Author Archives: Karl Widerquist

Voices on the basic income (II): Is it justified? [Política Entrevista Voces sobre la renta básica (II): ¿Está justificada?]

The website, Revista Libertalia, recently published an article in Spanish with extensive quotes from an interview conducted with me. The article is entitled, “Voces sobre la renta básica (II): ¿Está justificada? [Voices on basic income (II): Is it justified?].” It’s author is Pablo Magaña. The Spanish version was published on February 28, 2019. The author created, but did not publish

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The Pursuit of Accord

The hardest thing for any society to do is to avoid oppressing its least advantaged people. Politics everywhere is an insider game: people with political, economic, and social advantages make policy for their own benefit not just neglecting outsiders, but oppressing them. Most theories of justice understandably want to eliminate this insider-outsider problem by building a consensus around a true

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When people ask me where online to find empirical research on the effects of Basic Income….

When people ask me where to find empirical research on the effects of Basic Income online, I tend to recommend the following sources, both for the sources themselves and for the many more sources you’ll find in their bibliographies: Karl Widerquist A Critical Analysis of Basic Income Experiments for Researchers, Policymakers, and Citizens, Palgrave Macmillan, December 2018. In case you

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Erik Olin Wright, influential sociologist and long-term Basic Income advocate, announces he has only weeks to live (Update: Wright passed away on January 23)

Erik Olin Wright

Erik Olin Wright, a long-term advocate of Universal Basic Income and one of the most influential sociologists today, recently announced that his doctors have advised him that he has only a few weeks left to live. (Update: he passed away on January 23.) He is best know for his work on social stratification, egalitarian alternative futures to capitalism, deep democracy, and

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U.S. Elections: Wave and Counter-Wave

The Midterm elections in the United States were extremely interesting. There was a huge Blue Wave of people coming out to vote against Trump’s party, but unlike most midterm elections, there was also a Counter-Wave of enthusiastic Republicans coming out to support Trump’s party (not to mention strategic voter disenfranchisement and Gerrymandering). The Wave and Counter-Wave made for record-high voter

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Widerquist: Appearance on Al Jazeera

Mohammed Jamjoom (host), “Will the midterm results affect Trump’s foreign policy?” Panel Discussion with Karl Widerquist, Eli Clifton, and Rami G. Khouri, Inside Story on the Al Jazeera Network, 8 Nov 2018 Al Jazeera invited me to participate in a panel discussion (on of all things) U.S. foreign policy. It didn’t give me the chance to talk about basic income

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Is the Natural Rights Justification of Private Property a Purely Normative Argument, or Does it Require Empirical Claims? And if it Does, What Are Those Claims?

My latest discussion paper is a draft of Chapter 2 of my forthcoming book, the Prehistory of Private Property (coauthored by Grant McCall, Tulane University and the Center for Human-Environmental Research) The paper addresses the natural-rights-based (“right-libertarian” or more descriptively “propertarian”) justification of private property to show that it is not a purely normative argument. The paper argues that propertarian

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The Devil’s in the Caveats: A Critical Analysis of Basic Income Experiments for Researchers, Policymakers, and Citizens

     My new short book, The Devil’s in the Caveats: A Critical Analysis of Basic Income Experiments for Researchers, Policymakers, and Citizens, will be out early in 2019. I’ve posted an early version of it on my Selected Works website. Here’s a summary:      “The devil’s in the details” is a common saying about policy proposals. Perhaps we need a

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Alaska’s BIG parodied in The Simpson’s Movie while Albertans call for their own Dividend (from 2007)

This essay was originally published in the USBIG NewsFlash in November 2007.   Public awareness of BIG took a small step forward this summer when the Simpsons Movie made a joke about it. Homer and his family are greeted at the Alaskan border by an official who says, “Welcome to Alaska. Here are a thousand dollars. We pay everyone in Alaska to

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Basic Income Guarantee On (and Off) the Front Pages in Canada (from 2001)

This blog was originally published at the USBIG NewsFlash in January 2001. It’s a good example of the way Basic Income was treated by major media outlets before the recent wave of support took off.  On Saturday, December 9th, just after the ruling Liberal Party won a decisive victory in the Canadian Parliamentary election, the basic income guarantee suddenly and

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