BIEN

BASIC INCOME EARTH NETWORK

NewsFlash Volume 26, no. 71, Autumn 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

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

3. News

4. Events

5. Publications

6. Audio-Video

7. New Links

8. About the Basic Income Earth Network and its NewsFlash

 

1. Editorial: Too much news of one newsletter

Thanks largely to the success of the Swiss petition drive for basic income (see stories below), there has been an enormous increase in media attention to the issue of basic income around the world in the last few months. Major media outlets across Europe, in the United States, and around the world have been talking about the idea. The attention has been exiting and literally overwhelming. The coverage of Basic Income News and its accompanying NewsFlashes has increased, but it can no longer hope to be comprehensive. The NewsFlash presents some of the most important news, much more is available online at Basic Income News (BInews.org).
-Karl Widerquist, Doha, Qatar, December 1, 2013

 

 

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

 

15th International Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN): “Re-democratizing the Economy,” Friday June 27th to Sunday June 29th, 2014 McGill Faculty of Law, Montreal, Quebec.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Featured speakers for the BIEN Congress 2014 include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

3. News

SWITZERLAND: Citizen’s initiative formally accepted

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

 

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

 

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

 

Source (in German):

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

 

SWITZERLAND: National Referendum will be held on Basic Income

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

 

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

 

For more on the initiative see:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

EUROPEAN UNION: The European Initiative for Basic Income begins crowd-sourcing campaign.

 

The European Citizens' Initiative for Unconditional Basic Income has opened a crowd-funding (or crowd-sourcing) campaign. They are calling on basic income supporters to donate to help finance the collection of the rest of the 875,000 signatures needed to pass the initiative.

 

The crowd-sourcing initiative is inspire by Croatia, which in September 2013, started promoting their built basic income website and their Facebook page. By October 15th, Croatia, the last country to enter the race for signatures, became the first country to collect their minimum quota of signatures. They achieved it in only 45 days, using nothing but the power of the Internet, and the attention of the media. Sweden and Portugal, which have begun trying Croatia’s tactics, are now seeing an enormous increase in signatures.

 

For more information or to donate or sign the initiative, go to:

http://funding.basicincome2013.eu/

 

EUROPEAN UNION: Slovenia becomes second country to reach the target signatures for the Basic Income European Citizens Initiative

[Craig Axford]

 

On October 24th, Slovenia joined Croatia to become the second EU nation reaching the required number of signatures on the Basic Income Initiative in Europe.  If the initiative receives one million signatures and receives the required level of support in at least seven EU member nations, the EU will evaluate a basic income guarantee in Europe.

 

“Slovenia has become the second country to reach the target”, Basic Income Initiative in Europe, October 24, 2013: http://www.basicincome.gr/portal/slovenia-has-become-the-second-country-to-reach-the-target/

 

EUROPEAN UNION: Citizens’ Initiative for Basic Income can be signed online

Aynur Bashirova – BIEN

European citizens’ initiative petition on basic income was launched earlier this year. Basic income initiative believes in distributing minimum income to all the citizens without conditionality and regardless of the employment. The petition can be signed online by any EU citizen based on universal suffrage. If the initiative manages to collect 1 million signatures from at least seven EU countries, the initiative will be looked upon by the European Parliament.

For more information go to: European Commission. (14 January 2013). Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) - Exploring a pathway towards emancipatory welfare conditions in the EU. European Citizens’ Initiative. http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/initiatives/ongoing/details/2013/000001/en. Accessed 22 October 2013.

 

CANADA BICN announces: “the BIG Push”

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

 

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

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

 

 

UNITED STATES: The Alaska Permanent Fund recovers from the financial crisis as worries continue about future revenues

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

 

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

 

Recent articles on the Fund and Dividend include:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

UNITED STATES: Occupy Strategy Group includes BIG in its top 10 recommended strategic objectives

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

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

http://www.usbig.net/whatisbig.php”

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

CYPRUS: President announces “Guaranteed Minimum Income” program

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

IRELAND: Green Party Endorses Basic Income

The Green Party of Ireland has released its budget plan and it includes the endorsement of a basic income. Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said, "We believe this budget should provide the first phase in the move towards a basic income system.  This would do more than anything else to get people out of the social welfare traps that exist and to value the massive amount of voluntary and caring work that goes on in our society."

