BIEN

BASIC INCOME EARTH NETWORK

NewsFlash Volume 26, no. 70, Summer 2013
www.basicincome.org

 

This is the newsletter of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), which was founded in 1986 as the Basic Income European Network and expanded to become an Earth-wide Network in 2004. It serves as a link between individuals and groups committed to or interested in basic income. It fosters informed discussion on this topic throughout the world.

 

This NewsFlash, below, can also be downloaded as a PDF document on our website www.basicincome.org.

This NewsFlash goes out to more than 1,500 subscribers four times a year. If you would like to be added or removed from the subscription list, please go to: http://www.basicincome.org/bien/subscribe.php.

For up-to-date information about basic income, see:

http://binews.org/

 

 

CONTENTS

1. Editorial: Important study finds that giving money to the poor increases both employment and wages
2. News (India, Switzerland, Malaysia, Malta, Germany, Venezuela, United States, Japan, International)
3. Events (Korea, Alaska, New York, London, California, Namibia, Montreal, and International)
4. Publications
5. Links
6. Audio-Video
7. The NewsFlash and BI News request volunteers

8. About the Basic Income Earth Network and its NewsFlash

1. Editorial: Important study finds that giving money to the poor increases both employment and wages

A randomized field study recently conducted in Uganda found that giving money to people without conditions actually increases both how much they work and how much they earn per hour. The study gave a $400 one-time grant to 20 young people, chosen randomly out of a group of rural Ugandans who applied to be a part of the study. Essentially, this grant amount is a one-time basic income, sometimes called a basic capital grant.

 

Perhaps, $400 doesn’t sound like much, but because poverty is so high in rural Kenya, the $400 grant is equivalent to an entire year’s income for the people in the study. Researchers then followed the recipients for two and a half years to see how they behaved relative to rural Ugandans who did not receive the grant. What they found might surprise some readers.

 

Two-and-a-half years later, receipts of the grant worked 17% more hours than similar Ugandans who did not receive the grant, and they earned higher wages and salaries, so that their incomes increased by even more than the hours the worked for a total increase of 50%. If those who did not receive the grant were making $400 per year, recipients were making $600 per year. No one knows yet how long the differential will last, but it is likely to accumulate for at least several years, perhaps many years.

 

The reasons for the increase in wages and hours worked are not yet certain, but possible explanations stem back to the extreme poverty experienced by so many people in developing nations. People who face such low wages have very little time to spend either improving their skills or looking for better work. They simply must spend their time focusing on getting enough food for the next day. A basic income gives them the opportunity to step back, improve their skills and/or look for a better job.

 

The theoretical possibility that basic income could have a positive affect on wages and hours worked (especially among the poorest people) has been understood for a long time. But this study provides an extremely important piece of empirical confirmation.

 

The basic income debate should take these results seriously. These results challenge the widely-held (yet rarely-empirically-investigated) belief that poor people are poor because they are too lazy either to work hard or to learn better skills. There are billions of people around the world living on less than two dollars per day. Perhaps unconditional cash is what they need most.
-Karl Widerquist, begun in Aberdeen, Shetland, Scotland, completed in Beaufort, North Carolina, USA

 

See BI News stories about this study: http://binews.org/2013/08/blattman-chris-%E2%80%9Cdear-governments-want-to-help-the-poor-and-transform-your-economy-give-people-cash%E2%80%9D/

 

For more on this study see this blog post by one of the authors of the study: Blattman, Chris, “Dear governments: Want to help the poor and transform your economy? Give people cash,” Chris Blattman: International development, politics, economics, and policy, 23 May 2013
http://chrisblattman.com/2013/05/23/dear-governments-want-to-help-the-poor-and-transform-your-economy-give-people-cash/

 

See also the original study: Blattman, Christopher, Nathan Fiala, and Sebastian Martinez “Credit Constraints, Occupational Choice, and the Process of Development: Long Run Evidence from Cash Transfers in Uganda,” the Social Science Research Network, May 20, 2013
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2268552

And the following editorial: Yglesias, Matthew, “Good News About Unconditional Transfers to the Global Poor,” Slate May 29, 2013
http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/05/29/good_news_about_unconditional_transfers.html

 

2. News

INDIA: Basic Income Pilot Project releases an impressive list of findings.

Several NGOs in India have conducted a pilot project on basic income over the last two years. At a conference this May, the researchers released an impressive list of findings below. (Acronyms used below: IES, Interim Evaluation Survey; FES, Final Evaluation Survey; MPUCT, Madhya Pradesh Unconditional Cash Transfer pilot; TVUCT, Tribal Village Unconditional Cash Transfer pilot)

Implementation and Financial Inclusion

Housing and sanitation

 

Nutrition and Diet

Health and healthcare

Impact on the Disabled

Schooling

Economic activity, work and production

Debt and Savings

Policy Implications

 

For more on the India Pilot projects see the following articles:
Seetha, “Bite this: Survey proves cash transfer critics wrong,” FirstPost: Economy, May 31, 2013: http://www.firstpost.com/economy/bite-this-survey-proves-cash-transfer-critics-wrong-829793.html
Standing, Guy, “The poor are responsible too,” the Financial Express, June 6, 2013: http://www.financialexpress.com/news/column-the-poor-are-responsible-too/1125548/0
Fernandez, Benjamin, “Rupees in your pocket,” The Morung Express, 2013: http://www.morungexpress.com/Perspective/95572.html

Guy Standing, “Can Basic Income Cash Transfers Transform India?” BI News, May 28, 2013: http://binews.org/2013/05/guy-standing-%e2%80%9ccan-basic-income-cash-transfers-transform-india%e2%80%9d/

 

SWITZERLAND: Initiative claims enough signatures to trigger a referendum on BIG

A Swiss petition drive has collected more than the 100,000 signatures necessary to trigger a referendum on introducing Basic Income in Switzerland. If the government certifies 100,000 of the signatures as valid, a referendum will be held within two years. The proposal does not specify the amount of the basic income, but it would enshrine the principle in Switzerland’s constitution. The proposal is controversial. Even some unions and left organizations have dismissed basic income as a “bonus for laziness.” This proposal is one of several petition drives for basic income in Europe this year, some have been waged nationally and some at level of the European Union as a whole.

For more information see:

Jourdan, Stanislas, “Will the basic income revolution come from Switzerland?” Boiling Frogs, Alternatives, June 3, 2013: http://boilingfrogs.info/2013/06/03/basic-income-initiative-switzerland/
Vogele, Wolfgang G., “Swiss parliament may soon debate unconditional basic income,” NNA: News with a difference, 30 Apr 2013: http://www.nna-news.org/index.php?id=9&tx_ttnews%5Byear%5D=2013&tx_ttnews%5Bmonth%5D=04&tx_ttnews%5Bday%5D=30&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=1054&cHash=77e5ad1fba7d00dc0923dcbddf4fe97e

Geiser, Urs “Basic income for all. Old utopian revived on Swiss streets,” swissinfo.ch, June 13, 2013

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_news/Old_utopian_ideal_revived_on_Swiss_streets.html?link=tdj&cid=36104780

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL: Google gives $2.5 Million to a Direct Cash Transfer Charity

Business Press has been praising GiveDirectly, a direct cash transfer charity. The business press has been reporting very positively on a charity that transfers cash directly to Kenya's poorest residents. In Kenya, cellphones work like debit cards and it is easy to infer who is poor and who is not by their address or other data. GiveDirectly uses that data and simply sends money to poor people in two low-income districts. Those without a phone can pick up cards and use them in other ways.

Google Giving has donated two and a half million dollars to this charity. They cite the efficiency of it. There may be a few people who aren't as needy as one would prefer and the phone companies do take some of the transfer but even then, it is more efficient than paying someone to assess every recipient. Also, cash aid creates market demand for food and other needs that could be met by entrepreneurs. Some recipients will use the money to start small businesses or pay school fees.

Intriguingly, the rationale for GiveDirectly that Facebook and Google figures have adopted, mirrors the rationale for a basic income and for projects like ReCivitas' BIG QUATINGA VELHO and BIG Otjivero. ReCivitas has even less administrative costs than those faced by GiveDirectly. We have also discussed on this page BIG experiments in India. This could beat back the weird perception that a BIG is "impossible".

