network is a nonprofit dedicated to information, education, and dialogue about BIG. It is not directly involved in a campaign for BIG. However, there is a lot you can do for USBIG, and people have been working to create a campaign for BIG. is hoping to get an organized campaign for BIG underway soon, and there are at least three things you can do to support either BIG or the USBIG Network right now.

-Karl Widerquist

A. Volunteer for USBIG

The USBIG Network could use more people to get more involved. Right now we have a committee of eight people—Michael Lewis, Eri Noguchi, Fred Block, Almaz Zellek, Karl Widerquist, Fred Block, Steve Shafarman, Al Sheahen, and Mike Howard—performing tasks such as promotion, coordination with activists, writing the newsletter, organizing conferences, maintaining the website, and maintaining the membership lists. We could use people to help with all of these things and people who have new ideas for other things that they could do. If you’re interested please contact either Karl Widerquist (Newsletter editor) at or Mike Howard (coordinator) at

B. Spend 60 seconds entering your opinion on the Whitehouse website

WHITEHOUSE.GOV/CONTACT is an official Whitehouse website that invites anyone to leave questions, comments, or concerns for the President and his administration. Several activists, including Richa of Grand Rapids, Michigan, have suggested that everyone go there and send a message asking the Obama administration to endorse basic income. Any message would be fine; I suggest one of the following messages.

Select “I have a policy question,” and write: “The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend has helped hundreds of thousands of Alaskans. It has become one of the most successful and popular state initiatives in the country. It has helped to make Alaska the most economically equal state in the United States. Will the Obama administration ask Congress to introduce a similar National Permanent Fund Dividend? Such a fund could be supported by royalties on carbon emissions, pollution, land value, or natural resource extraction.”

Select “I have a policy question,” and write: “Three years ago, Representative Robert Filner (D-San Diego) introduced H.R. 5257, the Tax Cut for the Rest of Us Act of 2006, with the simple idea to transform the Standard Income Tax Deduction into a Refundable Tax Credit. This bill would give a tax cut and a dividend to the poorest Americans. This is the kind of bottom-up stimulus the country needs right now. Will President Obama back this bill?”

If just one person wrote in, it would do no harm. If a few thousand people wrote in, maybe the administration would begin to take notice. If a million people wrote in, who knows?

C. Support the Income Security Institute

The Income Security Institute is the main sponsor of the USBIG Network. USBIG is a purely voluntary organization with no staff, no funds, and no budget. We do what we can with what people are able to contribute. We have received in-kind contributions from the Income Security Institute and its predecessor, the Citizens Policies Institute. This support has been extremely valuable to making our conferences successful.

The Income Security Institute is now able—for the first time—to take donations over the internet. It’s quick, easy, and it supports an organization that sponsors the USBIG Network. You can also support the Income Security Institute by becoming a member and helping with’s campaign for BIG. They are online at:

6. Editorial: Healing but not yet a cure

Like millions of people around the world, I watched Obama’s inaugural last month, and saw the panning shots of huge crowds against the backdrop of the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. This image made me think not only about Washington and Lincoln but also Martin Luther King, Jr. and the pictures of the crowds listening to his “I Have a Dream” Speech. The fact that that picture from the center of U.S. capital, brings to mind those three names, shows how much the racial divide has affected U.S. history.

There is a line on the Washington Monument about a third of the way up where the stone slightly changes colors. Tour guides say that this line is there because construction was halted during the Civil War, and builders couldn’t find a perfect match for the original stone when construction resumed. There is something fitting about that. Slavery disfigures Washington’s legacy. Washington made it clear that he knew slavery was wrong, as did Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and many other revolutionary leaders. But none of them found a way to put an end to it. Instead, they set us on a path that led to the Civil War, and to the racial divide that Lincoln and King dreamed of resolving.

With the election of Obama, the United States became the first majority-white nation to elect a black chief executive. I think most Americans of both parties are rightly proud of that. Ideally, there should be nothing special about electing a member of a minority group, but for more than two centuries, America chose all of its presidents because they were white men. This time we didn’t. Certainly our willingness to put a black man in charge indicates that racism isn’t as strong as it was 50 years ago, when few whites would accept a black in any position of authority over them. Maybe white racial identity will no never be a prerequisite for political success in the United States.

The election of a black president is probably the most significant in a long series of small victories in the struggle against racism in America, but it doesn’t mean racism is over. Familiar racist incidents are still happening. On election night three white supremacists set fire to a predominately African-American church in Massachusetts. On New Year’s Day a police officer in California shot an unarmed black man who was being held down on the ground by another police officer. In three states, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, more than 85% of whites voted for the white candidate and more than 85% of blacks voted for the black candidate. Such racially polarized voting has to indicate a continuing problem with racism.

