ONTARIO, CANADA: Conference to examine labor market impact of guaranteed income

ONTARIO, CANADA: Conference to examine labor market impact of guaranteed income

As the Canadian province of Ontario prepares for a three-year trial of guaranteed minimum income (GMI), the Centre for Labour Management Relations (CLMR) at Ryerson University in Toronto is holding a conference to explore the economic motivations and labor market consequences of such a policy. The conference, The New Economy and a Basic Income Guarantee [1], is a private, registration-only event. According to CLMR’s website, the event will bring together over “250 representatives from academia, community, government, industry, law, unions and workers.”

Conference participants will investigate topics including the following: changes in the nature of work and employment that are generating pressure for new forms of the social assistance; theoretical and empirical work on GMI, with a focus on “intended and unintended labour market impacts”; the relationship between a GMI and labor and tax policies in the province; economic, political, and social factors that motivate Ontarians towards “administering, designing, organizing, planning, and receiving” a GMI.

The all-day event will take place on Monday, May 29.

Part of Ryerson University’s School of Management, CLMR promotes relations between labor and management that lead to (in the word of its mission statement) “greater productivity and profitability for businesses, improved job and income security for workers, and decreased inequality and injustice for all of society”. The center funds research projects in various disciplines and provides education and training to both students and professionals.

Photo (at Ryerson University) CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 wyliepoon

Text reviewed by Dave Clegg

[1] To minimize confusion, I use the term ‘guaranteed minimum income’ rather than ‘basic income guarantee’ (cf. my editorial “Basic Income’s Terminological Quagmire”). A basic income guarantee is often defined in American and Canadian contexts as an unconditional guarantee to all members of a community of an income sufficient to meet basic needs. This definition is narrower than BIEN’s definition ‘basic income’ in one dimension–it requires a minimum amount of the income guarantee–while broader in another, in that is not does require that payments be universal and of uniform amount (that is, it encompasses programs in which the amount of the benefit is reduced with earned income, as in Ontario’s forthcoming pilot program).

US: Boston Review Publishes Forum on Basic Income

US: Boston Review Publishes Forum on Basic Income

Boston Review, an American political and literary magazine, has published a forum on basic income as the periodical’s spring 2017 print edition. It is also freely available online.  

The forum begins with a lead article by Temple University law professor Brishen Rogers (“Basic Income in Just Society”), with responses from Roy Bahat, Peter Barnes, Annette Bernhardt, Juliana Bidadanure, Diane Coyle, Patrick Diamond, Philippe van Parijs, Connie Razza, David Rolf, Tommie Shelby, Dorian T. Warren, and Corrie Watterson.

Introduction to the special edition:

Technology and the loss of manufacturing jobs have many worried about future mass unemployment. It is in this context that basic income—a government cash grant given unconditionally to all—has gained support from a surprising range of advocates, from Silicon Valley to labor. Our contributors explore basic income’s merits, not only as a salve for financial precarity, but as a path toward racial justice and equality. Others, more skeptical, see danger in a basic income designed without attention to workers’ power and the quality of work. Together they offer a nuanced debate about what it will take to tackle inequality and what kind of future we should aim to create.

Boston Review has published articles about basic income occasionally in the past, and published several recent articles on the topic outside of the forum (including “No Racial Justice Without Basic Income” by the California-based social justice group The Undercommons and “Basic Income Works” by Paul Niehaus and Michael Faye of GiveDirectly).     

According to Wikipedia, the magazine has a circulation of about 62,000.

Reviewed by Dave Clegg

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: European Business Summit holds Basic Income panel

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: European Business Summit holds Basic Income panel

On Monday, May 22, 2017, the European Business Summit will hold a discussion of the European basic income debate as part of its annual event in Brussels, Belgium.  

The hour-long session will feature two cofounders of BIEN–Philippe Van Parijs (Université catholique de Louvain) and Guy Standing (SOAS, University of London)–in addition to Olli Kangas (Kela), who is leading the research team behind Finland’s basic income experiment, and Mark Smith (Grenoble Ecole de Management). It will center on the question “The basic income debate is coming to a head in Europe, but is it really feasible?”

The discussion will be moderated by the Belgian freelance journalist Chris Burns, who has previously interviewed Standing about universal basic income and the precariat.

Now in its 17th year, the European Business Summit draws more than 2000 participants annually– business leaders, policymakers, researchers and academics, and others–to debate economic, social, and political issues facing Europe. This year, the conference will host 150 speakers over the course of two days. A full schedule is available here.

Photo: “European Business Summit” CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 European Wind Energy Association

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Workshop on Technology, Employment, and Basic Income

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Workshop on Technology, Employment, and Basic Income

Institut Barcelona Estudis Internacionals (IBEI), an inter-university research and education center in Barcelona, will host a conference on technology, employment, and basic income on May 25 and 26, 2017.