 

For more info, see Green Party Communications September 27, 2013: http://greenparty.ie/news.html?n=263

 

 

INTERNATIONAL: Open call for the creation of a worldwide basic income youth network

Members of the Basic Income Youth Network (BIYN) of Korea are interested in organizing a global network of young people who are interested in activism for Basic Income. They have put out a call for BI activists and organizations who are interested in this project. Initial members include BH Jo, Juon Kim, Nakang, Smila, Eunseon Park, and Gurogu Kimkang-kimyoung.

The project’s draft is online at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Pc5hx1fN4q0q0ZH-gfIpdyqz8uqphTV3jiqaC7B74lA/edit)
For more information contact the organizers at: Biyn.smila@gmail.com

 

 

NAMIBIA: Central Bank to Discuss the Basic Income Grant

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

 

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

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

 

 

INTERNATIONAL: Roisin Mulligan wins BIS Essay Prize

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

 

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

 

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

 

4. Events

 

Celbridge, Ireland: Public Event about Basic Income, November 23rd, 2013

Members of the Basic Income Ireland network will participate in a public event about basic income at the Public Library in Celbridge, Co Kildare, at 2pm on Saturday Nov 23rd. The event will begin with a short presentation about the fundamentals of basic income and there will be plenty of time for questions and discussion. The event is being hosted jointly by Cultivate Celbridge and Transition Town Maynooth.

Everyone is welcome to attend. The library is just off the main street (turn at AIB) and the bus from Dublin city centre is the number 67.

 

For more information go to: http://www.basicincomeireland.com/1/post/2013/10/participative-public-event-about-basic-income-nov-23rd.html

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Bern, Switzerland: Swiss Basic Income Initiative Calls for Gathering, October 4, 2013


The 4th of October will be a major event for the international Basic Income community. The 116,000 signatures collected in Switzerland since April 2012 for the popular initiative for an unconditional basic income will be handed over to the Swiss parliament. Because of this initiative, within 4 years every Swiss citizen will know the idea of unconditional basic income (UBI) and have to vote on whether they want or not a basic income. It will be the first time in history that the people of a country will be asked to make this choice. Organizers of the Swiss Basic Income Initiative have requested supporters to gather in the Swiss capital of Bern for the handover.

Meeting point : Friday, 4th October, at 10am, Bundesplatz 3, in Bern. Signatures will be handed over to the Federal Chancellery at 11am. Then supporters will have a prepared lunch together and finally a party at 8pm in the “Turnhalle,” next to Bern station.

The Swiss initiative in details: The popular initiative for UBI was launched in 2012. It aims to have a new clause incorporated into the Swiss constitution that the Confederation “shall ensure the introduction of an unconditional basic income. The basic income shall enable the whole population to live in human dignity and participate in public life. The law shall particularly regulate the way in which the basic income is to be financed and the level at which it is set.”

For more information (in English) go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/557424807640024/

For information in French, see: https://www.facebook.com/events/407789052654692/

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Guest Speaker: Prof. Karl Widerquist

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

 

Europe, 6th International Week of the Basic Income, September 16-22

The International Week of the Basic Income will take place 16 to 22 September 2013. For its 6th edition, the week of basic income will focus on raising awareness on the European Citizens Initiative for an Unconditional Basic Income. Proponents of Unconditional Basic Income in 22 Member States of the European Union have joined their forces to make this week of basic income a major event.

 

Web sites organizing a Week of the Basic Income are:

Germany, Switzerland, Austria (German language)

www.woche-des-grundeinkommens.eu

Netherlands, Belgium (Dutch language)

week-van-het-basisinkomen.nl

France, Belgium, Switzerland (French):

semaine.revenudebase.info

 

 

Berlin, Germany, Unconditional Basic Income - Liberty meets Justice, 14 September 2013

[Robin Ketelaars - Vereniging Basisinkomen]

Just before the election of the 18th German Bundestag a BIG demo will take place. The demonstration will be held on the 14th of September 2013 starting at 13:00 in Berlin at the Neptunbrunnen.

