Book announcement: Financing Basic Income
This new book from Richard Pereira (and contributors Albert Jörimann (BIEN Switzerland) and Gary Flomenhoft (University of Vermont)) argues that basic income at a decent level is, in fact, affordable. The contributors approach the topic from the perspectives of three different countries — Canada, Switzerland, and Australia — to overcome objections that a universal program to keep all citizens above the poverty line would be too expensive to implement. They assess the complex array of revenue sources that can make universal basic income feasible, from the underestimated value of public program redundancies to new and so far unaccounted publicly owned assets.
The book proposes two basic incomes – one traditional and one based on economic rent, along the lines of the Freedom Dividend
. The tradicional approach would eliminate many oppressive bureaucratic, expensive and ineffective programs and direct the money to a higher basic income, while preserving universal healthcare, public education funding and other vital public programs. It demonstrates that this can be achieved without raising income taxes, or taxes on labour income.
The authors believe this to be the most progressive proposal in the literature. The basic income proposed would eliminate poverty (it meets the official poverty line threshold) and, above all, would be feasible and affordable, while addressing economic externalities and economic rent in ways that other proposals have not.