 

For More info see:

Kerry Dolan, “Why Facebook Cofounder Chris Hughes And Google Are Giving Cash Directly To The Poorest,” Forbes, 5/28/2013

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryadolan/2013/05/28/why-google-and-facebook-cofounder-chris-hughes-are-giving-cash-directly-to-the-poorest/

 

Jacqueline Fuller, “Want to Help People? Just Give Them Money,” Harvard Business Review, March 28, 2013 http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/03/want_to_help_people_just_give.html

 

Matthew Yglesias' article in Slate (see separate BI News report) gives a detailed account of GiveDirectly and its reception: http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2013/05/unconditional_cash_transfers_giving_money_to_the_poor_may_be_the_best_tool.html?wpisrc=most_viral

 

 

THE INTERNET: WikiProject Basic Income aims to improve basic income’s presence on Wikipedia

 

A new group, called “WikiProject Basic Income,” aims to improve the coverage of topics related to basic income in Wikipedia. One of the main goals of this project is to bridge the gap between researchers who have been publishing about basic income and the general public, while simultaneously improving the number of authoritative references in basic income articles on Wikipedia.

The organizers of the project request any help they can get from interested people, writing, “If you have any suggestions or questions about how to get started, feel free to leave a message in the talk page or join the associated Facebook group where further discussion and coordination occurs.”

 

The group’s homepage is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Basic_Income

The talk page is: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Basic_Income&action=edit&section=new

The associated Facebook group is: http://www.facebook.com/groups/605548516131965/

 

 

 

 

MALAYSIA: Is Malaysia introducing a BIG?”

Malaysia’s new program called Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) that has some elements of the negative income tax (NIT) variant of the basic income guarantee. Receipt of benefits is not automatic, but those who are eligible need to apply by filling out a from. There has been little discussion of the connection between BR1M and NIT, but a recent commentary by Kang Beng Ho discusses BR1M in context of the NIT.

Kang Beng, Ho, “Is BR1M a negative income tax?” the Star Online [Malaysia], Monday May 20, 2013
http://www.thestar.com.my/story.aspx?file=%2f2013%2f5%2f20%2fbusiness%2f13090411&sec=business

 

MALTA, EUROPEAN UNION: Malta joins campaign for right to unconditional basic income

Wolfgang Müller – BI News

 

Malta has joined the campaign for an unconditional basic income in the European Union. This campaign now takes place in 22 countries. It’s aim is to get enough signatures on a petition to force the European Council to examine basic income.

 

For more on Malta joining the initiative, go to see the following story in Malta News, June 18, 2013, “Malta joins campaign for right to unconditional basic income”

http://gozonews.com/39300/malta-joins-campaign-for-right-to-unconditional-basic-income/

More information about the initiative (including info about how to support it) is online at: http://basicincome2013.eu/

 

GERMANY: BIG Petition given 30 Seconds by Bundestag

[BI News – July 2013]

In the beginning of 2009 more than 50,000 people supported the petition of Susanne Wiest, who demanded a Basic Income for Germany. Almost 2 years later a public hearing on the issue took place. And almost another 2 years later, on 28th June 2013, the topic was closed after 30 seconds without a further discussion.

 

The left-wing online journal “Neues Deutschland” commented in an article: “From a political point of view this was a clandestinely funeral of an objective which some years ago attracted great attention – and which actually can not be eliminated with a usual form of ticking off.”

 

The factions of the Green and Left Party voted against the finishing. In a statement of the Green Party they explain: “It is important for the subscribers to combine the general principle of justice and emancipating social policy with the importance of public institutions and financial feasibility. Considering the increasing growth problem and broad restructuring of the economy by processes of rationalization we need in the long term a transformation of the social state.”

 

Katja Kipping, the leader of the Left Party published also a personal statement against the finishing of the petition, because “the principle objection and the social importance of a discussion on the Unconditional Basic Income is not taken into account. Considering the increasing social division in Germany and Europe I consider it for necessary to discuss alternative ideas and practical approaches seriously also in the German Bundestag to improve the social situation of the people.”

 

Both parties, Left and Green, as well as the Pirate Party, suggest in their election manifestos an enquiry commission to continue the discussion on Basic Income within the German Bundestag. The petition brought this discussion into the parliament and the mentioned parties refuse a finishing of the petition in the meaning to end the discussion. The elections on 22nd September 2013 will show what is going to happen further.

 

VENEZUELA:  A Citizen’s Income for Full-Time Mothers

[BICN - Jenna van Draanen – June 2013]

 

A recently published news article describes a new pension for full-time mothers in Venezuela. According to Chew, a labor law has been passed to allow mothers to collect pensions for the work they perform in the household. The article describes the Chavistas’ new labor law as anti-sexist in the way that it recognizes the “monetary value of housework.” The idea of a pension for mothers is similar to some conceptualizations of basic income because of its universality and because it operates on the fundamental premise that an individual is entitled to an income based on something other than their participation in the labour market.

The article written by Kristina Chew can be found at:
http://www.care2.com/causes/venezuela-to-pay-pensions-to-full-time-mothers.html#ixzz2VNVHamfr

 

UNITED STATES: Allan Sheahen tours to promote his book, the Basic Income Guarantee: Your right to economic security

 

Allan Sheahen, an author and an activist for basic income, is touring the United States making television, radio, and personal appearances to promote his book, the Basic Income Guarantee: Your right to economic security. He has also published several Op-ed pieces related to the book. His proposal for BIG has recently stirred up controversy from economists (See related story: Wray, L. Randall, two articles criticizing of BIG)

 

Sheahen is making the following radio appearances:

 

1. June 4.  WWNC.  Ashville, NC.  Peter Kaliner show.

2. June 10.  KBYR.  Anchorage, AK    Glen Biegel show.

3. June 13.  WBAL, Baltimore.  Jimmy Mathis Show.

4. June 19.  WGN.  Chicago.  Carol Roth show.

5. June 27. WILS, Lansing MI.  Michael Cohen Show.

6. July 2.  WKBN, Youngstown OH.  Dan Rivers Show

7. July 3.  WTCM.  Traverse City, MI   Norm Jones show.

8. July 10.  WCUB, Manitowic, WI.  The Breakfast Club.

9. July 12.  KAHA, Auburn CA.  Shea Cullen Show for Seniors.

10. July 15., WFBK, Fort Mill, SC, “Jack Anthony Show”

11. July 18., RTT, Rochester, NY, “Debra Reuther”

12. July 22., KFWB, Los Angeles, CA, “AM Drive”

 

Sheahen is making the following person appearance at a civic group:

 

1. July 16, 7PM to 9PM, Valley United Democrats, 6150 Van Nuys Blvd. Van Nuys, CA, 91401

 

Sheahen is making the following television appearance:

 

1. Monday July 22, Bloomberg National TV, “Bottom Line with Mark Crumpton,” 7:40pm Eastern Time, 4:40 pm Pacific Time

 

 

Sheahen has published the following Op-ed pieces:

 

1. Allan Sheahen, “Jobs Are Not the Answer,” Lima News (Lima, Ohio), Thursday, June 13, 2013: http://www.limaohio.com/opinion/columns/article_60d99fac-d420-11e2-adfa-001a4bcf6878.html

2. Allan Sheahen, Guest Columnist, “Basic income, not jobs, is the answer” On Your Mind, Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio), Monday, June 17, 2013: http://www.mydaytondailynews.com/news/news/opinion/basic-income-not-jobs-is-the-answer/nYKbw/

3. Allan Sheahen, “Jobs Are Not the Answer,” Public Comment, Berkeley Daily Planet (Berkeley, CA), Monday June 17, 2013: http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2013-06-13/article/41173?headline=Jobs-Are-Not-the-Answer--by-Allan-Sheahen

4. Allan Sheahen, “Jobs Are Not the Answer,” Tikkun, Truthout, Thursday, 20 June 2013: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/17104-jobs-are-not-the-answer

 

Allan Sheahen is a board member of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee (USBIG) Network and the author of several books and articles including his most recent book, Basic Income Guarantee: Your Right to Economic Security, which is now out on paperback from Palgrave-Macmillan. Sheahen can be reached at: alsheahen@prodigy.net.