The demonstration is titled: "Unconditional Basic Income -  Liberty meets Justice" and is organized by the German network for Basic Income (Netzwerk Grundeinkommen) in coöperation with the European Citizens Initiative for Basic Income (ECI-UBI). So this event is not only a German event.

The participants will start at Neptunbrunnen and will walk towards the Swiss embassy. Switserland is not a part of the EU, but also fighting for a BI [1]. In front of the Swiss embassy most of the representatives of the ECI-UBI from all the participating countries will make a 30-second statement about BI.

 

In the evening a book launch and book reading will take place in the House of Democracy and Human Rights. There  guests from all over Europe can meet and greet.

 

More info: http://grundeinkommen-ist-ein-menschenrecht.blogspot.de

 

[1] A Swiss petition drive has collected more than the 100,000 signatures necessary to trigger a referendum on introducing Basic Income in Switzerland.  http://binews.org/2013/08/switzerland-initiative-claims-enough-signatures-to-trigger-a-referendum-on-big/

 

 

5. Publications

Several articles on the Swiss Basic Income Referendum

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Martin, Melissa, International Perspectives on Guaranteed Annual Income Programs

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

Matt Bruenig’s articles on BIG include:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Tom Boland, “Column: Should every citizen receive an unconditional basic income?”

Switzerland is considering the introduction of a Basic Income scheme, which would guarantee a standard benefit income to every citizen, regardless of need. Tom Boland looks at how that system would work in Ireland. Tom Boland lectures in Sociology at Waterford Institute of Technology, and is co-ordinator of the Waterford Unemployment Experiences Research Collaborative.

 

Tom Boland, “Column: Should every citizen receive an unconditional basic income?” TheJournal.ie, October 30, 2013: http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/basic-income-switzerland-should-every-citizen-receive-an-unconditional-basic-income-1128378-Oct2013/

 

 

David Jenkins, “Why Reciprocity Might be Bullshit”

[Craig Axford]

 

In this blog the author questions the conventional standards of reciprocity.  Recent economic downturns have left too many people seeking opportunities to reciprocate by ‘contributing’ in the usual way, via a traditional job.  BIG will empower people to contribute through volunteerism or to more effectively democratically challenge society.

David Jenkins, “Why Reciprocity Might be Bullshit,” Basic Income UK, October 14, 2013: http://basicincome.org.uk/article/2013/10/reciprocity-bullshit/

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

Kahleej Times, “The basic income movement”

According to this article, ‘Growing unemployment and rising poverty levels in the developed world has led to the re-emergence of a movement calling for “unconditional basic income”, where the state provides a monthly pay cheque to every adult seeking some income.’

Editorial, “The basic income movement,” Kahleej Times, 16 November 2013. http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=/data/editorial/2013/November/editorial_November32.xml&section=editorial

 

Tim Kreider, “The ‘Busy’ Trap”

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Stuart White, “Citizen ownership: the lost radicalism of the centre?”

This article discusses the extremes of global wealth inequality and connects the issue with basic income and related policies.

Stuart White, “Citizen ownership: the lost radicalism of the centre?” Our Kingdom, 8 November 2013. http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/stuart-white/citizen-ownership-lost-radicalism-of-centre

 

 

Ketterer, H., Bossard, E., Neufeind, M., Wehner, T. “Gerechtigkeitseinstellungen und Positionen zum Bedingungslosen Grundeinkommen. [For and against the unconditional basic income: a matter of differences in justice attitudes and life goals?]”

 

ABSTRACT: Since the launch of the referendum on an Unconditional basic income (UBI) in April 2012 a lively debate is being held on the possibility of a society with UBI. The proposal to introduce a basic in- come without means-testing receives strong support as well as strong opposition. How can this be explained? Recently, a study run by a master student at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland and a research group based at ETH Zurich tried to answer this question. The results of the online survey show that there is a link between an individual’s position towards the UBI on the one hand, and his/her understanding of justice and his/her personal life goals on the other hand. Supporters of the UBI consider equality in society important, whereas non-supporters of the UBI tolerate inequalities between individuals if they are based on personal achievement. With regard to life goals, supporters rate community and personal growth as more important than non-supporters who rate wealth and image as more important. However, both supporters and non-supporters report intact social relationships and personal growth as their most important life goals.

