Author Archives: Karl Widerquist

The Fall and Rise of the Basic Income Movement: My personal reflections after following it for 40 years

Forty years ago today—February 7, 1980—was a small milestone for the Universal Basic Income (UBI) movement: Milton and Rose Friedman dedicated an episode of their television show to a form of basic income guarantee called the Negative Income Tax. This episode might have been the last gasp of the UBI movement’s second wave, which came very close to the centers

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LEUVEN, BELGIUM: Basic Income Stream at ESPAnet Conference, 2-4 September 2020

Basic Income will be a major stream at the ESPAnet conference in Leuven, Belgium, 2-4 September 2020 “Basic income across Europe: Exploring variation in proposals, policy windows, and trajectories” Stream convenors: Jurgen De Wispelaere, Tim Vlandas and Hanna Schwander The basic income proposal has generated exponential policy (and public) interest in a short time span. In many countries a majority of

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Was Thomas Paine a Proponent of Universal Basic Income? Short answer: yes.

Thomas Paine

I was recently asked whether the statement “Thomas Paine was a proponent of Universal Basic Income” is true. Although that statement is slightly controversial, it is true. Let me explain: Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a contested concept. Different people within the UBI movement use the term differently. The policy Paine advocates in “Agrarian Justice” fits most of the popular

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London, UK: The Ethics of UBI in a Changing Economy

The Ethics of UBI in a Changing Economy King’s College London London, UK, April 24, 2020 Submission link: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=eubi1 Abstract registration deadline: February 28, 2020 Submission deadline: February 28, 2020 Final paper submission: April 10, 2020 The Department of Political Economy at King’s College London will host a full day interdisciplinary workshop on “The Ethics of UBI in a Changing

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Thoughts on the British elections and the rise of nationalism

I wasn’t planning to write about the British elections until a friend asked. I’m not confident that I’m right about my conclusions, but here are some disjointed thoughts in no particular order. 1. I hate the parallels between US & UK politics: You get Thatcher-Major. We get Reagan-Bush I. We get Clinton. You get Blair. We get Bush II. Blair

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“A Critical Analysis of Basic Income Experiments:” an early version of this book is available for free download

An early version of the book, A Critical Analysis of Basic Income Experiments,  is available for free download on my selected works website. The devil’s in the details is a common saying about policy proposals. Perhaps we need a similar saying for policy research, something like the devil’s in the caveats. I say this both because nonspecialists (the citizens and

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End the threat of economic destitution now

Homeless man

Karl Widerquist (This article was originally published by Open Democracy, 17 September 2019) UBI is the opposite of something for nothing. It is the just compensation for all the one-sided rules of property and property regulations that society imposes on individuals. The biggest threat to freedom in the world today is economic destitution. We need universal basic income (UBI) because

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Exporting the Alaska Model: An early version now available for free download

An early version of the book, Exporting the Alaska Model, is available for download for the first time. This is possible because most academic publishers allow authors and editors to post early versions of their works on their person websites. A preview, written in 2012, is below. If you’d like to cite or quote it, please refer to the published

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Call for Papers: The Politics of Universal Basic Incomes

27th International Conference of Europeanists – Council for European Studies Reykjavik, Iceland, June 22-24, 2020 This Call for Papers is interested in empirical studies that look at the social and political processes surrounding UBIs discussions, including pilot test and experiment designs and implementations, either at the local, national or supranational level, in Europe and elsewhere. Examples of questions that are

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