And, as Rev. Joseph Lowery reminded us in his benediction at Obama’s inaugural, oppression isn’t about any one group. It would not be a victory for equality, if European-Americans lost all prejudice against African-Americans only to single out some other group such as Arab-Americans, women, gays, Muslims, or Jehovah’s Witnesses. But comparing the United States today to where it was 50 years ago, I think members of almost every group that has suffered from prejudice would say we have made significant progress.

How will we know when we have won? I’ll offer two thoughts. First, ask a member of the oppressed group. Ask many. Don’t tell anybody else when their problems are solved; let them tell you. Second, maybe oppression is over when we have no more ghettos. As long as children still grow up in large concentrations of poverty, despair, and danger, we still have oppressed people whatever their identity.

I think this is why Martin Luther King turned to the Poor People’s Campaign in the last year of his life. Nominal legal equality was largely achieved by the Civil Rights legislation of the mid-60s, and King recognized that economic and social barriers were now the main obstacle to real equality and freedom. King proposed a host of economic reforms, including a basic income guarantee, not to reduce—but to eliminate—poverty, because by then poverty was the greatest source of oppression in America. It remains so today.

I think we can celebrate an important achievement, but we should remember that we have lot more to do to build a society free from oppression.

-Karl Widerquist, University of Reading

7. New Issues of Basic Income Studies

Basic Income Studies (BIS) published its second and third issues of 2008 late last year. BIS is the first peer-reviewed journal devoted to basic income and related issues of poverty relief and universal welfare. Articles discuss the design and implementation of basic income schemes, and address the theory and practice of universal welfare in clear, non-technical language that engages the wider policy community.

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 2 (September 2008)

Research Articles

Roland Paulsen, “Economically Forced to Work: A Critical Reconsideration of the Lottery Question”

Robert Jubb, “Basic Income, Republican Freedom, and Effective Market Power”

Søren F. Midtgaard “Rawlsian Stability and Basic Income”

Research Notes

Charles Murray “Guaranteed Income as a Replacement for the Welfare State”

Book Reviews

Simon Eli Birnbaum, “Review of Daniel Raventós, Basic Income: The Material Conditions of Freedom

Borja Barrague, “Review of Will Paxton, Stuart White and Dominic Maxwell, The Citizen's Stake. Exploring the Future of Universal Asset Policies

These articles can be found online at:

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 3 (December 2008)

BIS Volume 3, Issue 3 is a special issue guest-edited by Ingrid Robeyns (Erasmus University Rotterdam) featuring a debate on basic income policy from a feminist perspective.

Contributions to the debate:

Ingrid Robeyns, “Introduction: Revisiting the Feminism and Basic Income Debate”

Julieta M. Elgarte, “Basic Income and the Gendered Division of Labour

Barbara R. Bergmann, “Basic Income Grants or the Welfare State: Which Better Promotes Gender Equality?”

John M. Baker, “All Things Considered, Should Feminists Embrace Basic Income?”

Almaz Zelleke, “Institutionalizing the Universal Caretaker Through a Basic Income?”

Anca Gheaus, “Basic Income, Gender Justice and the Costs of Gender-Symmetrical Lifestyles”

Jacqueline O'Reilly, “Can a Basic Income Lead to a More Gender Equal Society?”

Book Reviews

Mikael Dubois, “Review of Amilcar Moreira, The Activation Dilemma: Reconciling the Fairness and Effectiveness of Minimum Income Schemes in Europe

Roland Paulsen, “Review of Erik Christensen, The Heretical Political Discourse: A Discourse Analysis of the Danish Debate on Basic Income

These articles can be found online at:

BIS back issues are available for free sampling at Browse for the volume and issue on the bottom-right menu, click the required article and follow the instructions to get free guest access to all BIS publications.

To submit a paper to Basic Income Studies, visit, and click "Submit Article". If you like to discuss your contribution informally, contact editors Jurgen De Wispelaere or Karl Widerquist at

BIS is published by The Berkeley Electronic Press (bepress), sponsored by Red Renta Básica (RRB), the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) and the Spanish Instituto de Estudios Fiscales (IEF), and supported by the US Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG).

8. BIG Supporter Receives 4.5% of the Vote in West Virginia Gubernatorial Election

Jesse Johnson, the candidate for the environmentalist Mountain Party (an affiliate of the Green Party) for Governor of West Virginia advocated BIG in his campaign. While supporting underground coal mining and a “new coal economy”, he argued that part of the value of natural resources should be redistributed as a dividend to all. According to The Charleston Gazette (October 19, 2008), Johnson “would like to see the emergence of a citizen's dividend, a policy based upon the principle that the natural world is the common property of everyone and that each person should receive regular payments from revenue raised through the leasing or selling of those natural resources”. The election took place on November 4, 2008. According to the BIEN NewsFlash, incumbent Governor Joe Manchin (Democratic Party) was reelected by a large margin, over his Republican challenger. Jesse Johnson received 4.5% of the vote.
For further information: Charleston Gazette article:
West Virginia Mountain Party:

9. Several Organizations Endorse BIG

Several activist groups have recently endorsed BIG.

