The Occupy Wall Street movement has spread around the country and around the world in the last few months. It is made up of a diverse group of people with diverse goals, united by one simple idea: to reverse the last 30 years of increasing inequality. The increase in inequality has not only been relative but also absolute. The top 1 percent of the U.S. income distribution has seen enormous growth in income and wealth over the last 30 years, while the bottom 80 to 90 percent have seen almost no real growth in income, wealth, or standard of living.

Within that general focus Occupy Wall Street protestors are talking about many different specific policies, and among them is the Basic Income Guarantee. One blog, which managed to get quoted in Forbes Magazine listed BIG as one of the key demands of protestors. This appears to be an exaggeration, but a lively discussion of BIG is underway on the Occupy Wall Street website.

For the BIG discussion on the OWS Website, go to:
https://occupywallst.org/forum/basic-income-guarantee-for-the-us/
The blog post mentioned above is, “Parsing the Data and Ideology of the We Are 99% Tumblr:”
https://rortybomb.wordpress.com/2011/10/09/parsing-the-data-and-ideology-of-the-we-are-99-tumblr/
The Forbes article about the protestors’ demands is, “Understanding What the Occupy Wall Street Protesters Want”:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/10/11/understanding-what-the-occupy-wall-street-protesters-want/

About Karl Widerquist

Karl Widerquist has written 983 articles.

Karl Widerquist is an Associate Professor of political philosophy at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University, specializing in distributive justice—the ethics of who has what. Much of his work involves Universal Basic Income (UBI). He is a co-founder of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG). He served as co-chair of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) for 7 years, and now serves as vice-chair. He was the Editor of the USBIG NewsFlash for 15 years and of the BIEN NewsFlash for 4 years. He is a cofounder of BIEN’s news website, Basic Income News, the main source of just-the-facts reporting on UBI worldwide. He is a cofounder and editor of the journal Basic Income Studies, the only academic journal devoted to research on UBI. Widerquist has published several books and many articles on UBI both in academic journals and in the popular media. He has appeared on or been quoted by many major media outlets, such as NPR’s On Point, NPR’s Marketplace, PRI’s the World, CNBC, Al-Jazeera, 538, Vice, Dissent, the New York Times, Forbes, the Financial Times, and the Atlantic Monthly, which called him “a leader of the worldwide basic income movement.” Widerquist holds two doctorates—one in Political Theory form Oxford University (2006) and one in Economics from the City University of New York (1996). He has published seven books, including Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press 2017, coauthored by Grant S. McCall) and Independence, Propertylessness, and Basic Income: A Theory of Freedom as the Power to Say No (Palgrave Macmillan 2013). He has published more than a twenty scholarly articles and book chapters. Most Karl Widerquist’s writing is available on his “Selected Works” website (works.bepress.com/widerquist/). More information about him is available on his BIEN profile and on Wikipedia. He writes the blog "the Indepentarian" for Basic Income News.