Next System Podcast on Carbon Tax

Next System Podcast on Carbon Tax

The Next System Podcast, which states that it “seeks to understand contemporary challenges, interrogate emerging possibilities, and begin imagining the next system”, recently interviewed Jeremiah Lowery and Camila Thorndyke of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network about their “Put a Price on it, D.C.” campaign. This campaign aims to institute a local carbon tax on dirty energy sources and redistribute the money raised largely via regular payments to residents, thus creating a local universal basic income (UBI).

Thorndyke says, “we’ve chosen to go with the most progressive revenue allocation possible”, explaining that, as the tax would mean a rise in energy prices, failing to pass on the money to residents would mean that “we’d be trying to solve the climate crisis off the backs of the poor”. Lowery adds, “increasing inequality actually leads to more devastation and more climate change.

Edited by: Caroline Pearce

Next System Podcast on Carbon Tax

Next System Podcast on Carbon Tax

The Next System Podcast, which states that it “seeks to understand contemporary challenges, interrogate emerging possibilities, and begin imagining the next system”, recently interviewed Jeremiah Lowery and Camila Thorndyke of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network about their “Put a Price on it, D.C.” campaign. This campaign aims to institute a local carbon tax on dirty energy sources and redistribute the money raised largely via regular payments to residents, thus creating a local universal basic income (UBI).

Thorndyke says, “we’ve chosen to go with the most progressive revenue allocation possible”, explaining that, as the tax would mean a rise in energy prices, failing to pass on the money to residents would mean that “we’d be trying to solve the climate crisis off the backs of the poor”. Lowery adds, “increasing inequality actually leads to more devastation and more climate change”.

The podcast can be accessed here.

 

More information at:

The Next System Project webpage

The Next System Podcast “Episode 3: Carbon tax & Social Dividends w/ Jeremiah Lowery & Camila Thorndike” information and transcript

 

Edited by: Caroline Pearce

Stockton Economic Empowerment Project in the News

Stockton Economic Empowerment Project in the News

The Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) has been the subject of a consideration amount of attention from American and international media lately, with news outlets such as Reuters, the Washington Post and the New York Times publishing articles on the topic.

SEED, which will take place in the city of Stockton, California, will involve giving a regular monthly income of US$500 to a number of residents with no conditions on how they spend the money.

The Reuters report, which is on video, shows a resident, Shay Holliman, weeping as she describes how hard it is to lose your home because you can’t pay the rent, and also includes an interview with Stockton’s mayor, Michael Tubbs, who says that he felt a “moral responsibility” to help those who work hard and yet “fall further and further behind”.

The Washington Post article includes a brief description of the history behind SEED, describing Stockton as “the largest [city] in the country to declare bankruptcy in the years after the recession”, and giving a brief overview of the genesis of the project in a meeting between Tubbs and Natalie Foster, co-founder of the Economic Security Project, which is funding SEED.

In the New York Times, as well as giving a description of SEED, the article provides a profile of Shay Holliman, the woman who was seen weeping in the Reuters report. Other news outlets, such as the LA Times and The Hill, have also reported on SEED.

Possible New Minimum Income Experiement in Manitoba

Possible New Minimum Income Experiement in Manitoba

Manitoba, the Canadian province which was the location of one of the most well-known basic income experiments of the last century, may be re-examining the possibility of instituting a basic income guarantee (BIG) following a recommendation from the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.

The Winnipeg Chamber, which describes itself as “Winnipeg’s largest business association”, recently contributed to the local Manitoban government’s consultation on poverty reduction strategies. Among the suggestions made by the Chamber was a further study into the viability of what is called minimum income, mincome, or a basic income guarantee.

A mincome differs from BIEN’s own definition of basic income due to being means-tested, and tapered off for higher income groups. However, it also differs from more traditional benefits systems for several reasons: it is not targeted at specific groups such as parents or those with disabilities; there are no requirements to spend it in certain ways; and it is guaranteed to all those below a defined income level. Some regard mincome as a stepping-stone to universal basic income (UBI), while others see it as an end in itself.

A policy paper released by the Winnipeg Chamber stated: “Minimum income supports the concept that all work has value, including non-paid work. Examples of non-paid work would be volunteering in the community or working in the home supporting family members. People have been taking on those roles without pay and some may think their work doesn’t have or create any value. Yet without those volunteers and homemakers, our society would suffer greatly. Earning an income increases an individual’s feeling of personal worth and value, which is invaluable.”

In 1973, one of the most well-known experiments on basic income took place in Manitoba, in a number of areas including the town of Dauphin. All residents of the town were provided with regular income, free of conditions, for a period of several years, and analysis of the data collected has shown that a number of positive effects resulted from this, ranging from improved school results for children to a reduction in several mental illness.

Johann Hari describes UBI as anti-depressant

Johann Hari describes UBI as anti-depressant

Johann Hari, a successful non-fiction writer, has used his latest book, Lost Connections, to explore the topic of depression, looking at certain possible solutions to the debilitating condition.

Although most traditional solutions for depression are individual and aimed at the depressed person, Hari, who suffers from the illness himself, suggests that solutions for depression could include radical social change in order to avoid bringing about the conditions under which people tend to become depressed.

In the final chapter of the book, Hari explores the concept of universal basic income (UBI), including interviews with Rutger Bregman, the Dutch historian and author who wrote Utopia for Realists (by giving people money to meet their everyday needs, Bregman argues, we can improve their well-being, free them from pointless jobs, and allow everyone to engage in meaningful activity again), and Dr Evelyn Forget, the Canadian economist. In an interview about Lost Connections, Hari referred to UBI as “a really potent anti-depressant”. Research, though limited, seems to back up this idea, which includes the large basic income trial which happened in Manitoba, Canada, in the 1970s.

 

Edited by: Patrick Hoare