AFTER DOWNING STREET is a nonpartisan U.S. coalition of over 200 veterans groups, peace groups, and political activist groups that was originally founded in response to Bush administration policy in Iraq. After Downing Street has now endorsed the Basic Income Guarantee as part of its call for monetary reform. According to the website, “Income security, including a basic income guarantee and a national dividend, should be a primary responsibility of national governments in the economic sphere. A right to adequate purchasing power should be part of every national constitution.” Their monetary program and a petition to support it are on line at:

THE ECOVAPROJECT is a new initiative to create worldwide social, economic and ecological security, recently initiated in Belgium. It has endorsed BIG as part of its system of proposed reforms. According to the website, “The project proposes a monetary alternative, based on the value conversion of our basic economy and the ecological capital into legal money. This will allow us to create a better world for all and to reorientate our economy in accordance with a further development of labor replacing technology. It includes the possibility to guarantee a (universal) basic income.” The ECOVAproject is online at:

AMERICAN MONETARY INSTITUTE campaigns for monetary reform in the United States. They have recently call for the “payment of a Citizens Dividend as a tax-free grant to all U.S. citizens residing in the U.S. in order to provide liquidity to the banking system,” and for “a thorough study of the effects of this Dividend observing its effects on production, prices, morale and other economic and fiscal factors.”
Stephen Zarlenga is the director of the institute.
It is online at:

10. Marshall Brain Presents BIG as a Response to Structural Unemployment

Marshall Brain is a writer, speaker, consultant, and host of the television show “Who Knew?” on the National Geographic Channel. He spoke at the Singularity Summit in San Jose last fall, and argued that automation and robotics are responsible for increasing structural unemployment. Over the coming years, he said that robots could replace 50 million jobs. But he argues that this scenario is not to be feared as long as we handle it responsibly. He suggests society should redesign the economy to get the benefits of automation. We should spread the benefit of productivity to everyone by breaking the concentration of wealth, increasing pay, and reducing the work week, and introducing a basic income guarantee.
A report on his speech at the Singularity Summit is online at:
Marshal Brain’s website is:

11. Man Sues Representative for Failure to Represent Him

Robert (Emmasson) Wirengard has filed suit in Florida District Court against a member of the House of Representatives. He accuses Adam Putman (R-Florida) of failure to represent him in his petition for redress of grievances. The redress is based on Mr. Wirengard’s claim that several laws currently on the books are unconstitutional and that several important constitutional principles have been consistently ignored, some of which could indicate an individual right to a cash dividend. Congressman Putnam could not be reach for comment; his web address is Mr. Wirengard runs a mailing list:

12. BIG News From Around the World

NAMIBIA: Controversies Around BIG Pilot Project

The BIG Pilot project in Namibia has come under criticism from a Namibian think-tank. The BIG Coalition, which runs the project, has responded with further evidence of its success and strong questions about the methodology of its critic.

According to BIEN, the Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit (NEPRU), a non-governmental think-tank, in its Quarterly Economic Review (Issue 66, September 2008), questioned the relevance of the basic income pilot project launched by the Basic Income Grant (BIG) Coalition in Otjivero-Omitara, Namibia. Following the First Assessment report published by the Coalition, which was received with great interest and support in Namibia, NEPRU argued that "under closer scrutiny" some of the positive effects "do not seem to be very dramatic up to now". Quite the contrary, the author of the article, Rigmar Osterkamp, writes that "neighboring farmers maintain that they are affected by acts of crime more often than before the introduction of the BIG."

Furthermore, according to NEPRU, "some of the changes that occurred can also be explained by other factors than the mere transfer of money: the people were educated before the introduction of the grant system about using the additional money and they have appointed ‘control officers’ to guide them in their spending behavior. This could also explain the change in school attendance, malnourishment and crime. If this proves to be true, it underlines the importance of education in behavioral changes. "Above all, NEPRU questions the feasibility of such a grant for the whole country: "A BIG for all implies that all Namibians, except pensioners, would receive the grant. Is that possible? A monthly cash payment of N$100 provided to 1.8 million citizens would amount to 9.6% of planned government expenditure for 2008/09. As suggested by the Tax Review Committee the necessary funds could be raised by increasing VAT or other taxes. A thorough analysis is however needed whether this is the best and cheapest option to reduce poverty, and improve health and education."

