Category Archives: The Independentarian

The Independentarian

Jay Hammond, Father of the Alaskan Basic Income, Dies at 83 (from 2005)

This essay was originally published in the USBIG NewsFlash in August 2005.    Jay Hammond, the governor of Alaska from 1975 to 1982, who led the fight to create the Alaska Permanent Fund, was found dead at his Homestead about 185 miles southwest of Anchorage, on Tuesday, August 2, 2005. He led an amazing life. Hammond was a laborer, a

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The Basic Income Guarantee Experiments of the 1970s: a quick summary of results

So many countries are currently conducting or seriously talking about starting Universal Basic Income (UBI) experiments that it’s becoming hard to keep track. These are not the first experiments in UBI or other forms of Basic Income Guarantee (BIG). Namibia and India conducted UBI experiments in the late 2000s and early 2010s. And between 1968 and 1980, the U.S. and

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Public Reaction to the Basic Income Guarantee Experiments in the 1970s: a case of misunderstanding, misuse, oversimplification, and spin

This post is one of several previewing the book I’m writing on Universal Basic Income (UBI) experiments, and it is the second of two reviewing the five Negative Income Tax (NIT) experiments conducted by the U.S. and Canadian Government in the 1970s. This post draws heavily on my earlier work, “A Failure to Communicate: What (if anything) Can We Learn

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Basic Income Experiments—The Devil’s in the Caveats

The devil’s in the details is a common saying about policy proposals. Perhaps we need a similar saying for policy research, something like the devil’s in the caveats. By this, I mean that the evidence any particular piece of research can provide is only a small part of the evidence people need to fully evaluate policy proposals. Non-specialists involved in

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AS THE UNITED STATES SLIDES INTO RECESSION (from 2001)

This essay was originally published in the USBIG NewsFlash in December 2001.   As I was putting this newsletter together, the National Bureau of Economic Research officially announced that the U.S. economy has been in recession since last March. The delay in the diagnosis is nothing unusual because a downturn is not considered a recession unless it lasts for a

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Justice as the Pursuit of Accord: Toward a non-utopian theory of justice

I have just posted a new academic article on my “selected works” cite. It’s called, “Justice as the Pursuit of Accord: Toward a non-utopian theory of justice.”  Here’s a brief summary: The hardest thing for any society to do is to avoid oppressing its least advantaged people. This article argues that well-meaning theories of justice contribute to this problem by

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Now out on audio: My Own Private Basic Income

My recent article, “My Own Private Basic Income” (Open Democracy, June 2017) just came out on audio (September 2017). Karl Miller, an actor and professional voice-over artist, reads the piece. The publisher summarizes it as follows, “One person’s experience becoming a business owner shows how our economy is based on luck rather than merit and how it rewards people who

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