Book Announcements

NEW BOOK: Korean edition of Daniel Raventós’s Basic Income: The Material Conditions of Freedom

Economist Daniel Raventós’s book Basic Income: The Material Conditions of Freedom has now been published in Korean.

The book addresses common questions such as the following: “Is a basic income just?” “Why would an unconditional basic income be more effective at combating poverty than means-tested benefits?” “How can a basic income be financed?” “How would work be affected by a basic income?”

The first version of the book (El derecho a la existencia: La propuesta del Subsidio Universal Garantizado) was published in Spanish in 1999. An updated version was published in both Spanish and English in 2007, and a Czech edition was published in 2014.

As he describes in the book’s preface, Raventós’s visit to Seoul for BIEN’s 16th Congress affirmed his interest in promoting basic income in South Korea:

corean“One of the highlights of my trip to South Korea was a meeting requested by Lee Jae-myung, mayor of the city of Seongnam and Korean translator of this book. This was most agreeable and instructive and Lee Jae-myung’s account of what he thought were the possibilities for basic income in South Korea convinced me of his deep knowledge of the proposal. My visit to Seoul was certainly very useful for me and also, I hope, for making basic income better known in South Korea.

“It is my heartfelt wish that this book, now available in Korean, will contribute towards greater knowledge of basic income among Korean speakers. I am grateful to Chaekdam for publishing it and would be delighted if South Korea were soon among the countries where basic income enjoys widespread support. I say I would be delighted because, to paraphrase the great Thomas Paine, we fight for basic income not as a matter of charity but of justice.”

The preface of Basic Income: The Material Conditions of Freedom is viewable online (in English), and a complete copy of the book is available as a free pdf download.

Daniel Raventós is a Professor at the University of Barcelona and president of BIEN’s Spanish affiliate, Red Renta Básica.


Reviewed by Julen Bollain

Korean fish market photo CC BY 2.0 Ryan Bodenstein

Kate McFarland

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 500 articles.

I was a statistician, then a philosopher, then a journalist for a certain Basic Income News, and I have never been the sort to wed myself to any specific position or career path. (I have always chosen to remain in the precariat for this reason: my sense of duty is strong enough that I’d risk imperiling my own self-development if I were to accept a permanent position.) If you want to learn more about what I’m about, and how I see my ideal roles in the basic income community going forth, read the “cover letter” of sorts that is my Patreon homepage (updated November 2017).

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One comment

  • Steve Godenich

    From Chapter 8 on “Financing”:

    “Proposals have included sub-state regions, as in the case of Alaska,”

    Unfortunately, the amount is far below the poverty level. On a larger scale, Venezuela and Libya would seem to be ideal candidates, but the current state of affairs in these two nations demonstrate otherwise, indicating other politico-economic factors are in play.

    “and suprastate political spheres like the European Union and the countries of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).”

    All EU propositions fall below the poverty line, their government structure is centralized top-down diktat where the legislature (which cannot originate legislation) is marginalized to the point of voting yes or no. The accountability of top echelon politicians to local constituencies is so far removed that it is almost non-existent. The monetary authority has also been centralized in the ECB, relegating EU state central banks to functionaries with little control over the currency. Because of this, nationalizing natural resources will benefit TNC insiders and little or no benefit will trickle down to the public. The troika (EC,ECB,IMF) and Greece set the example. The same rigid social class, mentioned below, may emerge. Any EU-wide carbon taxes will simply be passed down to the public in higher prices.

    “The study demonstrates that the proposal is viable in economic terms and that the impact of the distribution of income would be highly progressive.”

    The author’s preferred form of financing a basic income by steeper progressive taxation translates to reducing social and economic mobility lending itself to a rigidly defined social class system.

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