Tom Minogue Hastings. Credit to: Free Folk University
Tom Minogue Hastings has been promoting Universal Basic Income (UBI) in the United States. He has been doing this with a popular website devoted to UBI, also appearing on the USBIG (U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network) website while also writing for the Diane Pagen blog.
Hasting’s version for 2018 includes quotations by individuals, including Dr. Joseph Stiglitz, Dr. Paul Krugman, Dr. David Harvey, Dr. Richard Wolff, and links to Youtube lectures by Dr. Guy Standing, Dr. Yanis Varoufakis, Dr. Robert Reich, Dr. Michael Hudson, Dr. David Graeber, Dr. Paul Mason, Dr. Alex Vitale, Dr. Thomas Frank, Elon Musk and Dr. Barbara Ehrenreich.
The website also includes links to a number of lectures and videos available for free online from the likes of David Graeber, Dr. Paul Mason, and Elon Musk. The website is focused on the 99% of people, the Precariat, or those living more precarious lives than other Americans.
This website is an information resource in order to inform the reader on the important sub-topics within the UBI world.
More information at:
Tom Minogue Hastings, “Universal Basic Income For Everyone””, How to be the Revolution, 2018 (link)
Picture: credit to Engineers Ireland.
Steffen Hertog, Associate Professor in Comparative Politics in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science, has published a paper in Energy Transitions (Hertog, 2017) which relates the efficiency in wealth sharing and basic income.
The paper makes the case that hydrocarbon producers with higher rents per capita make a unique category of the rent-dependent nations. Those that face specific development challenges not present in mid-rent nations.
With a look into the patterns of rent distributions in high-rent countries, excessive public employment, and energy subsidies, Hertog argues that these lead to lower labor productivity and the exclusion of the national population from the privatized labor market.
Hertog proposes unconditional cash payments in high-rent countries as a means to minimize the distortion patterns in the hiring of nationals for the private labor market and in labor productivity resulting from rent distribution.
More information at:
Stefan Hertog, “Making wealth sharing more efficient in high-rent countries: the citizens’ income”, Energy Transitions, December 2017
Credit to: Flickr.
Anna Dent, M.Sc., published a Master’s dissertation entitled “From Utopia to Implementation: How Basic Income has progressed from radical idea to legitimate policy solution.”
In it, Dent explores how “utopian and marginal” ideas such as basic income became part of the agendas for policy. The dissertation looks at UBI pilot projects including Finland, the Netherlands, Ontario, and Scotland.
Dent looked at policy change in progress through the dissertation’s “inductive, exploratory approach.” That is, she used case studies, documented analysis, and interviews. The four cases in the research have common aspects.
Many variables close together in time reinforce one another. Basic income was seen as a solution to policy failures, poverty, and unemployment. Each of the four cases – Finland, the Netherlands, Ontario, and Scotland – represent attempts to solve local contexts.
Dent’s research finds the pathway from obscurity to maturity of an idea, as it gains a mainstream positioning.
More information at:
Anna Dent, “From Utopia to Implementation: How Basic Income has progressed from radical idea to legitimate policy solution”, University of Bristol, September 2017
Anna Dent is a consultant working in employment and skills policy and implementation for the public and non-profit sectors. She has particular interests in low-income workers, the changing nature of work, and welfare benefits. She holds an MSc in Public Policy from the University of Bristol, and is a fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce). She can be contacted via twitter at @anna_b_dent
Credit to: Wikipedia.
The Democratic Party in California is supporting Universal Basic Income (UBI). It is now public that people like Elon Musk have supported the initiative, mainly justified through job losses due to automation.
However, this of course leads to questions about the source of the influence that is supporting a basic income in the California Democratic Party, which has adopted on the 25th of February its official 2018 Platform.
In the Californian Democratic Party scene, UBI is mainstream, apparently, since it now features in the Platform, but not in the US as a whole. Since politicians with a Democratic label have to read and support the party policies, one may conclude that the UBI concept has gained traction in the Californian state, at least.
A growing cohort of young political activist leaders have been adopting UBI in their political campaigns. One such examples is 27-year-old Michael Tubbs, the present mayor of Stockton, California. He has promoted and launched a pilot project in Stockton municipality (funded by the Economic Security Project).
Region 5 (a congressional district) Director for the California Democratic Party, Rocky Fernandez, said that he has been talking about UBI for several years. Bob Wieckowski has also played an important leadership role in having basic income become concrete and part of the platform. The UBI platform proposal went through and “was passed,” in the convention by “thousands of party delegates”.
UBI has now a main statement in the Economic Justice section of the California Democratic Party platform. However, the same platform reinforces traditional Democratic values, which focus on jobs to further economic mobility for all Americans. The Party platform justifies the UBI in order to eliminate poverty, while simultaneously supporting efforts to establish government guaranteed jobs, that will “help people climb the economic ladder.” This could be interpreted as being willing to secure basic economic conditions for all people, while not trusting that these people will work if they get to be economically secure.
More information at:
Shirin Chaffray, “Many in Silicon Valley support Universal Basic Income. Now the California Democratic Party does, too.“, Recode, March 8th 2018
Kate McFarland, “Elon Musk reaffirms UBI prediction at World Government Summit”, Basic Income News, February 17th 2017
Roger Phillips, “Stockton to pilot ‘basic income’ experiment”, Recordnet.com, October 18th 2017
Credit to: The Blue Diamond Gallery.
Who does data belong to? As data becomes an even bigger part of society, it’s a very important question to ask. A lot of businesses collect their own data then go to someone like JustUnderstandingData, a data engineering consultancy, to help them utilize it. Other companies buy data from web scrapers that collect as much data as possible. And some, unfortunately, access data in morally questionable ways. At an individual level, a lot of consumers don’t know how to restrict what data gets shared with third parties whereas others take their privacy very seriously. Would it be possible for all of us to receive monetary compensation for what we put on the internet? These questions lead to additional questions regarding the latest tendencies in data mining and management related to Universal Basic Income (UBI).
Eduardo Porter in the New York Times talked about data in the Robotic Age and posed such a question, “Shouldn’t we be paid for it?” (Our data being placed on the web.)
Porter notes that 1.4 billion people use Facebook on a daily basis. He opines in amazement that we are not paid for any of the data we share. Interestingly, if people were paid for their data, Porter argues that the quality of the data would increase because it would no longer be free. If the switch to data-for-pay were to take place, he claims there would be difficulties putting systems in place in order to put a value on information. This could challenge the dominance of Google, Amazon, Apple, and other information giants.
Jaron Lanier founded a proposal in 2013 with his book Who Owns the Future? to have companies pay transparently for any information users place online. Porter mentions this could undermine the “stranglehold” on the future of technology by the “data titans.” Lanier’s bold proposal remains relevant now into 2018. According to Politico, the European Commission generated a report in February 2018 that proposed a tax on the revenue earned by digital companies, which would be based on their location.
Basic Income News has previously reported on proposals and news about the funding of basic income through data mining. Ex-CIA officer, Bryan Wright, made the proposal for UBI funded by data as well.
More information at:
Eduardo Porter, “Your Data Is Crucial to a Robotic Age. Shouldn’t You Be Paid for It?“, The New York Times, March 6th 2018
Janet Maslin, “Fighting Words Against Big Data”, The New York Times, May 5th 2013
Kate McFarland, “UNITED STATES: Ex-CIA officer Bryan Wright proposes data mining royalties”, Basic Income News, May 27th 2016
Craig Rhodes, “Funding basic income through data mining”, Basic Income News, January 29th 2017