BIEN reports that on November 3, 2008, the BIG Coalition reacted to NEPRU’s allegations in a Press release. According to the Coalition, “NEPRU's claim of an increase in criminal activities ... is not evidence-based. Instead, NEPRU relies on unsubstantiated views expressed by some white commercial farmers”. In this strong reply to NEPRU, the BIG coalition also states the following: “We welcome an honest and serious debate about the introduction of the BIG in Namibia. However, we cannot tolerate ideologically-driven propaganda that chooses to ignore scientific evidence. NEPRU's misleading and incorrect comments on the actual results of the BIG in Otjivero-Omitara, has exposed NEPRU's position as unethical and extremely biased favoring the rich and powerful while trampling on the poor. We wonder if NEPRU has published its dismal BIG comments due to a lack of skills and knowledge, due to its own political agenda, or simply to force themselves onto the debate and thereby secure financial resources for future work. In any event, NEPRU acted to the detriment of the people in Otjivero-Omitara and the project as a whole. NEPRU has rather discredited itself and is hence unable to contribute constructively to the BIG debate. The only decent thing left to do, is for NEPRU to apologize to the people of Otjivero-Omitara and the Namibian public in general. The BIG deserves an honest debate in terms of its proven ability to reduce poverty significantly.”

According to BIEN, in a reaction to this Press Release published in The Namibian (Nov. 4, 2008), the author of NEPRU’s review, Rigmar Osterkamp, said while he still stood by his report, the discussion did prompt him to revise a number of its suggestions. "I don't see any reason to draw back on my report. I am simply looking at the BIG from a critical standpoint as an economist, and it is just difficult to believe that everything is so very positive. It seems a bit exaggerated. But I am not at all against the BIG," he said. "I think I threw some water in their wine, and they didn't particularly like that" Osterkamp argued.

More information about the BIG pilot project can be found online:

NEPRU’s review of the BIG pilot project:

BIG Coalition website:

Several Stories from The Namibian:

Several stories from

A story form

CANADA: Conservative Senator Calls for BIG

Senator Hugh Segal (a member of the Conservative Party of Canada), has recently argued that the Canadian government needs to make poverty elimination a central goal and that a BIG should be a primary tool to achieve it. Segal cited “a growing gap between what is essential for people to live with dignity and how little welfare payments actually are.” The Senator said, “Governments, politicians, labor leaders and economists speak comfortably about providing liquidity for banks, auto companies, forestry firms, commercial backed paper investors and many more. These initiatives are no doubt vital, but society must also reach out to the economically most vulnerable. What about people living in poverty? What about families who lack enough to pay for heat, food, shelter and clothes? What about the duty we share to ensure that none among us lack the basics in this wealthy and compassionate Canada? What about our duty to ensure that core income levels are unconditional and at the respectable subsistence level? Poverty reduction and supporting the most vulnerable first should be a key priority for budget development, consultations and any engagement or cooperation between Federal parties and provincial governments.” According to a press release from the Senator’s office, “In the last Parliament, he introduced a motion requesting a study on the merits of a guaranteed annual income/basic income for disadvantaged Canadians and will be reintroducing this motion when Parliament resumes.”

Hugh Segal will speak at the USBIG Congress on February 27, 2009.

TAIWAN: Economic Stimulus includes $108 universal payment

Taiwan, like most industrialized nations, is currently introducing a stimulus package in response to the global economic downturn. Taiwan’s package, however, includes a payment of 3,600 Taiwan dollars (about $108US) to every citizen. Most of the payments went out in January 2009. European Union representatives praised the Taiwanese package. Other nations have discussed emulating Taiwan’s inclusion of a temporary basic income as part of a stimulus package. Canadian Senator Hugh Segal has advocated direct payments for the poor as part of a stimulus package. A similar effort was tried in the U.S. during the 2001 recession, and a similar payment might also be introduced in Japan.

For an article on the Taiwan payment, go to:
For an article on the Japanese similes go to:
See also the story on Hugh Segal in this issue

ARGENTINA: Basic Income Study Center Established

The Argentinean BIG Network (Red Argentina de Ingreso Ciudadano) announced, on November 10th, 2008, the establishment of the Centro Cuyano de Estudios sobre Ingreso Ciudadano (Cuyan Study Center on Basic Income). The center was created as part of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences at the National University of Cuyo. The new University Center is constituted with professors, researchers and students of both the National University of Cuyo (Mendoza, Argentina) and National University of San Juan (Argentina). One of the most important objectives of the new center is to analyze the BIG from the Latin American perspective, and to study the possibilities and strategies of implementation at local and regional level inside Argentina.

