Category Archives: Opinion

Review: Policy and Politics, volume 39, number 1, January 2011, Special issue: Basic Income

This substantial collection of articles rehearses a plethora of arguments for a Citizen’s income (here termed a Basic Income), arguments both pragmatic and visionary; and an important byproduct for the reader is a distinct sense that the pragmatic and the visionary are related in a way more complex than we might at first have thought.

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Review: James Alm (ed.), The Economics of Taxation

The title of the series to which these volumes belong contains an important ambiguity. A critique is a careful examination of a subject, so a critical writing is a careful study of the subject under review; but in common parlance ‘critical’ also means ‘significant’. (We might say that the title of the series contains a critical ambiguity.) It is in this double sense that the writings contained in these volumes are ‘critical’. They are careful studies of aspects of taxation, and they are also significant, in relation to the study of taxation, in relation to the social policy field as a whole, and because they have been seminal in their field.

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Review: Emilio Albi and Jorge Martinez-Vazquez (eds), The Elgar Guide to Tax Systems

The editors’ introduction to this volume of thoroughly researched conference papers shows just how much has changed in OECD tax systems during the past few decades: flatter income tax rates, ubiquitous VAT, the almost complete disappearance of wealth taxes, a substantial reduction in excise duties, and much more. The separate chapters discuss the reasons for these changes, and also such fields as corporate taxes, environmental taxes, decentralized taxation, tax administration, and the relationships between tax policy, politics, and research.

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Passported Benefits and a Citizen's Income

Passported benefits The Government’s Social Security Advisory Committee’s press release of 15 June 2011 heralded a ‘Public Consultation: Passported Benefits under Universal Credit – review and advice.’ In a footnote, the press release stated: By Passported Benefits we mean those benefits to which working-age claimants of certain means-tested benefits are automatically entitled. For example, free school meals, free prescriptions, free

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OPINION: The Citizen’s Basic Income to Help the Transition to Democracy

Essay presented to UN Regional Commissions’ High Level Meeting on Transition to Democracy, Beirut, Lebanon, January 15 and 16, 2012 It is an honor for me to be invited to participate in this “United Nations Regional Commissions’ High Level Meeting on Transition to Democracy”, in this panel on “Balancing Growth and Social Justice”, concerning mainly the Arab Countries, held in

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OPINION: European Citizens' Initiative concerning "Unconditional Basic Income"

European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) invite the Commission, within the framework of its powers, to submit any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the European Union is required for the purpose of implementing the European Treaties. It is necessary that the ECI has received the support of at least one million eligible signatories coming from

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Video: Interview with Karl Widerquist on the Alaska Permanent Fund

Karl Widerquist holds a Ph.D. in Political Theory and another one in Economics. He teaches in Qatar as Associate Professor at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Furthermore he is co-chair of the Basic Income Earth Network and a member of the coordinating committee of the USBIG Network. One of his topics is Basic Income and he is very interested in the Alaska Permanent Fund. Recently he finished a book together with Michael Howard on this issue. It is going to be published in 2012.

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OPINION: “Will the bud of basic income come out in Japan?”

A Refundable Tax Credit Scheme for Low-Income Earners under Consideration by the Government Discussions on the reform of Japan’s tax system are currently gaining momentum. They are to be considered within the framework of the recovery efforts from the great disaster of March 2011, and take place under the policy of “integrated reform of social security and tax system” of

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OPINION: A viable transition to Basic Income

Thomas Paine and many other libertarians concerned with fundamental human rights, dreamt of the day when no one would suffer from want and basic income security should be garanteed to all. The Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) promotes the idea  among all countries. In Brazil, Senator Eduardo M. Suplicy has been the champion for the basic income, here called “Renda

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