 

More information about his book is online at: http://www.basicincomeguarantee.com/

 

The publisher’s website for his book is: http://us.macmillan.com/basicincomeguarantee/AllanSheahen

 

JAPAN: Japanese translations of BI News articles now available

Japanese translations of selected BI News articles are now available at BIEN-Japan's website. The site is managed by Toru Yamamori, of the Department of Economics at Doshisha University, Japan. It has begun with only a few stories. But BIEN-J hopes the site will grow over time, and BI News and BIEN-J will soon establish direct links—in both directions—between the English and Japanese versions of articles. BIEN and some of its national affiliates hope soon to begin similar efforts to translate BI News articles into other languages.

 

The Japanese versions are online at: http://tyamamor.doshisha.ac.jp/bienj/bienj_top.html

 

 

3. Events

 

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: Basic Income discussed at 6th Marx Commulane, May 2013

[BIKN – August 2013]

The Basic Income Korean Network (BIKN) participated in South Korean leftists' conference, the 6th Marx Commulane in May 2013, Seoul, South Korea. Kang Nam Hoon, Kwen Jong Im, and Lee Kwang Ill presented papers on basic income.

Information about the conference (in Korean) is online at: http://www.marxcommunnale.net/board/bbs/board.php?bo_table=re&mx_ver=6&wr_id=19&page=2 2.

 

 

Hoon Kang, Nam and Popho E. S. Bark-Yi, “Special Issue: Basic Income and Issues of Alternative Economic Strategies”

[BI News – August 2013, BIKN contributed to this report]

A Korean academic journal, Marxism 21, published a special edition on basic income entitled, “Basic Income and Issues of Alternative Economic Strategies.” Marxism 21 is a quarterly academic journal published by the Institute for Social Sciences of Gyeongang National University (of South Korea) with financial support from the Korean Research Foundation. The special issue included the following two papers.

 

Nam Hoon Kang, “Precarious Workers and Basic Income”

ABSTRACT: This paper compares selective income support policy with basic income for precarious workers. In 2012, there were 17,027,000 precarious workers in Korea, which is about 62% of the total economically-active population. Under this situation, a basic income policy is more suitable than selective income support. If there were perfect information and no administrative costs, selective income support policy could have exactly the same economic effects as basic income. But given those constraints, it is impossible for selective income policy to have the same economic effects as basic income. The former has more administrative costs, blind spots, moral hazards, bad transition effects, lower labor incentives and labeling effects. If most of the population are precarious workers, basic income is more appropriate not only economically but also politically.

 

Popho E. S. Bark-Yi, “The System of Sexuality and Basic Income”

ABSTRACT: This paper suggests that the ideological idea that equates women to sexual objects, not to sexual subjects, is still pervasive in South Korean culture. The author argues that this idea puts women in an inferior position to men in social, economic, and political spheres. Arguing for this idea’s deconstruction, the author introduces the term ‘system of sexuality’. This highlights the key feature of the current system, in which relationships between women and men are deeply intertwined with and sustained by sexuality, economics and politics. Basic income implies unconditional cash payment to every individual regardless of gender, age, marital status, employment status or wealth. Negotiation power in relationships partially but significantly depends on one’s degree of economic independence. Women’s economic status, nevertheless, has been heavily weakened due to the heterosexual male-oriented economic system as well as the marriage system. Basic income which guarantees each and every woman a certain level of income will offer a meaningful contribution to enhance women’s negotiation power within the current system of sexuality.

Hoon Kang, Nam, and Popho E. S. Bark-Yi, “Special Issue: Basic Income and Issues of Alternative Economic Strategies” Marxism 21, vol. 30, 2013 is online in English at: http://nongae.gnu.ac.kr/%7Eissmarx/eng/eng_index.php

 

 

SOUTH KOREA: Kwen Moon Seok, steering committee member of Basic Income Korean Network dies

[BIKN – August 2013]

            Third, Kwen Moon Seok, a beloved steering committee member of the Basic Income Korean Network (BIKN), passed away in May 2013. He was only in his mid 30s and left his wife and an infant daughter behind. Before his death, he had devoted himself to setting up an new network called, "alba-yondae (Solidarity of tentative workers)" and had been respected by many young people who joined the network. According to a member of BIKN, “He was one of the most sincere and hard working activist. … May rest in peace.”

 

More information about Kwen Moon Seok (in Korean) is online at: http://alba.or.kr/xe/news/113480

 

 

 

 

ANCHORAGE ALASKA: “How the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Could Work in Iraq and Other Countries: A Conversation with Todd Moss,” June 3, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

As part of the University of Alaska Anchorage's Institute of Social and Economic Research series of lunchtime talks, “Understanding Alaska,” Todd Moss discussed whether something like Alaska’s Basic Income, the Permanent Fund and Dividend, could work in Iraq and other countries. Todd Moss, editor of The Governor’s Solution and vice president of the Center for Global Development.  The Governor’s Solution features the firsthand account of Governor Jay Hammond that describes, with brutal honesty and piercing humor, the birth of the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend, which has been paid to each resident every year since 1982.

 

The event was held at the University of Alaska Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive Room 307, Consortium Library, Anchorage, Alaska 99508

More information about the event can be found at the following two websites:

http://www.cgdev.org/event/how-alaska-permanent-fund-dividend-could-work-iraq-and-other-countries-conversation-todd-moss

http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/news/?p=593

More information about Todd Moss is online at:

http://www.cgdev.org/expert/todd-moss

Todd Moss’s email address is: tmoss@cgdev.org

 

New York: “A Basic Income for All?” New Left Forum, June 9, 2013

The New Left Forum include a panel session on BIG in its meeting on June 9, 2013 in New York City. The panel examined the feasibility and desirability of basic income proposals from a number of disciplinary viewpoints, including history, economics, and comparative political science. Panelists included Frances Fox Piven, Lena Lavinas, Almaz Zelleke, and Benjamin Kunkel.

More information about the event is online at: http://www.leftforum.org/content/basic-income-all-0

 

VAN NUYS, CA, UNITED STATES: “Can the U.S. afford a Basic Income Guarantee?” Valley Democrats United July meeting, Tuesday, July 16th 2013   

 

Al Sheahen, author of Basic Income Guarantee: Your Right To Economic Security, leads a discussion of the Basic Income Guarantee at the July meeting of Valley United Democrats. He is joined by Mark Pash of the Center for Progressive Economics for a Round Table Discussion. The organizers write, “Be on time and bring an open mind...”

 

The meeting will take place:

Tuesday, July 16th 2013, 7PM to 9PM

Van Nuys State Building Auditorium

6150 Van Nuys Blvd. (corner of Calvert and Van Nuys Blvd.)

Van Nuys, CA, 91401

 

 

 

 

 

 

LONDON, UK: Basic Income Meetup, August 1, 2013

Basic Income UK is holding an open meetup for basic income supporters to get to know each other, talk about basic income, and discuss the next steps for the promotion of the European citizen's initiative. The meetup will take place at 7pm at the Crown and Shuttle Pub, 226 Shoreditch High St., Shoreditch, London E1 6PS. Basic Income UK is an activist organization which aims to raise awareness of Basic Income in the UK. It is organized by Jeffrey Andreoni, Janos Abel, and others. According to the organizers, “Everyone is welcome! See you there!”

For more information contact Jeffrey Andreoni <jeffrey@ouishare.net>
Basic Income UK has a facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/BasicIncomeUK
The meetup has a facebook page at:
https://www.facebook.com/events/222677171213117/?ref=3

 

 

 

WINDHOEK, Namibia, “Social safety nets in Namibia: Assessing current programmes and future options,” September 26, 2013.

 

Karl Widerquist will discuss the basic income guarantee as a way to provide a more effective social safety net in Namibia at a conference in Windhoek on September 26, 2013. He will discuss the experience in Alaska with its dividend program as well as pilot projects in Namibia, Indian, Uganda, and other places. The conference is hosted by the Namibian central bank.

 

Karl Widerquist is an Associate Professor at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University. He holds two doctorates—one in Political Theory from Oxford University (2006) and one in Economics from the City University of New York (1996). He has published six books, the most recent of which is Independence, Propertylessness, and Basic Income: A theory of freedom as the power to say no.