SOUTH AFRICA: BIG Picks Up Endorsements

BIG has received several important endorsements in South African recently. Thabo Makgoba, the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, recently said, “I am in solidarity with the needs of the poorest, the most vulnerable, the most marginalized …. I am in solidarity with, why not, a Basic Income Grant.” Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), stressed the need for a basic income grant in a recent speech. He said, "Universal income support means that unlike the current situation, everybody should enjoy this support as a right, and no person should fall through the cracks. … [T]he need for a basic income grant or similar scheme remains imperative." Two of South Africa’s main opposition party, the Inkatha Freedom Party and the Democratic Alliance, both endorse BIG in their current election platforms.

The ruling ANC party continues to resist the political movement for BIG. According to the Daily Dispatch Online, ANC president Jacob Zuma unveiled his party’s election manifesto which spoke directly to the needs of the poor. “The basic income grant that was widely expected to be on manifesto has not been included. Instead, the party has decided to expand unemployment insurance.”

Two reports on the Inkatha Freedom Party are online at:

An interview with Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille is online at:
Another story on the Democratic Alliance is online at:

Thabo Makgoba’s endorsement is online at:

A story on Zwelinzima Vavi is online at:

Daily Dispatch article on the ANC Manifesto:

NEW ZEALAND: Social Credit Party Endorses BIG

The New Zealand social credit party strongly endorsed BIG in its 2008 platform, according to which: “Democrats for social credit policies will:
     • Promote the right of every New Zealander to have an adequate basic income
     • Provide the guaranteed basic income free from tax
     • Pay this guaranteed income to every resident New Zealander as a right of citizenship
     • Progressively replace all current benefits and allowances with a guaranteed basic income regardless of employment, marital or gender status
     • Retain supplements for the disabled, their carers and housing”.
The party “Democrats for Social Credit” can be found online at:

BELGIUM: Flemish Green Party Endorses Basic Income

On November 29-30, 2008, The Flemish Green Party "Groen!" held its "Horizon Conference", which was intended to discuss "the party platform for the next 20 years". Long-term proposals were thoroughly debated, such as reforms to tackle climate change or urban development. Among the ideas discussed, basic income was given a prominent place. After a tight vote in its favor, the proposal was eventually included in the party's platform, following suggestions to expand Belgium’s social security system. The current leader of the Flemish Green Party, Mieke Vogels, is a long-standing advocate of basic income. For further information (in Dutch only):
-From BIEN

FRANCE: Large Reform of the Minimum Income Scheme

On November 27, 2008, the French Senate voted on an important bill reforming France’s notorious minimum income scheme. The bill had already been approved by the National Assembly on October 8, 2008. The new scheme is called "Revenu de Solidarité Active" (Active Solidarity Income), and will come into effect on July 1st, 2009. According to its main advocate, High Commissioner Martin Hirsh, the measure will greatly contribute to making an end to the unemployment trap, by allowing social assistance recipients to keep part of their benefit when they access the labor market and earn less than €1,200/month (for a single person). Since the benefit reduces as earnings from work increase, some have called the new scheme a basic income under the form of a true "negative income tax". Even if the RSA might be considered a step into that direction, one should stress the fact that the benefit is not unconditional. Work requirements are still in place, and every recipient is supposed to sign an "insertion contract", in which he commits himself to perform his duty to search for work. For further information:
-From BIEN

GERMANY: Campaign For Basic Income

BIEN reports, he German platform “Freedom Not Full Employment” has been promoting basic income for several years. Its new campaign will be launched in December 2008, through stickers in Subway and Tramways in the cities of Dortmund, Frankfurt and Hamburg. They will stay there for four weeks. Local initiatives are preparing events (lectures and discussions) along with the campaign. The platform hopes to attract media attention, as well as citizens. The group has also launched a call for funding, which can be viewed at:
For further info: Web:

On October 23, 2008, a few days before the 3rd German speaking basic income congress, several prominent advocates of basic income in Germany agreed on a “Declaration on Emancipatory Basic Income”. According to the declaration, fourteen key aspects of basic income are required for “emancipation.” They can be found online at:

UNITED KINGDOM: Teenagers start political party advocating BIG

A group of British teenagers have started a new political party called Social Liberalist Party (SLP). The party’s website describes the party as follows: “The Social Liberalist Party is a liberal party. It's about freedom and social progress. We were set up because we want the fundamental reforms needed to make Britain a better country to live in.” The party endorses land value taxation, open immigration, and BIG. According to party leader Anton Howes, “The SLP sees the need to get rid of the dependence culture which has created a permanent underclass with no incentive to contribute back to society. As far as we can tell, a form of basic income appears to be the only way this could ever be fully achieved. … If ever there was a cause worth supporting, the destruction of the benefit and poverty trap through the use of a basic income is one.”

