Category Archives: Features

OPINION: Genetics, the deserving and underserving poor

By Michael A. Lewis, Associate Professor The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College After spending 15 years teaching about, writing about, and observing the U.S. welfare state, I believe that the policies that make it up are based on a questionable assumption. In general, U.S. residents think that there are two kinds of people who receive social welfare

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Review: Two Memoirs Tell the History of the Alaska Dividend

Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend is closer to a Basic Income than almost any other policy in the world today. The lessons of how it was created and how it became so popular and successful are extremely important to the Basic Income movement. Two autobiographies available now tell different parts of the story of the Alaska Dividend. One is by Jay

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OPINION: The Answer is Blowin´ in the Wind

Every time I read about the lives lost in the wars of Vietnam and Iraq, in the repression against movements pro-democratization in many Arabian countries, in the recurring conflicts at the borders of Israel and Palestine, in lamentable episodes that killed Chico Mendes, Sister Dorothy Stang, and the couple José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and Maria do Espírito Santo –

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OPINION: FEDERAL INCOME SUPPLEMENT: FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE FOR ALL

INTRODCUTION Over the decades economists have suggested many forms of minimum income, most recently the Basic Income Guarantee or BIG which is an unconditional regular payment from the government to everyone. The objective of this paper is demonstrate the financial feasibility of a specific $12,000 per year per person U.S. federal government program financed entirely by cutting only existing federal

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OPINION: Why Jay Hammond favored a larger dividend, higher taxes, and smaller government

It might be an exaggeration to say that former Alaksa Governor Jay Hammond, the person responsible more than any other for the Permanent Fund Dividend, was a republican thinker in the tradition of Rousseau or Jefferson. I certainly don’t know enough about his history to make this claim. But his reflections on the Alaska Permanent Fund (APF) and the Permanent

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Review: Vladimir Rys, Reinventing Social Security Worldwide

This book is the fruit of a lifetime of academic research and administrative experience in international social security policy. Rys worked for thirty years for the International Social Security Association (ISSA) and for half of that time as its General Secretary, and there can be few people with such a broad geographical and historical overview of the evolution of social security (here understood as financial benefits and also state insurance-funded health provision) and of the challenges facing it.

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Review: Ruth Lister, Understanding Theories and Concepts in Social Policy

Not only is this a most useful textbook, but it is also a sustained argument for the usefulness of theory. The back cover says that the book is for students and their teachers, but because it constantly draws connections between social science theory and practical social policy it will also be read with profit by social policy practitioners.

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Review: Bernd Marin and Eszter Zólyomi (eds), Women's Work and Pensions: What is Good, What is Best?

The chapters of this book started life at a conference organised by the European Centre in Vienna, and it is therefore unsurprising that they contain more about Austria than about any other individual country; but there is still plenty of diversity, and the single country and comparative studies of recent changes in pensions provision contain material on a variety of European countries, including the UK.

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COMMENTARY: A BRIEF PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF BIEN’ 13TH CONGRESS BY PHILIPPE VAN PARIJS

The Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) held its thirteenth biennial congress in Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 30 through July 2, 2010. USBIG has been a national affiliate of BIEN since 2006. Philippe Van Parijs, director of the Hoover Chair of economic and social ethics at the Catholic University of Louvain and Chair of BIEN’s International Advisory Board, wrote the following

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