 

Karl Widerquist, “Social safety nets in Namibia: Assessing current programmes and future options,” Featured Speaker, Windhoek, Namibia, Bank of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia, September 26, 2013. For more information, see the following two websites:
https://www.bon.com.na/Annual-Symposium.aspx
https://www.bon.com.na/Annual-Symposium/Annual-Symposium-Speakers.aspx

 

 

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA, BIEN Congress: June 26-29, 2014

The Fifteenth International Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network will take place in Montreal, Quebec on June 26-29, 2014. The Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) (known in French as Reseau Canadien Pour Le Revenu Garanti) will host the Congress. The theme of the Congress will be “Re-Democratizing the Economy.” More details about the Congress will be released gradually over the coming months. United then, conference organizer recommend, “Save the date.”

More details of the Congress will first appear on the BICN website: http://biencanada.ca/BIEN2014_Congress.html

 

 

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA: Keynote Speakers Announced for the 15th BIEN Congress in June, 2014

[July 26, 2013 - The Basic Income Canada Network / Reseau Canadien Pour Le Revenu Garanti]

 

The Basic Income Canada Network / Reseau Canadien Pour Le Revenu Garanti (BICN) has announced some of the keynote speakers for the Fifteenth Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN). BIEN has held a Congress every second year since 1986.

The 2014 congress will take place at the McGill Faculty of Law in Montreal, Quebec from June 26th to June 29th, 2014. The theme of the 2014 BIEN Congress is “Re-democratizing the Economy”. The congress aims to engage BIEN’s affiliate networks and the public in a sustained discussion about the role of a basic income guarantee in re-democratizing the economy, nationally and globally.

The following speakers have so far agreed to join the discussion:

Roberto Gargarella, Professor at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Argentina and Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor at University College London, author of The Legal Foundation of Inequality: Constitutionalism in the Americas, 1776-1860 (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and Latin American Constitutionalism,1810-2010: The Engine Room of the Constitution (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Š      Renana Jhabvala, President of the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA), Bharat, India, and author of The Idea of Work (Indian Academy For Self Employed Women, 2012) and Social Income and Insecurity: A Study in Gujarat (Routledge, 2010)

Š      Linda McQuaig, Journalist, columnist, social critic, and best-selling author of, most recently, The Trouble with Billionaires (Viking Canada, 2010) and Billionaires' Ball: Gluttony and Hubris in an Age of Epic Inequality (Beacon Press, 2012)

Š      Guy Standing, Professor in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and Co-President, Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), author of Work After Globalization: Building Occupational Citizenship (Edward Elgar, 2009) and The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (Bloomsbury, 2011)


The Congress will also include the 2014 General Assembly meeting of BIEN. The call for papers will be announced early in the fall of 2013. Updates about the congress can be obtained from the Canadian network’s website at: http://biencanada.ca/BIEN2014_Congress.html.

 

See also BIEN’s website: http://www.basicincome.org

 

4. Publications

FRENCH: Special issue of journal Mouvements

The left-wing French journal Mouvements devoted its entire Spring 2013 issue to basic income. This substantial volume includes no less than 20 papers on the various aspects of basic income. While most authors are very much in favour of it, some are more skeptical. Sociologist Bernard Friot, for instance, argues in favour of a complex "universal wage" system, in which the guaranteed income would not be disconnected from one's qualifications. The issue also includes a micro-simulation for the implementation of a basic income in France, by economist and basic income activist Marc de Basquiat. Furthermore, the editors have interviewed two prominent academic figures, sociologist Robert Castel and philosopher Philippe Van Parijs. Castel insists on the fact that paid work, i.e. the labour market, remains of paramount importance for social recognition and self-esteem, and he does not endorse basic income. Van Parijs, by contrast, explains why he supports it, and how it connects to his reflections about green politics. 

 

Full references: Un revenu pour exister (Simon Cottin-Marx, Julie Garda & Baptiste Mylondo eds.), Special issue of 'Mouvements. Des idées et des luttes' (Paris), n° 73, Spring 2013, 190p. http://www.cairn.info/revue-mouvements-2013-1.htm

 

 

Call for Papers: Special Issue of the Journal of Evolution and Technology, "Technological Unemployment and Universal Basic Income Guarantee"

 

Submissions are invited for a special issue of the journal on the topic of the impending global decline of employment due to automation, disintermediation and other effects of emerging technologies, and the need for reform and expansion of state income support such as a universal basic income guarantee (BIG).  Papers questioning the premises of technological unemployment or the desirability of a BIG are also welcome.

 

Guest editor: James J. Hughes, Ph.D., Public Policy Studies, Trinity College, Hartford Connecticut james.hughes@trincoll.edu

Expected publication:  Winter/Spring 2014

Submission deadline:  Oct 1, 2013

Notification of acceptance/rejection: Jan 1, 2014

Final revision deadline: Feb 1, 2014

Publication: Winter/Spring 2014

 

For more information contact: James J. Hughes <james.hughes@trincoll.edu>

 

Blattman, Christopher, “Dear governments: Want to help the poor and transform your economy? Give people cash”

In this blog post, author and political scientists, Chris Blattman, reports on a study he helped to organize, which shows that giving cash to poor people in a very poor country significantly increases both their employment rate and their employment income. The study was a randomized field experiment conducted in Uganda.

 

Blattman, Chris, “Dear governments: Want to help the poor and transform your economy? Give people cash,” Chris Blattman: International development, politics, economics, and policy, 23 May 2013

 

http://chrisblattman.com/2013/05/23/dear-governments-want-to-help-the-poor-and-transform-your-economy-give-people-cash/

 

 

Blattman, Christopher, Nathan Fiala, and Sebastian Martinez “Credit Constraints, Occupational Choice, and the Process of Development: Long Run Evidence from Cash Transfers in Uganda”

 

Abstract: How to stimulate employment and the shift from agriculture to industry in developing countries, with their young, poor, and underemployed populations? A widespread view is the poor have high returns to investment but are credit constrained. If so, infusions of capital should expand occupational choice, self-employment, and earnings. Existing evidence from established entrepreneurs shows that grants lead to business growth on the intrinsic margin. Little of this evidence, however, speaks to the young and unemployed, and how to grow employment on the extensive margin — especially transitions from agriculture to cottage industry. We study a large, randomized, relatively unconditional cash transfer program in Uganda, one designed to stimulate such structural change. We follow thousands of young adults two and four years after receiving grants equal to annual incomes. Most start new skilled trades. Labor supply increases 17%. Earnings rise nearly 50%, especially women’s. Patterns of treatment heterogeneity are consistent with credit constraints being relieved. These constraints appear less binding on men, as male controls catch up over time. Female controls do not, partly due to greater capital constraints. Finally, we go beyond economic returns and look for social externalities. Poor, unemployed men are commonly associated with social dislocation and unrest, and governments routinely justify employment programs on reducing such risks. Despite huge economic effects, we see little impact on cohesion, aggression, and collective action (Peaceful or violent). This challenges a body of theory and rationale for employment programs, but suggest the impacts on poverty and structural change alone justify public investment.

 

Blattman, Christopher, Nathan Fiala, and Sebastian Martinez “Credit Constraints, Occupational Choice, and the Process of Development: Long Run Evidence from Cash Transfers in Uganda,” the Social Science Research Network, May 20, 2013
This paper can be downloaded at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2268552

Bloomberg BusinessWeek, For Fighting Poverty, Cash Is Surprisingly Effective

Global Economics

For Fighting Poverty, Cash Is Surprisingly Effective

By Charles Kenny

June 03, 2013

 

Worldwide, richer people express fears about handing money to poorer people. Giving poor people money is no way to stop them being poor, the thinking goes: Surely they will just waste it. Instead, we design complex, bureaucratic programs like SNAP, the supplemental nutrition assistance program (formerly known as food stamps), to help poor families buy food and only food. That way, they can’t buy a trip to Disney World with our tax dollars.

 

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-06-03/for-fighting-poverty-cash-is-surprisingly-effective#r=rss

 

 

Brady, Michael, “Basic income in Norway?”

This article argues that Norway should introduce a basic income, and considers the Alaska model as a financing strategy.