The SLP is online at:

ITALY: Students Vote for Minimum Income

In October and November 2008, several demonstrations against governmental plans to reform the educational system were organized in cities across Italy, with the participation of thousands of students. The general and national assembly of the student’s movement decided to include a call for a minimum income in its platform. All students and low-paid workers would be entitled to such a minimum income. In this declaration, one can read the following reference to classic arguments in favor of a basic income: "minimum income in order to benefit from more personal autonomy, to foster individual independence for all". For more information:
-From BIEN

13. Recent Events

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY, 3-4 November 2008: Basic Income as a citizen’s right
BIEN reports, on November 3rd and 4th 2008, the Ministry of Social Development together with the National Department of Planning of Uruguay, with the assistance of the Red Argentina de Ingreso Ciudadano (Redaic), organized a workshop in Montevideo. The objective of the workshop was to discuss the relevance and potential of a basic income scheme in Uruguay. International and national experts, as well as national authorities, members of the parliament, students, lecturers, public officials and members of local NGOs, participated in the two days of discussion.
More information is online at:

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA, November 6-7, 2008: Ibero-American Conference on Basic Income
BIEN reports, on November 6th and 7th, 2008, the Argentinean BIG Network (Red Argentina de Ingreso Ciudadano), organized in Buenos Aires, the Ibero-American Workshop on Basic Income. The event gathered experts from the region, with presentations from Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, México, Brazil and Spain. The roundtables counted on the participation of people from academia, public officials, and social activists. There was also a public roundtable with the participation of members of the National Parliament, who debated about different legislative proposals inspired by the idea of Basic Income.
More information is online at:

ROME, ITALY, November 24, 2008: New Welfare States and Guaranteed Income
On Nov. 24, 2008, the new Association Basic Income Network Italy (BIN Italy) organized a conference on guaranteed income in Europe and Italy. More information about the conference is on the organizations new website: For images of the Rome meeting can be viewed at go to:

14. Upcoming Events


The Citizen’s Income Trust, the UK BIG network, has organized a seminar series in collaboration with several university departments around the United Kingdom. The series will examine the prospects of instituting a Citizen's Income in the United Kingdom in the current economic climate. Four speakers will discuss the issue at four universities:

Tuesday 10 February, 2-4pm - University of Newport, Wales
Dr. Tony Fitzpatrick, University of Nottingham
'Citizen's Income and Paternalism'
Venue: School of Health and Social Sciences, University of Wales, Newport (Lodge Road, Caerleon)
Tony Fitzpatrick is a Reader at the University of Nottingham. His recent publications include New Theories of Welfare (2005) and Applied Ethics and Social Problems (2008). He is the co-editor of the journal Policy & Politics and was the principal editor of the 3-volume International Encyclopedia of Social Policy (2006).
Info and RSVP:

Wednesday 4 March, 1.15-3pm - University of York
Professor Bill Jordan, University of Plymouth
'Citizen's Income and the Crash: Credit, Debt and the Citizen's Income'
Venue: Politics Department, Derwent College, Room D013, University of York
Bill Jordan is Professor of Social Policy at Plymouth and Huddersfield Universities. He studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford, and worked for 20 years in UK social services, as well as teaching social work and social policy. He is the author of 25 books, including most recently Welfare and Well-being: Social Value in Public Policy' (2008) and Social Policy for the 21st Century: New Perspectives, Big Issues (2006), and has held visiting chairs in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Czech and Slovak Republics and Hungary.
Info and RSVP:

Tuesday 10 March, 5-7 p.m. - University of Nottingham
Dr. Louise Haagh, University of York
'Citizen's Income, Varieties of Capitalism and Occupational Freedom'
Venue: Room B1, Law & Social Sciences Building, University of Nottingham
Louise Haagh is Lecturer in Politics and Director of the Graduate School at the University of York. She is a world poverty, labor studies and social policy specialist working in the field of comparative labor market institutions, welfare regimes and the political economy of development. She is the author of Citizenship, Labor Markets and Democratization (2002) and co-editor of Social Policy Reform and Market Governance in Latin America (2002). Louise Haagh is associate editor of Basic Income Studies ( and a member of the executive committee of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), an international network that fosters informed discussion about basic income.
Info and RSVP:

