Category Archives: Features

No Time for Austerity (from 2011)

This essay was originally published on Basic Income News in December 2011. I can’t believe the news. We are in the midst of the worst global depression in 70 years, and the governments of almost every major industrialized country are talking about austerity. They’re cutting government services; laying off public sector workers; cutting pay, pensions, and benefits for public employees—all

» Read more

IS BIG WORTH TALKING ABOUT IN THE UNITED STATES TODAY? (from 2010)

This essay was originally published in the USBIG NewsFlash in October 2010. The political climate in the United States has gotten increasingly unfriendly toward the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG). Since 1990s, Democrats and Republicans have agreed that any politically viable approach to poverty must involve forcing the poor to work. But it is not only cash assistance to the poor

» Read more

Basic Income News Expands with the UBI Movement

Unconditional Basic Income is a movement. Five or ten years ago the idea was little discussed outside of a few limited—mostly academic—circles. Now activists are campaigning for it all over the world. The mainstream media is writing about it. It is becoming a part of the political debate. When I agreed to write the USBIG NewsFlash in 1999, Basic Income

» Read more

INTERVIEW: Heidi Laura interviews Karl Widerquist

Heidi Laura, of Danish Weekendavisen, conducted this interview (by email) with Karl Widerquist in late February 2014. She used only parts of the interview for her article in Weekendavisen, and she gave BI News permission to use the interview in its entirety. Karl Widerquist is the editor of BI News, co-chair of the Basic Income Earth Network, and an Associate

» Read more

Report from the 15th Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network

The 15th International Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network was held in Montreal at McGill University from June 27 to June 29, 2014, and a pre-conference North American day was held on June 26. The event was sold out with well over 200 people attending. Two of the central topics at the conference were the recent basic income pilot

» Read more

Allan Sheahen, the steeplechase runner of the BIG movement, has died

[Karl Widerquist] Allan “Al” Sheahen was an author, an athlete, a disc jockey, a promoter, a publisher, and a long-time campaigner for the basic income guarantee (BIG). He died at his home in Sherman Oaks, California on October 29, 2013 after battling myelofibrosis (a slow-moving bone-marrow disease) for over ten years. Sheahen is known in the movement for BIG as

» Read more

OPINION: The Basic Income Guarantee Becomes a Rorschach Test in the U.S. Media

The Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) recently became a part of a flurry of discussion on the internet and in the media, when Jesse A. Myerson, of Rolling Stone Magazine, included it in a list of “Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For.” This ensuing discussion reveals a lot about the many different ways people see BIG.

» Read more

Karl Widerquist, Independence, Propertylessness, and Basic Income: A theory of freedom as the power to say no

Karl Widerquist, Independence, Propertylessness, and Basic Income: A theory of freedom as the power to say no, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, 1 137 27472 4, hbk, xiv + 241 pp, £62.50 The message of this book is simple: We are not free; we ought to be; and a Citizen’s Income (called here a ‘Basic Income Guarantee’) is an important means to

» Read more

OPINION: Important study finds that giving money without conditions to the poor increases both employment and wages

A randomized field study recently conducted in Uganda found that giving money to people without conditions actually increases both how much they work and how much they earn per hour. The study gave a $400 one-time grant to 20 young people, chosen randomly out of a group of rural Ugandans who applied to be a part of the study. Essentially, this grant amount is a one-time basic income, sometimes called a basic capital grant.

» Read more

OPINION: Big changes come

While voters of the United States were loudly debating gun control, the deficit, the debt, taxes, immigrant rights, the filibuster law, health care, and a host of other issues, the Obama administration quietly did something that would have been unthinkable a few decades ago. It ordered the military to allow women to serve routinely in combat units. Other changes that would have been unthinkable a few decades ago also seem to be underway.

» Read more
1 2