Brady, Michael, “Basic income in Norway?” The Foreigner: Norwegian News In English, Sunday, 26th May, 2013

http://theforeigner.no/pages/columns/basic-income-in-norway/

 

 

 

Broadbent, Ed, “Begin by hiking tax credits for working poor”

In this opinion piece, Ed Broadbent, former leader of the New Democratic Party, argues that Canada should take a small step in the direction of a basic income or a negative income tax by increasing the federal Working Income Tax Benefit, which provides a very modest tax credit to Canadians who work but still have very low incomes.

 

Broadbent, Ed, Begin by hiking tax credits for working poor,” the Chronicle Herald, June 28, 2013.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/1138555-begin-by-hiking-tax-credits-for-working-poor

 

Coppola, Francis. “Economic equivalence: job guarantee and basic income”

This article argues in support of the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG), relative to another proposed reform, the Job Guarantee (JG). Responding to two recent articles by L. Randall Wray criticizing basic income as inflationary, Francis Coppola castes doubt that Wray’s claims that BIG and JG would have very different effects on inflation. She concludes, “It seems to me that the fundamental difference between JG proponents and supporters of basic income lies not in their economics but in their view of human nature. JG proponents are essentially managerialist. They think that people have to be told what to do or they won't do anything useful. Basic income supporters, on the other hand, are liberals: they believe that if people are supported and their basic needs are met, they will find useful and productive things to do. … Personally I would prefer a basic income, and I admit that is because I am shockingly liberal and really don't like being told what to do.”

 

Coppola, Francis. “Economic equivalence: job guarantee and basic income,” Coppola Comment, Thursday, 11 July 2013

http://coppolacomment.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/economic-equivalence-job-guarantee-and.html

 

Fernandez, Benjamin “Rupees in your pocket”

This story begins, “A new pilot study at Panthbadodiya could significantly change living conditions for the poor, and India’s approach to fighting poverty. The village is taking part in the Madhya Pradesh Unconditional Cash Transfer Initiative, a project run by the Self Employed Women’s Association (Sewa; a trade union that has defended the rights of women with low incomes in India for 40 years), with subsidies from Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund) India. The research director, Sarath Dewala, explained: ‘The experiment involves giving individuals a small sum of money, at regular intervals, as a supplement to all other forms of income, and observing what happens to their families if this sum is given unconditionally.’ …”

 

Fernandez, Benjamin “Rupees in your pocket,” the Morung Express, 2013

http://www.morungexpress.com/Perspective/95572.html

 

Geiser, Urs “Basic income for all. Old utopian revived on Swiss streets”

Wolfgang Müller – BI News

 

A campaign for an unconditional basic income in Switzerland claims to have achieved the required signatures for a nationwide vote. This article illustrates the work of the campaigners and their experiences along with some of the controversy about the issue in Switzerland.

 

Geiser, Urs “Basic income for all. Old utopian revived on Swiss streets,” swissinfo.ch, June 13, 2013

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_news/Old_utopian_ideal_revived_on_Swiss_streets.html?link=tdj&cid=36104780

 

Giannelli, Silvia, “Pray Again to Saint Precarious”

[Sabrina Del Pico – July 2013]

Saint Precarious (San Precario) is an iconic image created back in 2004 by a network of Italian activists who dealt with the concept of “precarity” since 2001. This unusual saint was declared patron of all precarious workers and used to recall Catholic saints believed to protect the faithful. This article not only explains the beginnings of San Precario movement and its early connections to international grassroots movements but also the reasons behind the failure of an international movement of precarious workers. For the introduction of a minimum income is one of the core battles for San Precario, the article also deals with this topic highlighting those campaigns which aim to such a measure both at national and European level.

 

Silvia Giannelli, “Pray Again to Saint Precarious”, Inter Press Service, July 19th, 2013

http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/07/pray-again-to-st-precarious/

 

 

 

Harford, Tim, "The Undercover Economist: How to give money away"

A commentator for the Financial Times, Britain’s leading business newspaper, has tentatively endorsed BIG. Tim Harford writes, “Helping the poor in the most obvious way of all is starting to look attractive.”

Harford, Tim, " The Undercover Economist: How to give money away," the Financial Times, July 12, 2013. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/a1101f00-e8fd-11e2-aead-00144feabdc0.html

 

Hern, Alex: two articles on Basic Income

Alex Hern has published two articles in the New Statesman, “Basic income versus the robots: An economic all-stars match-up,” 17 June 2013 and “The most universal benefit of them all: While the UK debates ending universality, economists in America are talking about making income itself universal, 5 June 2013.

 

The two articles are online at:

http://www.newstatesman.com//economics/2013/06/basic-income-versus-robots

http://www.newstatesman.com/economics/2013/06/most-universal-benefit-them-all

 

Kenny, “For Fighting Poverty, Cash Is Surprisingly Effective”

Charles Kenny “For Fighting Poverty, Cash Is Surprisingly Effective”

[BICN - Jenna van Draanen – June 2013]

 

Kenny writes an article for Bloomberg Business Week that challenges prevalent attitudes about alleviating poverty with cash transfers. He cites two particular studies that involved grants given to people living in Uganda and also gives examples from the United States.

 

Kenny discusses the US 1970s negative income tax experiments that guaranteed an income to thousands of low-income recipients and cites outcomes of improved test scores and school attendance for the children of recipients, reduced prevalence of low-birth-weight infants, and increased homeownership. 

He argues that many studies of cash transfers in both developed and developing countries have led to a variety of impacts and that these studies have shown that impacts are not correlated with any conditions applied. He also argues for the cost-efficacy of administering such unconditional programs. The author is critical of the argument that poverty is a result of moral failings of the poor and believes this is a justification for taking a paternalistic approach to poverty relief.

Charles Kenny “For Fighting Poverty, Cash Is Surprisingly Effective,” Bloomberg Business Week. June 3, 2013. The original article can be found here: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-06-03/for-fighting-poverty-cash-is-surprisingly-effective#r=rss

 

 

Krugman, Paul, “Sympathy for the Luddites”

 

Nobel Laureate, Paul Krugman endorsed a “minimum income” in his edition of his regular Op-ed column in the New York Times. The column is mostly about technological unemployment, but Krugman concludes that the solution requires, “a strong social safety net, one that guarantees not just health care but a minimum income, too.” The term minimum income is a bit vague and is not spelled out by Krguman, but among economists the term minimum income is usually used to mean some kind of basic income guarantee, usually along the lines of a negative income tax.

 

Krugman, Paul, “Sympathy for the Luddites,” The New York Times, June 13, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/opinion/krugman-sympathy-for-the-luddites.html?_r=0

 

Latimer, Paul, “An alternative to welfare may help Canadians”

One idea that warrants further investigation is a guaranteed annual income or negative income tax. This would replace our current welfare system and would ensure Canadians had a certain minimum income.…”

 

Paul Latimer, “An alternative to welfare may help Canadians,” Kelowna Capital News (British Columbia), May 23, 2013

http://www.kelownacapnews.com/opinion/208557221.html

 

L’Hirondelle, C.A., “Job Fairy or Universal Livable Income: What is More Realistic?”

This article response to the allegation that basic income is unrealistic by arguing that the idea of full employment at a living wage is far less realistic.


L’Hirondelle, C.A., “Job Fairy or Universal Livable Income: What is More Realistic?” June 7, 2013

http://livable4all.tumblr.com/post/52402871329/job-fairy-or-universal-livable-income-what-is-more

 

L’Hirondelle, C.A., Frederik Schenk, and Eric Manneschmidt, “Why Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend is a bad idea”

 

Written as response to the article, “Six Lessons from the Alaska Model,” by Karl Widerquist (http://binews.org/2013/07/opinion-six-lesson-from-the-alaska-model/), C.A. L’Hirondelle, Frederik Schenk, and Eric Manneschmidt argue that resource dividends are not a good source of funding for a basic income because,

“The Alaska Permanent Fund and concepts like it are created to corrupt people into accepting a business that they might otherwise strongly oppose.” The authors support BIG, but not this method of financing.