 

In German with summaries in English, French and Italian.

 

Ketterer, H., Bossard, E., Neufeind, M., Wehner, T. “Gerechtigkeitseinstellungen und Positionen zum Bedingungslosen Grundeinkommen. [For and against the unconditional basic income: a matter of differences in justice attitudes and life goals?]” Zürcher Beiträge zur Psychologie der Arbeit Zürcher. Issue 2, 2013

http://www.pda.ethz.ch/news/editors/Zurcher_Beitrage_Ketterer_2013.pdf

 

 

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

[Ian Orton]

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

 

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

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

 

 

Mehdi Hasan. “We could fix our economy by giving every man, woman and child £6,000 in cash”.

 

[Ian Orton]

This article criticizes the ineffectiveness of quantitative easing [QE] in the UK and how it has benefited the banking sector and the richest. It suggest the amount spent so far of 375bn could have be ‘given instead as around £6,000 per man, woman and child in the UK. So why not electronically add this to the current accounts of every member of the public? Why not give the QE money directly to ordinary people to spend, save or pay off their debts?’ In 2009, Australia actually did something similar when the global crisis hit, giving one-off cash payments to low- and middle- income groups, particularly pensioners and cash constrained families (ISSA, 2010). This helped soften the impact of the crisis and generated significant positive multiplier effects.


Mehdi Hasan, “We could fix our economy by giving every man, woman and child £6,000 in cash”. New Statesman, October 25, 2013: www.newstatesman.com/2013/10/we-could-fix-our-economy-giving-every-man-woman-and-child-6000-cash

 

For more information about the 2009 Australian payments see also:

ISSA, “Australia’s successful income-led response to the crisis”. ISSA, 2010: www.issa.int/Observatory/In-Focus/In-Focus-Social-security-responding-to-the-financial-crisis/Snapshots/Australia-s-successful-income-led-response-to-the-crisis

 

 

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

[Ian Orton]

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

[Aynur Bashirova]

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

[Craig Axford]

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

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

 

 

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

[Craig Axford]

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

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

 

 

Tom Streithorst, “Basic Income and the Atavistic Appeal of Austerity”

[Craig Axford]

According to this article, fear of inflation and creditors’ desire to be paid back in a strong currency has fuelled the austerity argument.  However, growing productivity and increasing numbers of debtors is driving down demand.  Tom Streithorst argues that a basic guaranteed income is perhaps the only big idea being advanced that could solve that problem.

Tom Streithorst, “Basic Income and the Atavistic Appeal of Austerity,” Pieria, Oct 15, 2013: http://www.pieria.co.uk/articles/basic_income_and_the_atavistic_appeal_of_austerity

 

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

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

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

 

Tom Streithorst, “Creative Destruction, Basic Income and the Jobs of the Future”

[Craig Axford]

In this post in Pieria, Tom Streithorst outlines the history of ‘creative destruction’ that has enhanced productivity as new technologies replaced workers in both the fields and the factories.  He argues agricultural and factory workers alike could once count on moving into new good paying jobs created by emerging technologies, but now rapid automation and the decline of the labour movement is leaving many lucky to find lower paying jobs in the service industry.  A basic income guarantee could raise our standard of living and give employees greater leverage with employers while also presenting an opportunity to rethink our collective relationship with work.

 

Tom Steithorst, “Creative Destruction, Basic Income and the Jobs of the Future” Pieria, August 7, 2013 http://www.pieria.co.uk/articles/creative_destruction_basic_income_and_the_jobs_of_the_future

 

 

 

Linda Raven, “Basic Income Grant in Namibia”

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

 

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

 

See also the following related stories on BI News:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Tina Rosenberg, "The Benefits of Cash Without Conditions"

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

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

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

 

Jürg Müller, “The ‘emancipation of Switzerland or an ‘attack on the welfare state’? The debate over a basic income”

[Craig Axford]

Jürg Müller of the Swiss Review reports proponents of an unconditional basic income (UBI) are planning to submit 100,000 signatures or more to Switzerland’s Federal Chancellery on October 13th. (Organizers of the initiative have since moved that date up to October 4th.) The Swiss initiative, labeled “the emancipation of Switzerland” by supporters, is drawing both support and opposition from across the political spectrum. 


