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US: Boston Review Publishes Forum on Basic Income

Boston Review, an American political and literary magazine, has published a forum on basic income as the periodical’s spring 2017 print edition. It is also freely available online.  

The forum begins with a lead article by Temple University law professor Brishen Rogers (“Basic Income in Just Society”), with responses from Roy Bahat, Peter Barnes, Annette Bernhardt, Juliana Bidadanure, Diane Coyle, Patrick Diamond, Philippe van Parijs, Connie Razza, David Rolf, Tommie Shelby, Dorian T. Warren, and Corrie Watterson.

Introduction to the special edition:

Technology and the loss of manufacturing jobs have many worried about future mass unemployment. It is in this context that basic income—a government cash grant given unconditionally to all—has gained support from a surprising range of advocates, from Silicon Valley to labor. Our contributors explore basic income’s merits, not only as a salve for financial precarity, but as a path toward racial justice and equality. Others, more skeptical, see danger in a basic income designed without attention to workers’ power and the quality of work. Together they offer a nuanced debate about what it will take to tackle inequality and what kind of future we should aim to create.

Boston Review has published articles about basic income occasionally in the past, and published several recent articles on the topic outside of the forum (including “No Racial Justice Without Basic Income” by the California-based social justice group The Undercommons and “Basic Income Works” by Paul Niehaus and Michael Faye of GiveDirectly).     

According to Wikipedia, the magazine has a circulation of about 62,000.

Reviewed by Dave Clegg

Kate McFarland

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 494 articles.

Kate is semi-retired professional student, (former) philosopher of language, and freelance writer and researcher. She received a grant from the Economic Security Project in December 2016 in recognition of her work for Basic Income News. Despite her personally grounded critique of the monetization of volunteer labor, Kate is grateful for donations to her Patreon page, which help to support her continued work a freelance writer currently specializing in basic income. (Anonymous donations preferred to prevent both the encroachment of bias in her own work and the encroachment of transactional norms into her social relationships.)

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One comment

  • Basic income’s potential to help deal with job market “restructuring” is one of its major promises. By uncoupling paid labour from the right to a modest subsistence, it teaches us to let go of the work ethic as a driving cultural force. Unless we learn to do just that, automation will continue to rend the fabric of human society. A transition to a future free from widerspread material misery and social unrest will be beyond our capabilities..

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