 

L’Hirondelle, C.A., Frederik Schenk, and Eric Manneschmidt, “Why Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend is a bad idea,” Livable4all, July 12, 2013:
http://livable4all.tumblr.com/post/56267288138/why-alaska-permanent-fund-dividend-is-a-bad-idea

 

 

Moase, Godfrey “Why Australians deserve a universal minimum income”

 

The author writes, “I'd like to see every citizen receive a basic income of AUD$30,000 per year. No exceptions, no means testing. This is why.”

 

Moase, Godfrey “Why Australians deserve a universal minimum income,” The Guardian, Wednesday 19 June 2013

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/19/australia-minimum-wage

 

Moss, Todd (editor) The Governor’s Solution: How Alaska’s Oil Dividend Could Work in Iraq and Other Oil-Rich Countries

The Governor’s Solution features his firsthand account (PDF) that describes, with brutal honesty and piercing humor, the birth of the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend, which has been paid each year to every citizen-resident of Alaska since 1982. This book, part of the Center for Global Development’s Oil-to-Cash initiative, includes recent scholarly work examining Alaska’s experience and how other oil-rich societies, particularly Iraq, might apply some of the lessons.

Contributors to the book include: Todd Moss (Center for Global Development), Jay Hammond (governor of Alaska 1974–1982 and creator of the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend), Scott Goldsmith (University of Alaska-Anchorage), Nancy Birdsall (Center for Global Development), Arvind Subramanian (Peterson Institute for International Economics and Center for Global Development), and Johnny West (journalist and founder of Open Oil).

Moss, Todd (editor) The Governor’s Solution: How Alaska’s Oil Dividend Could Work in Iraq and Other Oil-Rich Countries, London: Center for Global Development, November 5, 2012

More info about the book is online at: http://www.cgdev.org/publication/9781933286709-governor%E2%80%99s-solution-how-alaska%E2%80%99s-oil-dividend-could-work-iraq-and-other-oil-rich

 

Perkio, Johanna, “Basic Income Proposals in Finland, Germany and Spain”

This paper compares BI models and discussion in Finland, Germany and Spain.

 

Perkio, Johanna, “Basic Income Proposals in Finland, Germany and Spain,” Discussion Paper No. 2, Transform! European network for alternative thinking and political dialogue, 2013, online at: http://transform-network.net/programmes/discussion-papers/news/detail/Programm/basic-income-proposals-in-finland-germany-and-spain.html

 

It’s also online as a PDF at: http://transform-network.net/uploads/tx_news/Paper_no2_perkioe_EN.pdf

The appendix is online at: http://transform-network.net/uploads/tx_news/Basic_Income_in_Europe.Tabellen.corr_mitangenommenenAenderungen.pdf

 

Robertson, James, James Robertson’s Newsletter: Working for a Sane Alternative

[USBIG June 2013]

The latest issue of James Robertson’s Newsletter (No. 41, May 2013) is online. The newsletter regularly contains discussion of BIG as part of a larger monetary reform.

James Robertson, James Robertson Newsletter: Working for a Sane Alternative, No. 41, May 2013.
http://www.jamesrobertson.com/previousnewsletters.htm

 

 

 

Ryan, Anne, “Universal Basic Income: A brief overview of a support for intelligent economies, quality of life and a caring society”

This article argues for basic income in the Irish context. It argues that the current social security system in Ireland is not working, and it discusses how basic income would impact businesses, workers, young people, low-paid individuals, workers, and taxpayers.

 

Anne B Ryan is an adult educator, an active member of Basic Income Ireland, a trustee of Feasta and a founder member of Cultivate Celbridge, a resilience and mutual help network in her home town. Her most recent book is Enough is Plenty: Public and Private Policies for the 21st Century (O Books, 2009).

 

Ryan, Anne, “Universal Basic Income: A brief overview of a support for intelligent economies, quality of life and a caring society,” Feasta, the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability, Apr 17, 2013:

http://www.feasta.org/2013/04/17/universal-basic-income-a-support-for-intelligent-economies-quality-of-life-and-a-caring-society/

 

 

 

 

Sheahan, Allan, “Jobs are not the answer”

Wolfgang Müller – BI News

 

In this article, Al Sheahen argues that the labor market has changed. Full employment is very unlikely in the future. Globalization and improvement of technology will eliminate more jobs. This development demands a break of “the link between work and income” in order to avoid poverty. We need to recognize that people do not need jobs but income. Sheahen concludes that one useful tool is a basic income guarantee, which would provide income security but also economic freedom and other advantages.

 

Al Sheahen is the author of The Basic Income Guarantee: Your Right to Economic Security.

 

Sheahan, Allan, “Jobs are not the answer,” The Gilmer Mirror, June, 2013

http://www.gilmermirror.com/view/full_story/22861612/article-Jobs-Are-Not-the-Answer?instance=lead_story_left_column

 

Simulacrum, “Three trends that will create demand for an Unconditional Basic Income”

In a post at the blog Simulacrum, "Liu" discusses three trends that will create a demand for an unconditional basic income: The fall of the middle class, the long term decline in demand for human labor, and the detachment of cultural production from the market. According to Timothy Roscoe Carter, “This is an excellent post, and my only complaint is that Liu does not explicitly note that trend #2, the decline in demand for human labor, is the primary cause of the other two. The section on the detachment of cultural production from the market is probably the best due to originality. This trend is important, and this is the first time I have seen a discussion of it that links it to a demand for basic income. My favorite quote from this post: ‘Don’t dismiss this as socialism, it involves a complete rejection of the Stakhanovite work ethic and a full-throttle embrace of consumer culture.’”

Simulacrum: Media, technology, and anthropology. “Three trends that will create demand for an Unconditional Basic Income,” posted 2013-07-10, in a Blog by Lui.

http://simulacrum.cc/2013/07/10/three-trends-that-push-us-towards-an-unconditional-basic-income/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Torry, Malcolm, “Why it’s the right time for a Citizen’s Income”

Malcolm Torry, author of Money for Everyone, writes in this article, “A Citizen’s Income is an unconditional, nonwithdrawable income for every individual as a right of citizenship. …”

Torry, Malcolm, “Why it’s the right time for a Citizen’s Income” Policy Press Blog, June 14, 2013

http://policypress.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/why-its-the-right-time-for-a-citizens-income/

 

 

 

Torry, Malcolm, Money for Everyone: Why we need a Citizen’s Income

Malcolm Torry, the head of Britain’s BIEN affiliate, the Citizen’s Income Trust, has released a book entitled, Money for Everyone: Why we need a Citizen’s Income. The publisher provides the following information about the book and the author:

About This Book: Due to government cuts, the benefits system is currently a hot topic. In this timely book, a Citizen’s Income (sometimes called a Basic Income) is defined as an unconditional, non-withdrawable income for every individual as a right of citizenship. This much-needed book, written by an experienced researcher and author, is the first for over a decade to analyse the social, economic and labour market advantages of a Citizen's Income in the UK. It demonstrates that it would be simple and cheap to administer, would reduce inequality, enhance individual freedom and would be good for the economy, social cohesion, families, and the employment market. It also contains international comparisons and links with broader issues around the meaning of poverty and inequality, making a valuable contribution to the debate around benefits. Accessibly written, this is essential reading for policy-makers, researchers, teachers, students, and anyone interested in the future of our society and our economy

About the author: Dr. Malcolm Torry is Director of the Citizen’s Income Trust; he has first degrees in mathematics, theology, philosophy, and economics and management; and higher degrees in social policy and in theology. He has recently completed an honorary research fellowship in the Social Policy Department at the London School of Economics. He is Team Rector of the Church of England Parish of East Greenwich.

Torry, Malcolm, Money for Everyone: Why we need a Citizen’s Income, London: Policy Press, 27th June, 2013.

More details about the book can be found on the Citizen’s income Trust website (www.citizensincome.org.uk) and the publisher’s website (www.policypress.co.uk/display.asp?K=9781447311256).

 

Torry, Malcolm “There are many convincing arguments in favour of a Citizen’s Income”

In this blog, Malcolm Torry discusses a new book, Money for Everyone: Why we need a Citizen’s Income, which argues for a Universal Basic Income, or as it is termed here, a Citizen’s Income. He discusses the different approaches the book uses in arguing for the policy, concluding that every mainstream political ideology generates arguments for a Citizen’s Income.