Jürg Müller, “The ‘emancipation of Switzerland or an ‘attack on the welfare state’? The debate over a basic income” Swiss Review, August 2013

http://www.revue.ch/politik-05-de3


Jonny Steinberg, “Idea of jobs for all blinds us to need for welfare”

[Craig Axford]

Jonny Steinberg, professor of African Studies at Oxford University, argues that South Africa’s failure to provide grants to unemployed young men is shifting the burden of supporting this segment of the nation’s population onto the working poor.  This has contributed to the country’s recent labor unrest. Steinberg proposes that South Africa accept there will never be sufficient jobs for everyone, and that by providing a permanent basic income it will produce needed relief to both the nation’s working poor and its unemployed.

 

Jonny Steinberg, “Idea of jobs for all blinds us to need for welfare,” Business Day (South Africa, 26 July 2013

http://www.bdlive.co.za/opinion/columnists/2013/07/26/idea-of-jobs-for-all-blinds-us-to-need-for-welfare

 

Thomas Smith, “The Guaranteed Basic Income - Reality or Utopia?”

[Craig Axford]

 

In this blog post Frank Thomas Smith recounts a recent visit to Germany where he first encountered the idea of a basic guaranteed income.  He explores the challenges companies and employees face as automation and outsourcing continue to reduce the demand for workers, leaving many without jobs.  He concludes that a basic income for everyone will free many to explore new opportunities on their own and enhance creativity within both individuals and society as a whole.

Thomas Smith, “The Guaranteed Basic Income – Reality or Utopia?” Editor’s Page, SouthernCrossReview.org http://southerncrossreview.org/56/basic-income.htm

For more information see: www.unternimm-die-zukunft.de

 

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

 (Craig Axford)

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Victoria White, “We need to stop tax system incentivising dual-income families”

This article Irish Examiner argues in favour of basic income. Summary: Paid work is a scarce resource. Basic income is one way to support people to share the paid work available and still have a decent income. It's also a way to show we value all the unpaid work that people do in communities and households. Victoria White comes at this subject from an unusual angle and advocates basic income as part of the response.

 

Victoria White, “We need to stop tax system incentivising dual-income families,” Irish Examiner, Thursday, August 22, 2013
http://www.irishexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/victoria-white/we-need-to-stop-tax-system-incentivising-dual-income-families-240622.html

 

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

[Aynur Bashirova – BI News]

 

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

 

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

 

 

Stanislas Jourdan, “INTERVIEW: A Way to Get Healthy: Basic Income Experiments in Canada”

From 1974 to 1979, a basic income social experiment known under the name of “Mincome Program” took place in a small Canadian town. Evelyn Forget, researcher, is one of the very few persons who have studied the sociological impact of the guaranteed income experiment. In this interview with Stanislas Jourdan, she explains more about her findings, 30 years after the experiment ended.

 

Stanislas Jourdan, “A Way to Get Healthy: Basic Income Experiments in Canada,” Basic Income UK, August 7, 2013

http://basicincome.org.uk/article/2013/08/health-forget-mincome-poverty/

This article was first published in french on revenudebase.info

 

Baukje Hilarides, “Is het onvoorwaardelijk basisinkomen haalbaar in Nederland? [Is introduction of the UBI in the Netherlands feasible?]”

[Robin Ketelaars - Vereniging Basisinkomen]

In a thesis of the study in Dutch Law at the Open University of the Netherlands 2012, (now) Baukje Hilarides investigated the possibilities and bottlenecks in the implementation of the Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) (OBi in Dutch) in Netherlands. Is the Unconditional Basic Income achievable in the Netherlands? Her answer is: "Yes, because the UBI is line with the Constitution and does not appear to be inconsistent with Article 1 ECtHR FP[1]. The UBI is also affordable and can positively influence society and the economy". It will find the author's current commitment to full employment obsolete, because the automation unemployment will increase rather than decrease. The conclusion at the end of the thesis is that the introduction of the UBI in the Netherlands is feasible. However, extensive research is needed before one can implement the UBI

 