Friday 20 March, 3-5pm - Queen's University Belfast
Dr. Stuart White, University of Oxford
'Basic Income versus Basic Capital: Can We Resolve the Disagreement?'
Venue: Conference Room (20.103), School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, Queen's University Belfast
Stuart White is a Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations, where he is also Director of the Public Policy Unit, and a tutor at Jesus College, Oxford University. His research focuses on egalitarianism in theory and practice, with a particular interest in theoretical traditions and policy ideas which are simultaneously anti-capitalist and anti-statist. He is the author of The Civic Minimum (2003) and Equality (2006).
Info and RSVP:
For general enquiries email For information about specific seminars please contact the respective coordinators. More information about the series is online at:


On the 12th of March at 6.45pm Philippe Van Parijs will give the second Joseph Rowntree Foundation Lecture, at 6.15 pm in Vanburgh College (room V/045) at the University of York. The Lecture is entitled ‘Basic Income and Social Justice: Why Philosophers Disagree’. It will be followed by a comment by Sir Tony Atkinson and open discussion. This is a public lecture (there is no charge) and all are welcome.

CITIZEN’S INCOME SESSIONS: at Social Policy Association Conference

EDINBURGH (UK), June 29 –July 1, 2009

The Citizen’s Income Trust—BIEN’s affiliate in the United Kingdom—is organizing several sessions on basic income at the Social Policy Association’s 43rd annual Conference at the University of Edinburgh June 29 –July 1, 2009. The conference will provide a great opportunity for presentations on all aspects of basic income. Now that BIEN has become a worldwide network, it only has conferences in Europe every four years. The CIT sessions may provide an opportunity for English-language meetings on basic income in Europe in between BIEN meetings.
For more information go to:, or contact Annie Miller at:

15. Recent Publications

Ben Shalom, Yigal and Yitzhak Sabato

Negative income tax and its effect on the labor market and the social security system
5th International Research Conference on Social Security: Social security and the labour market: A mismatch? 2007

This paper was produced for a 2007 conference by two members of the National Insurance Institute, Israel. According to the authors, the various plans to battle poverty among, and encourage employment of, poor working families include a grant to low-wage workers’ families that is known as negative income tax (NIT) or tax credit. The aim of this measure, implemented in various countries, is to provide adequate compensation to the working poor, to decrease poverty while increasing employment at the same time. Chapter 1 of this paper reviews various definitions of the basic concept of NIT and discusses the combination between the tax and welfare systems. Chapter 2 introduces the models of NIT in the USA and Britain, and presents findings on the implications of NIT for the individual and the economy – on labor supply, poverty and family structure. Chapter 3 relates to fundamental matters that precede the implementation of NIT and details the alternatives that are currently being discussed and their possible application to Israel.

The paper is online at:
Info about the paper:
Info about the conference:

Al Sheahen

MLK's dream exists as poverty persists
Al Sheahen, Los Angeles Daily News, January 19, 2009
This Martin Luther King Day editorial points to King’s call to use a guaranteed income to eliminate poverty. The article shows how poverty is a significant and growing problem and argues that a basic income guarantee is a viable solution.
Al Sheahen lives in Sherman Oaks and can be reached at
The article is online at:
Al Sheahen will speak at the USBIG Congress on February 28, 2009

CIT Newsletter

The Citizen’s Income Newsletter, issue 1 for 2009 is available online. It is produced by the Citizen’s Income Trust of the United Kingdom. This issue includes:

     • A Citizen's Income for All? The Citizen's Income Trust's seminar series for 2009

     • Editorials: The Chancellor of the Exchequer's pre-budget report, Beatrice Webb's 1909 minority report, the Government's welfare reform proposals

     • News

     • Articles: Is a Citizen's Income the answer? by Anne Miller; The Citizen's Income and Child labour: two ships passing at night, by Ian Orton; Jeremy Waldron and the Basic Income debate, by Karl Widerquist

     • Conference Reports

     • Book Reviews

     • Call for papers: Citizen's Income sessions at the Social Policy Association conference, Edinburgh, 29th June to 1st July 2009

The newsletter is online at:
The CIT’s website is:

Jens Berger


This article asks, “The world economy is in free fall. How will society deal with the expected mass unemployment?” It argues that basic income is inevitable. It is published in the German and English cyber journal Telepolis 12/9/2008]

Michael Opielka

The likelihood of a Basic Income in Germany
International Social Security Review, 3, Vol. 61, 2008, 73-94
This article is translated from the original German. It has also been published in French and Spanish. The author can be reached at:

Richard Cook

We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform
Richard C. Cook, Tendril Press, $19.95

In this book, Richard C. Cook, a former analyst for the Treasury Department and NASA, discusses how to reform the broken monetary system; why the public infrastructure must be rebuilt; and the way to create income security for all people. Cook argues that income security should be protected by a National Dividend—a basic income guarantee integrated into the monetary system.