As IBEI summarizes the event, “In this workshop we begin with a dialog about technology and the potential for creative destruction or destructive creation regarding the well-being of the population particularly when it pertains to employment. From this preamble we then look at the notion of universal basic income as a potential solution to the disruptive market forces we face today. Experts will present recent research, experiments, and analysis about these efforts as well as look at the potential steps and alternatives that governments have and the steps that some of them have taken as they consider this solution.”

On Thursday, May 25, morning sessions will focus on technology and employment. In the afternoon, basic income will take center stage, beginning with a session on current and upcoming experiments. Sjir Hoeijmakers, Bru Lain (Basic Income Spanish Network), Jaime Cooke (RSA-Scotland), and Jurgen De Wispelaere (University of Bath) will speak about the trials of basic income and related policies that are being planned or conducted in the Netherlands, Barcelona, Scotland, and Finland, respectively. Additionally, Martha Garcia-Murillo, Daniel Navarro, and Ian MacInnes (Syracuse University, Pompeu Fabra University) will deliver a presentation on basic income and incentives.

Following the experiment session, Sergi Raventós (Red Renta Básica) will discuss possible mental health impacts of basic income, Daniel Raventós (Universidad de Barcelona) will address issues of financing, and Ian MacInnes and Martha Garcia-Murillo (Syracuse University) with talk about policy alternatives.

The first day of the conference will conclude with a showing and discussion of Zygmund Bauman’s film In the Same Boat.

On Friday, May 26, Luis Sanzo Gonzalez (Basque Department of Employment and Social Policy), Lluís Torrens (Barcelona City Council), Julen Bollain (Member of Basque Parliament of Elkarrekin Podemos), and Jose Noguera (Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona) will speak on issues related to basic income and public policy in the Spanish context.

The conference will close with a roundtable discussion with all invited speakers.

More information about the conference, including a full schedule and registration information, is available at the Technology Employment and Basic Income page on IBEI’s website.

Photo (somewhere in Barcelona) CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Luc Mercelis

CANADA: New basic income documentary launches crowdfunding campaign

CANADA: New basic income documentary launches crowdfunding campaign

A crowdfunding campaign was just launched for the new documentary, “The Mincome Experiment”. Kreytor, a recent web platform designed for “showcasing, curating and crowdfunding creative work” launched the campaign on May 1st, 2017, only five years after the platform was created by the documentary producer Vincent Santiago, an independent artist from Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada). Over the last five years Vincent has interviewed experts in the field and gathered information for the documentary.


Funds to support the documentary is now officially open at Kreytor’s Mincome project webpage. Also, the launch provides a short video (below) that introduces the documentary, while providing background and context on basic income experiments conducted in Dauphin, Canada, in the 1970’s. Recently, the experimental results from Dauphin have been reported on more extensively, after having been archived for decades.




More information at:

Kate MacFarland, “NEW LINK: Basic Income Manitoba website“, Basic Income News, October 27th 2016

Kate MacFarland, “MANITOBA, CANADA: Winnipeg Harvest pushes for basic income“, Basic Income News, April 6th 2016

Wayne Simpson, Greg Mason and Ryan Godwin, “The Manitoba Basic Annual Income Experiment: Lessons Learned 40 Years Later,” Canadian Public Policy, 2017

UNITED STATES: Carbon tax new report identifies possibilities for implementation in eight US states

UNITED STATES: Carbon tax new report identifies possibilities for implementation in eight US states

The United States Carbon Tax Center (CTC) has just released a new report, showing that eight USA states are ready to implement a carbon tax, and twelve others are building towards it. This comes in a time when the Trump Administration unwinds recent progresses related to climate change policy in the USA.

The CTC has prepared a toolkit, designed to help advocates for carbon taxes win support in their respective states. CTC’s director Charles Komanoff sets the tone of urgency: “now we need to get it to as many people as possible in the states where we have the greatest chance of victory, and fast”.

The report examines the economic, political and environmental situation in all 50 USA states, in an attempt to determine the regions where the best possibilities are to enable policies that can dramatically reduce carbon emissions. In the report and elsewhere, serious consideration is being given to turn this carbon tax revenue into a social dividend, or a kind of basic income.

Already in the Canadian province of British Columbia a carbon tax policy is in place since 2008, and has been very successful at cutting carbon emissions. According to another CTC report, released in 2015, the British Columbia region has seen per capita carbon emissions decrease 3.5 times faster than the rest of Canada, while still growing in an economic sense. Based on this successful implementation, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau progressive government is determined to take carbon taxation onto the national level. In October 16th 2016, Trudeau boldly told MPs in the Canadian House of Commons (as reported in the CPC website) : “If neither price nor cap and trade is in place by 2018, the government of Canada will implement a price in that jurisdiction”. The idea is to start at 10 CAN$/tonne CO2 in 2018, gradually increasing up to 50 CAN$/tonne CO2 in 2022.


More information at:


Courtnet Weaver, Barney Jopson and Ed Crooks, “Trump unwinds Obama actions on climate change”, Financial Times, March 28th 2017


Yoram Bauman and Charles Komanoff, “Opportunities for carbon taxes at the state level”, Carbon Tax Center, April 2017