Baukje Hilarides, “Is het onvoorwaardelijk basisinkomen haalbaar in Nederland?” Open University, Leeuwarden 2012: http://dspace.ou.nl/bitstream/1820/4485/1/hilarides.pdf

[1] http://basisinkomen.nl/wp/basisinkomen-positief-getoetst-aan-de-grondwet-en-artikel-1-ep-evrm/

 

 

Guy Standing, “Pleasure Before Business”

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

[Aynur Bashirova – BI News]

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

6. Audio-Video

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

AUDIO: Marina Weisband erklärt das Bedingungslose Grundeinkommen (BGE)

Bundestagswahl, Neuigkeiten

AUDIO: “Marina Weisband erklärt das Bedingungslose Grundeinkommen (BGE)

Bundestagswahl, Neuigkeiten” Pirate Partei [the Pirate Party], 25 August 2013. [Video in German]. http://www.piraten-trier.de/2013/08/marina-weisband-erklaert-das-bedingungslose-grundeinkommen-bge/

 

 

VIDEO: Switzerland Basic Income Mountain of Money Performance”

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

 

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

[Steve Shafarman - USBIG]

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

Emily DeCiccio, “Giving cash directly to the poor”

MSNBC, August 27, 2013-09-30

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

 

 

AUDIO, SWEDISH: Daniela Marquardt “Is Basic Income a solution for Switzerland? [Är medborgarlön en ekonomisk lösning för Schweiz?]”

 

[by Karsten Lieberkind]

 

In this interview (in Swedish), Daniela Marquardt speaks with Daniel Häni who runs a very successful café in Basel, Switzerland, in what was previously a major bank. He is also one of the founders of the Swiss Basic Income movement. This movement has now managed to collect more than 116,000 validated signatures asking for a referendum on Unconditional Basic Income. The signatures will be handed over to the Swiss authorities on October 4. This is made possible by the fact that Switzerland has a direct democracy.

 

Daniel Häni's message is freedom. He wants us to break the traditional strong link between job and income and ask ourselves what we really want in our lives. An Unconditional Basic Income will secure the kind of freedom that makes is possible to realize whatever goal we may have. We will be able to live a decent life without a paid job or demand reasonable conditions if we do have one.

 

The proposal asks for a UBI of 2500 SFr a month to be financed through a sales tax and possibly other revenue sources.

 

Daniela Marquardt, “Är medborgarlön en ekonomisk lösning för Schweiz? [Is Basic Income a solution for Switzerland?],” Swedish Radio P1 ‘Studio Ett’ August 20, 2013

To hear this interview (in Swedish) go to: http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=1637&artikel=5621803

 

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

[Jason Burke Murphy – USBIG]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

7. New Links

 

LINK: “Round Up: Universal Basic Income links”

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

 

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

European Map of Basic Income Groups

The European Citizens Initiative for Basic Income has an interactive map of basic income groups throughout Europe. The map has links and contact info for dozens of groups from Portugal to Finland and from Ireland to Greece.

It’s online at: http://basicincome2013.eu/ubi/european-map-of-basic-income-groups/

 

United Kingdom: Website hopes to create new basic income party

Eric Mutch, who ran for office under the name, Corrupt B’stard, is now trying to start a national political party. The party’s website has information and editorials about basic income.

The party’s website is: http://thebigpoliticalparty.wordpress.com/

 

Arguments for Basic Income: Basic Income would cure most of our current economic problems.

“Arguments for Basic Income: Basic Income would cure most of our current economic problems” is a website curated by Khannea Suntzu.

It’s online at: http://www.scoop.it/t/arguments-for-basic-income

 

BIEN Congress 2014 now available on Facebook and Twitter

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

 

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

 

Basic Income 2013 EU Signature Counter

[Craig Axford]

Every morning at around 8 a.m., basic income guarantee campaigners in Europe receive an update from the European Commission on the number of signatures gathered in each country in support of the European Citizens’ Initiative for an Unconditional Basic Income.  As of this writing with about 206 days to go, just over 17.2% of the required signatures have been gathered.  Use the link provided to follow the European campaign’s progress.

Basic Income 2013 EU Signature Counter, European Initiative for an Unconditional Basic Income: http://basicincome2013.eu/ubi/counter/

 

 

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.