Malcolm Torry is honorary Director of the Citizen’s Income Trust, BIEN’s affiliate in the United Kingdom. He has first degrees in mathematics, theology, philosophy, and economics and management, and higher degrees in social policy and in theology. From May 2011 to April 2012 he was an honorary Visiting Research Fellow at the London School of Economics. He is Vicar of Holy Trinity, Greenwich Peninsula.

Torry, Malcolm “There are many convincing arguments in favour of a Citizen’s Income,” British Politics and Policy at LSE, 2013: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/archives/34269?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BritishPoliticsAndPolicyAtLse+(British+politics+and+policy+at+LSE

 

Van Parijs, Philippe “The Euro Dividend”

 

In this short article, Philippe Van Parijs proposes a Euro-dividend, which he describes as “one, simple and radical, yet … reasonable and urgent” proposal. The Euro-dividend is a modest basic income for every legal resident of the European Union. According to Van Parijs, “This income provides each resident with a universal and unconditional floor that can be supplemented at will by labour income, capital income and social benefits. Its level can vary from country to country to track the cost of living, and it can be lower for the young and higher for the elderly.”

 

Van Parijs is a professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium and the author Real Freedom for All: what (if anything) can justify capitalism.

 

Van Parijs, Philippe, “The Euro-Dividend,” Social Europe Journal, July 3, 2013
http://www.social-europe.eu/2013/07/the-euro-dividend/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+social-europe%2FwmyH+%28Social+Europe+Journal%29

 

Weisenthal, Joe, “There's A Way To Give Everyone In America An Income That Conservatives And Liberals Can Both Love”

“Here's an idea for stimulating the economy: Free money for everyone, all the time, with no exceptions or conditions. …”

Joe Weisenthal, “There's A Way To Give Everyone In America An Income That Conservatives And Liberals Can Both Love,” Business Insider May 13, 2013
http://www.businessinsider.com/universal-basic-income-2013-5#ixzz2WffnIFed

Worstall, Tim, “An Unconditional Basic Income Is The Solution But The Important Word Here Is Basic”

Forbes, one of the top business magazines in the United States is now discussing Basic Income (BI). Tim Worstall, a regular contributor to Forbes on business and Technology writes “a universal basic income … would solve many of our economic problems. It’s not quite the miracle panacea but it is still pretty good all the same.” He argues against the claim that technological unemployment will make BI a necessity, but argues in favor of it on the basis of eliminating the huge effective marginal tax rates experienced by people with little or no private income.

 

Tim Worstall, “An Unconditional Basic Income Is The Solution But The Important Word Here Is Basic” Forbes, July 12, 2013

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/07/12/an-unconditional-basic-income-is-the-solution-but-the-important-word-here-is-basic/

 

Wray, L. Randall, two articles criticizing of BIG

“Are More Jobs the Answer? The ‘BIG’ Bait and Switch” and “How BIG is BIG Enough: Would The Basic Income Guarantee Satisfy The Unemployed?”

 

In two articles, L. Randall Wray compares the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) to the Job Guarantee / Employer of Last Resort (JG/ELR). A Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, NY, Wray has been writing about the benefits of the JG/ELR approach since the 1990s. He is one of the leading scholars of what is now called “modern monetary theory,” which stresses the need to prevent inflation by using a JG/ELR as an anchor for the currency.

Wray opposes the BIG mostly because he believes it will cause inflation. He simply believes that some of the goals of BIG are unsustainable: attempts to provide everyone with a descent income without requiring them to work will, according to Wray, necessarily cause an inflation spiral. He also argues that many of the goals of BIG are good and sustainable, but that they can be achieved better through a JG/ELR than through BIG.

Wray’s starting point is a response to a recent editorial by Al Sheahen (author of the recent book, Basic Income Guarantee: Your Right to Economic Security), but he cites a wide range of BIG authors including Philippe Van Parijs, Guy Standing, Charles M.A. Clark and others.

L. Randall Wray, “Are More Jobs the Answer? The ‘BIG’ Bait and Switch,” Economonitor, June 25th, 2013: http://www.economonitor.com/lrwray/2013/06/25/are-more-jobs-the-answer-the-big-bait-and-switch/#sthash.AWm9RZFN.dpuf
L. Randall Wray, “How BIG is BIG Enough: Would The Basic Income Guarantee Satisfy The Unemployed?,” Economonitor, July 9th, 2013

- See more at: http://www.economonitor.com/blog/2013/07/how-big-is-big-enough-would-the-basic-income-guarantee-satisfy-the-unemployed/#sthash.dDSXay3l.dpuf

 

 

 

 

 

Yglesias, Matthew: for articles on BIG in Slate magazine

Aynur Bashirova – BI News – 2013.

 

Basic Income has a new advocate at a major U.S. publication. Since December 2012, Matthew Yglesias has published four articles in Slate magazine, each arguing for basic income, either on the basis that it would speed up the economic activity and that it would reduce poverty.

            He argues that the current system of getting out of economic crisis and ending poverty is too complex and it does not work. Instead, he says, we should find a simpler and faster approach, which is to print money and distribute it to everyone, regardless of his or her income. If people had more money, they would be buying more things. Increasing the size of savings would reduce the borrowing costs of firms and this will push up the value of stocks and other financial assets.

            Yglesias accepts that there is one downside to this approach, which is the risk of inflation due to printing too much money. However, the central bank has promised it is temporarily capable of tolerating 2.5% of inflation, until unemployment falls below 6.5%. Currently, inflation is just below 2%, which means that there is a room to implement Yglesias’ plan, which should help the US get out of the crisis. 

            On the issue of poverty, Yglesias draws the simple conclusion, “I've come to think that directly transfering [sic] cash money to people in need is the most underrated tool around for fighting poverty.”

            He makes the connection between his two goals for basic income clear from his first article. Specifically discussing international poverty relief in Kenya, he writes, “when you give a poor household stuff that helps them but in some ways may undercut local businesses involved in the production and distribution of stuff. Transferring purchasing power (i.e. money) to a high-poverty community not only helps the recipient, but creates economic opportunities for others to obtain that money by providing useful goods and services.”

 

Matthew Yglesias is Slate's business and economics correspondent. Before joining the magazine he worked for ThinkProgress, the Atlantic, TPM Media, and the American Prospect. His first book, Heads in the Sand, was published in 2008. His second, The Rent Is Too Damn High, was published in March.

 

All four articles are online at Slate:

 

Yglesias, Matthew. (2013). “The Best and Simplest Way to Fight Global Poverty.” Slate. May 29, 2013.

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2013/05/unconditional_cash_transfers_giving_money_to_the_poor_may_be_the_best_tool.html

 

Yglesias, Matthew. (2013). “EITC Isn’t the Alternative to a Minimum Wage. This Is.”

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/02/17/guaranteed_basic_income_the_real_alternative_to_the_minimum_wage.html

 

Yglesias, Matthew. (2013). “Print Money. Mail Everybody a Check.” Slate, April 1, 2013.

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2013/04/helicopter_money_federal_reserve_should_print_money_and_give_it_directly.html.

 

Yglesias, Matthew, “Fighting Poverty By Giving Poor People Money” Slate Magazine, Dec. 25, 2012

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/12/25/give_directly_the_new_charity_that_fights_money_by_giving_poor_people_money.html

 

 

 

 

 

Yglesias, Matthew, “Good News About Unconditional Transfers to the Global Poor”

In the latest of several articles on Basic Income for Slate magazine, Matthew Yglesias reports on a pilot project in Uganda. The project found “recipients of one-off lump-sum cash transfers earn substantially higher annual incomes two and four years after the intervention.”

 

Yglesias, Matthew, “Good News About Unconditional Transfers to the Global Poor,” Slate May 29, 2013
http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/05/29/good_news_about_unconditional_transfers.html

 

 

Zeese, Kevin and Margaret Flowers, Time for an Economy Of, By and For the People

Zeese, Kevin and Margaret Flowers, “Time for an Economy Of, By and For the People,” Global Research, June 25, 2013

This article argues for basic income as a response to technological unemployment, The authors write, “because of increases in technology that replace workers, we need to face a very important reality that is never discussed – there may never be enough jobs.”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/time-for-an-economy-of-by-and-for-the-people/5340471

 

5. Links

 

The Basic Income Project

The Basic Income Project is to build a smart phone application that uses a type of digital currency which gets injections of unconditional basic income for communities and individuals to start using in their initiatives.

