Category Archives: Opinion

BIG PILOT PROJECT IN NAMIBIA HAS POSITIVE IMPACT (from 2008)

This essay was originally published in the USBIG NewsFlash in October 2008.   In January 2008, a Basic Income Grant (BIG) pilot project began in the Otjivero-Omitara area in Namibia. All residents below the age of 60 years receive a Basic Income Grant of 100 Namibian dollars per person per month, without any conditions attached. According to BIEN, the grant

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WHAT DOES THE STONE AGE HAVE TO DO WITH US? (from 2008)

This essay was originally published in the USBIG NewsFlash in June 2008.   What does the Stone Age have to do with modern justice? According to property rights advocates: everything; their arguments rely on two factual claims that can be enlightened by a look at prehistoric anthropology. (1) Property begins as individual property and then governments come along and impose

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UBI’s Impact on Work Culture: Not a Question for the Experimenters

My interest in basic income stemmed from the conjecture that such a policy could help to ignite a progression away from the culture of total work. However, there are many open empirical questions regarding the exact way in which a basic income would (or would not) influence work-related attitudes and behaviors. One might hope that current and planned experiments will

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A BASIC INCOME SUPPORTER’S VIEW OF THE SALES TAX MOVEMENT (from 2008)

This essay was originally published in the USBIG NewsFlash in February 2008.   The unexpected success of Mike Huckabee in the Republican primaries has given a substantial boost to the small movement to replace all federal taxes with a national sales tax with an accompanying tax rebate in the form of a partial basic income (see story above). The basic

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ALASKA’S BIG PARODIED IN THE SIMPSON’S MOVIE (from 2007)

This essay was originally published in the USBIG NewsFlash in November 2007.   Public awareness of BIG took a small step forward this summer when the Simpsons Movie made a joke about it. Homer and his family are greeted at the Alaskan border by an official who says, “Welcome to Alaska. Her ares a thousand dollars. We pay everyone in Alaska to

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FATHER OF “WORKFARE” IN THE U.S. ENDORSES BIG IN IRAQ (from 2007)

This essay was originally published in the USBIG NewsFlash in April 2007.   Republican Presidential Candidate Tommy Thompson has endorsed BIG—at least in a foreign country. On his campaign website, the former Wisconsin Governor calls himself “the reliable conservative in the 2008 presidential race.” The first reason he gives is, “Tommy Thompson is the father of welfare reform.” Thompson has

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