Category Archives: Opinion

The Basic Income Guarantee: what stands in its way?

By Tom Streithorst The Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) is back in the news. The Finns are considering implementing it, as are the Swiss, replacing all means tested benefits with a simple grant to every citizen, giving everyone enough money to survive. Unlike most current benefits programs, it is not contingent on being worthy or deserving or even poor. Everybody gets it, you, me, Rupert

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French MP wants basic income to replace all welfare: is he right?

In the past few months, basic income has been widely debated in the French public arena and mainstream media are starting to pay attention to it. This trend has been influenced by the announcement of pilot projects in the Netherlands and Finland, and the upcoming referendum in Switzerland. Recently, there have been important developments in the national political arena too.

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Swiss politicians reject basic income because they are scared of humans

By Che Wagner Originally published in German in the Swiss online newspaper Tages Woche. Translated by Matthias Lindemer for Basic Income News. (Photo shows activists of the Swiss Basic Income Initiative with a banner inside a vault. Credit: Stefan Bohrer) On Wednesday, September 23, 2015, the Swiss parliament debated a popular petition for an unconditional basic income. Enough signatures were

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Review of “Energy Security, Equality, and Justice,” by Sovacool, Sidortsov and Jones

Benjamin K. Sovacool, Roman V. Sidortsov, & Benjamin R. Jones, Energy Security, Equality, and Justice, Routledge, 2014, xix + 213 pp. This book is a recent product of the Vermont Law School’s Institute for Energy and the Environment’s research on how to ‘equitably provide available, affordable, reliable, efficient, environmentally benign, proactively governed, and socially acceptable energy services to households and

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Would a Basic Income ‘corrupt’ the poor?

In the 90s, the United States implemented some of the most far-reaching changes to welfare in modern American history. Bill Clinton worked with Republicans to “end welfare as we know it” and eliminate welfare’s supposed corrupting influence on the poor. Except the “corrupting influence” of government assistance never existed. A recent article by the New York Times pointed out that recent

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First basic income create-a-thon in San Francisco a great success

November 13-15, 2015, San Francisco. A group of basic income supporters joined forces for the first ever basic income ‘create-a-thon’. For those not familiar with the concept of create-a-thons, these are events where people from a range of professions meet up voluntarily to work and create something together. In general, they gather to work on a project that has a

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UNITED STATES: Successful launch for America’s first crowdfunded basic income project

A team of UBI supporters has successfully kicked off the first initiative to crowdfund basic income in the United States. The so-called My Basic Income project is already off to a strong start, having raised 3,403 dollars in the first three days alone. Once there is enough money in the pot, a randomly chosen participant will receive $1,250 a month

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Would a universal basic income be the ‘death’ of civil society?

The most common criticisms of a universal basic income (UBI) are that it is unfeasible and too expensive. However, in a recent series on UBI in the Washington Post, some of the strongest attacks dealt with the possibility that it may undermine civil society in the United States. Jonathan Coppage, associate editor of The American Conservative magazine, argues that a

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