Category Archives: The Independentarian

The Independentarian

One-minute video answering the question, “Would it be possible to fund UBI in America?”

Of course, it is possible to fund UBI in America. Based on my calculations from a forthcoming article in Basic Income Studies, this one-minute video argues that a UBI large enough to eliminate poverty in the United States will cost 2.95% of the GDP per year–even if no other entitlement programs are replaced or reduced.    

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A very different take on the question, “Could UBI be a solution if automation eliminates jobs in the US?”

In this one-minute video, I argue that people look at automation and UBI in the wrong way. We must not wait until the predicted day when automation reduces the total number of jobs available. Automation creates two important reasons to introduce UBI right now even if automation is not going to reduce the total number of jobs available any time soon.

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Alaskan Dividend influence: Alberta, New Mexico, and beyond (from 2005)

This essay was originally published in the USBIG NewsFlash in October 2005.    Dividend checks from the Alaska Permanent Fund (APF) go out this month paying $845.76 (US), to every Alaska resident. (The APF is the only existing Basic Income in the world. It pays yearly dividends based on earnings from an investment fund created out of the state’s oil

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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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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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