 

http://basicincomeproject.org/

 

 

6. Audio-Video

 

AUDIO: Discussion of eleven one-minute cases for Basic Income

[USBIG – June 2013]

BlogTalkRadio interviews Timothy Roscoe Carter about his recent opinion piece on BI News, entitled “The One Minute Case for a Basic Income.” Carter’s piece actually has eleven different one-minute arguments for basic income, each focused to appeal to a different ideology. BlogTalkRadio and Carter discuss at least half of them and several other aspects of basic income. The interview was originally posted on June 9, 2013.

The interview is online at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/tzmsacdavis/2013/06/09/a-basic-unconditial-income-for-everyone#.UbULZ1gZTZg.facebook
Carter’s original opinion piece is on BI News at: http://binews.org/2013/02/opinion-the-one-minute-case-for-a-basic-income/

 

 

SLIDE SHOW: Jourdan, Stanislas “The Basic Income Movement in France”

 

The situation of the Basic Income movement is evolving rapidly. This slide show, presented at a conference in Berlin, summarizes some of the developments of the Basic Income movement in France in 2013.

 

Jourdan, Stanislas “The Basic Income Movement in France,” Slideshare.net 30 May 2013

http://fr.slideshare.net/StanislasJourdan/the-basic-income-movement-in-france

 

SLIDE SHOW: Basic Income Grant Pilot Project in Namibia

This PowerPoint slideshow by Uhuru Dempers summarizes some of the results of the Basic Income Pilot Project in Otjivero, Namibia.

 

It’s online at: http://www.slideshare.net/SIANIAgri/basic-income-grant-pilot-project-in-namibiasentationatstockholmseminar11thsept2012

 

VIDEO: Martin Ford discussion BIG on the CBC

Martin Ford is the author of The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future. In a recent interview Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC), he discussed the impact that automation is having on jobs. Asked about a solution, he recommends a ‘guaranteed minimum income,’ because there will be no one to buy what the machines can make otherwise. The host, Nora Young, asked about regulating automation to control it to keep jobs from disappearing. Ford explained why that was a very bad idea.

 

The video is online at the CBC website:

http://www.cbc.ca/spark/full-interviews/2013/06/13/rise-of-the-robots-the-automated-workforce/

 

 

 

VIDEO: Malcolm Torry: two YouTube videos on Basic Income

Malcolm Torry, head of Britain’s BIEN affiliate, the Citizen’s Income Trust and author of the book, Money for Everyone: Why we need a Citizen’s Income, has two videos on YouTube discussing his book.

The two videos are online at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDpAz_KOcgo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_iAehEKjxg

 

VIDEO: Bloomberg national Television discusses BIG

Al Sheahen, author of the Basic Income Guarantee: Your Right to Economic Security, discussed BIG on Bloomberg Television. His interview, by Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television's "Bottom Line," was broadcast nationally live on July 22 and is now available online at the following link.
http://www.businessweek.com/videos/2013-07-22/what-is-the-guaranteed-income-bill

 

VIDEO: Basic Income, a new human right

The European Citizens Initiative for Basic Income has produced a 3-minute cartoon video (published on Mar 28, 2013) introducing the idea of basic income and encouraging Europeans to sign the petition for basic income in the European Union.

 

The video is online here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zru79jcVTt4

Sign the petition here: http://sign.basicincome2013.eu

Follow us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ECI.BasicIncome

 

 

VIDEO: Guy Standing, “Why the Precariat Requires a Basic Income.”

In this 37-minute video, Guy Standing explains what the precariat class is, why it is so important to contemporary politics, and why solving the problem of a class of people with a precarious existence requires a basic income.

 

It’s online at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WaA8zqjBSk

 

VIDEOS: Politics in an Equal Money System

This YouTube video channel has more than a dozen different videos discussing different aspects of BIG. According to the channel’s introduction, “Politics in an Equal Money System will essentially not exist as it does now, where you have a small portion of the population given all the power to make decisions for the rest of the population, that the population must live by, whether not they agree with them. In an Equal Money System, Politicians will have no power to make decisions. Everyone will participate in the decision making.”

The channel is online at: http://www.youtube.com/user/EqualMoneyWiki

VIDEO: Andrew MacAfee recommends BIG in a TED talk

BIG has been recommended in a TED talk by MIT's Andrew McAfee, who cites arguments similar to ones presented at earlier NABIG Congresses. "The New Machine Age" brings on the possibility of a very good or very bad future. He only mentions BIG 9:55 seconds into the talk but it is well set up.

It’s online at: http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_mcafee_what_will_future_jobs_look_like.html

 

VIDEO: Sustainable Basic Income Proposal

 

This video is a live discussion with Anna Brix, Darryl Thomas, and Marlen Vargas on the latest developments on basic income to make it a sustainable system that works for everyone in every country in the world. Published on YouTube on June 16, 2013

It’s online at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmWv-0zcLy4&feature=youtu.be

 

VIDEO: “A town without poverty”

This YouTube video is a 7-minute Canadian Broadcasting Company interview with Evelyn Forget on her examination of the results of the guaranteed income experiment conducted in Dauphin, Manitoba in the 1970s. Forget found many positive effects including an 8 percent reduction in hospital emissions. She explains that when you work in a hospital, “a lot of what you’re treating is the effects of poverty.”

It’s online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pQ1CapAOu7M

 

7. The NewsFlash and BI News request volunteers

The BIEN NewsFlash and the Basic Income News Website (binews.org) are entirely written, edited, and maintained by volunteers. We need help from volunteers. We need people to write articles, to translate articles, and to help improve the appearance of website and the email newsletter. If you’re interested in helping, please contact the editor, Karl Widerquist <karl@widerquist.com>.

 

 

8. About the Basic Income Earth Network and its NewsFlash

BIEN NewsFlash:
Editor: Karl Widerquist
The BIEN NewsFlash is the newsletter of the Basic Income Earth Network. It is mailed electronically every two months to over 1,500 subscribers throughout the world. If you would like to be added or removed from the subscription list, please go to: http://www.basicincome.org/bien/subscribe.php.
BIEN’s news website is BInews.org. It includes many of the articles from the NewsFlash, daily news on basic income, book reviews, opinion, and more.
Items for inclusion or review in future NewsFlashes and BI News please contact BIEN’s News Editor, Karl Widerquist <Karl@widerquist.com>
Or go to the following page on the BI News website: http://binews.org/contribute.php

Thanks for help with this issue to Cindy L’Hirondelle, Guy Standing, Steve Shafarman, Michael Howard, and others.

 

BIEN

Co-chairs:
Ingrid VAN NIEKERK ivanniekerk@epri.org.za, Economic Policy Research Institute, Cape Town, South Africa
Karl WIDERQUIST
Karl@Widerquist.com, Georgetown University, SFS-Qatar

Further details about BIEN's Executive Committee and International Board as well as further information about the Recognised National Networks can be found on our website www.basicincome.org

MEMBERSHIP

All life members of the Basic Income European Network, many of whom were non-Europeans, have automatically become life members of the Basic Income Earth Network. To join them, just send your name and address (postal and electronic) to Almaz Zelleke <azelleke@gmail.com>, Secretary of BIEN, and transfer EUR 100 to BIEN's account 001 2204356 10 at FORTIS BANK (IBAN: BE41 0012 2043 5610), 10 Rond-Point Schuman, B-1040 Brussels, Belgium. An acknowledgement will be sent upon receipt.


BIEN Life-members can become "B(I)ENEFACTORS" by giving another 100 Euros or more to the Network. The funds collected will facilitate the participation of promising BI advocates coming from developing countries or from disadvantaged groups.

 

For a list of members and B(I)Enefactors go to www.basicincome.org.

 

The items included in BIEN NewsFlashes are not protected by any copyright. They can be reproduced and translated at will. But if you use them, please mention their source, the address of the Basic Income Earth Network (including its web site www.basicincome.org), and the exact references of the events or publications concerned. Thank you.