Copies of the book are available from the publisher Tendril Press at:

“A Bailout for the People: Dividend Economics and the Basic Income Guarantee”
Richard C. Cooke, Dandelion Salad
According to the leader of this article: “The existing monetary system is not free enterprise, and it is not capitalism. It is cancer. Isn’t it Finally Time to Enact a Basic Income Guarantee?” This article is published online at:
Richard C. Cook will speak at the USBIG Congress on February 27, 2009

Clive Lord

How Helicopter Money and the Citizen's Income Might Yet Save the Planet
Clive Lord, The Green Economics Institute
In this short commentary, written by Clive Lord and Edited by Miriam Kennet, Lord discusses the need for a Citizen’s Income in the current crisis and places it in context of the history of the issues going back to the 1970s. The article is online at:

Ingrid Robeyns

Feminism and Basic Income Revisited
Ingrid Robeyns, Crocked Timer February 2, 2009
This article and a blog full of responses on Crocked Timer can be found at this address:

John Tomlinson

Greed is (not) Good
By John Tomlinson, On Line Opinion: Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate, Tuesday, 10 February 2009
This article discusses the financial crisis and makes a case for basic income.

16. New Members

Twenty-three new members have joined the USBIG Network in the last six months. The USBIG Network now has 172 members from 32 U.S. states and 25 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; Simon Peter Schooneveldt, Ashgrove, Australia; John Tomlinson, Deagon, Australia; George Misa, Auckland, New Zealand; Przemyslaw (Peter) Damian Maniecki, Longmont, CO; Michael Gene Frazier, Morehead, KY; Nathan W. Cravens, Woodbury, TN; Mark Gillespie, Kent, WA; Matthew C. Murray, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom; Alan Holmes, Buffalo, NY; John Jesse Heichert III, Elizabeth City, NC; Nato Welch, Victoria, British Columbia; Eron Lloyd, Reading, PA; Edward Miller, Mokena, IL Herbert Wilkens, Berlin, Germany; Jain Varinder, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India; Isis Leslie, Lubbock, TX; Garda Ghista, Highland Heights, KY; Chuck Augello, Randolph, NJ; Kathi Weeks, Durham, NC; Gabrio Rossi, Muenchen, Germany; Sugeng Bahagijo, London, United Kingdom; Bo Bao, Plano, TX; Brittney Bernice Johns, Camden, NJ; Murray Reeves, Stittsville, Ontario, Canada; Cynthia DiGeso, Roxbury, MA; David G. Lagerman, Plymouth, WI; Reimunch Achker, Puchheim, Germany; Frank Brennan, Bixby, Oklahoma; Robert C. Gumbs, New York, NY; Julia Willebrand, New York, NY; Edward T. Kennedy Minersville, PA; Alexander Link; Franfurt, Germany; Tony Garcia, Santa Cruz, CA; Carl R. Johnson, Kearney, MO.

17. New Links

INCOMESECURITYFORALL.ORG is the new website supporting the Nonprofit Income Security Institute and the Campaign for Income Security. The website has news and information about basic income, a blog, and more. The Income Security Institute supports the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network. You can donate to the Income Security Institute by going to:

RICHARD C. COOK, who has written a book and a large number of articles supporting a National Dividend, has a new website at

SMI2LE - VIEW TO THE FUTURE is a new online magazine that contains ideas for the future and the main content is about BIG. Right now it has two interviews, an essay from R.A. Wilson, a "History book from the future", "A Stroll through Utopia" (written by a member from Amnesty International), an article from Goetz Werner and Ludwig Paul Haeussner, an article from Daniel Haeni/Enno Schmidt and short descriptions about the APF and Eduardo Suplicy. The essay by Wilson makes the connection between "SMI2LE" and BIG.
It is maintained by Joerg Drescher and available at:

BIEN’s PAST NEWSLETTERS AND NEWSFLASHES are now online. The collection goes back over 20 years to 1988. Find them online at:

BASIC INCOME NETWORK ITALY (BIN Italy) is the new BIG network in Italy. Its new website—including the first issue of its newsletter (BIN Report)—is online at:

GREENEALTH.ORG.UK includes an essay by Richard Lawson, entitled “Introducing BI by the backdoor in a recession.” Lawson argues we could begin by introducing the "earnings disregard" aspect of BI and applying it to those types of work that are constructive to society and environment. The essay is online at:

CANADIANS PETITION FOR BIG: A group of Canadians are petitioning their government to introduce a BIG. The petition was created by Richard Pereira. The petition and its current signatures are online at:

18. Links and Other Info

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; and Yannick Vanderborght of the BIEN NewsFlash
Special help on this issue was provided by Michael Opielka, Al Sheahen, Anton Howes, and Joerg Drescher.

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, editor