“Are More Jobs the Answer? The ‘BIG’ Bait and Switch” and “How BIG is BIG Enough: Would The Basic Income Guarantee Satisfy The Unemployed?”

L. Randall Wray's "Great Leap Forward"

L. Randall Wray's "Great Leap Forward"

In two articles, L. Randall Wray compares the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) to the Job Guarantee / Employer of

Last Resort (JG/ELR). A Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, NY, Wray has been writing about the benefits of the JG/ELR approach since the 1990s. He is one of the leading scholars of what is now called “modern monetary theory,” which stresses the need to prevent inflation by using a JG/ELR as an anchor for the currency.

Wray opposes the BIG mostly because he believes it will cause inflation. He simply believes that some of the goals of BIG are unsustainable: attempts to provide everyone with a descent income without requiring them to work will, according to Wray, necessarily cause an inflation spiral. He also argues that many of the goals of BIG are good and sustainable, but that they can be achieved better through a JG/ELR than through BIG.

Wray’s starting point is a response to a recent editorial by Al Sheahen (author of the recent book, Basic Income Guarantee: Your Right to Economic Security), but he cites a wide range of BIG authors including Philippe Van Parijs, Guy Standing, Charles M.A. Clark and others.

L. Randall Wray, “Are More Jobs the Answer? The ‘BIG’ Bait and Switch,” Economonitor, June 25th, 2013
L. Randall Wray, “How BIG is BIG Enough: Would The Basic Income Guarantee Satisfy The Unemployed?,” Economonitor, July 9th, 2013

L. Randall Wray's "Great Leap Forward"

L. Randall Wray's "Great Leap Forward"

About Karl Widerquist

Karl Widerquist has written 987 articles.

Karl Widerquist is a Professor of political philosophy at Georgetown University-Qatar, 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 a member of the BIEN EC for 14 years. 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. 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 "the Prehistory of Private Property (Edinburgh University Press 2020, coauthored by Grant S. McCall) , "A Critical Analysis of Basic Income Experiments" (Palgrave Macmillan 2018), "Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy" (Edinburgh University Press 2017, coauthored by Grant S. McCall) and "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 (https://basicincome.org/news/2016/12/bien-profiles-karl-widerquist-co-chair/). He writes the blog "the Indepentarian" for "Basic Income News."