Geoff Crocker’s Critique of “Power and Progress”

Geoff Crocker’s Critique of “Power and Progress”

“Power and Progress: Our Thousand-Year Struggle Over Technology and Prosperity”, by Simon Johnson & Daron Acemoglu (two well-known MIT economists), is critiqued by BIEN member Geoff Crocker who argues that this book, just published in May 2023, presents a selective narrative, unsupported assertions, and wrong assertions about basic income. This opinion is contrary to extensive praise of the book, that you can read about here.

With regard to basic income, Crocker writes “The superficiality of their argument is particularly evidenced in their dismissal of universal basic income (p416-417) which they regard as ‘defeatist’ and ‘fanciful’, arguing instead for conditional targeted benefits and creation of new work opportunities from technology. They make no reference to the literature on UBI, to the huge deficiencies of conditionality creating unemployment and poverty traps as well as intrusion, humiliation, and low take-up rates. Working hours per week have reduced consistently over many decades and are set to continue to fall. In-work poverty and rising household debt show that work and wages are insufficient for household income. Technological automation is sucking income out of the economy and increased non-labour income is required, the best proposal being UBI.”

Read the full review here.

Registration now open for the 22nd BIEN Congress this August in South Korea

Registration now open for the 22nd BIEN Congress this August in South Korea

The 22nd BIEN Congress: Basic Income in Reality

Date: 23-26 August

Venue: offline (Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea) & online (

Organizer: Basic Income Korea Network (BIKN)

Co-hosts: 22nd BIEN Congress Local Organizing Committee, Basic Income Policy Laboratory, The Institute for Democracy, National Assembly’s Basic Income Research Forum, and Ewha Institute for Social Sciences

More information is available at the official website for the Congress:

On Registration

The BIEN Congress is the largest annual event of basic income advocates and those interested in basic income around the world. As with the past 21 Congresses, it will be held in a spirit of friendship and solidarity, and all speakers, including keynote speakers, moderators, and audience – in other words, all participants – are required to register in advance.

Registration is a two-step process. The first step is to submit the registration application and the second step is to pay the registration fee. Once you have completed both processes, your registration is complete. You will receive an email with your personal login details to access the online venue.

You can find the registration link here: The registration deadline is 8/15/2023.

For offline participants, information on accommodation is provided here:

Keynote Speakers

Guy Standing, Toru Yamamori, Louise Haagh, Michael Tubbs, Sarath Davala, Scott Santens, Almaz Zelleke, Annie Miller, Aida Martinez Tinaut, Jurgen De Wispellaere, Jorge Pinto, Philippe Van Parijs, Roberto Merrill, Nam Hoon Kang, Min Geum, Jeonghee Seo, Hyosang Ahn, and Hye-in Yong. More information on these speakers is available here:


A Draft Program will be announced on the Congress website and shared with presenters. The finalized version of the program will be available by July 7th on the Congress website.

About Venue – Ewha Womans University

Ewha Womans University (Korean: 이화여자대학교) is a private women’s university in Seoul founded in 1886. It was the first university founded in South Korea. Currently, Ewha is one of the world’s largest female educational institutes and one of the most prestigious universities in South Korea.


The Politics of Basic Income in South Africa – June 8 Webinar

The Politics of Basic Income in South Africa – June 8 Webinar

On 8 June 2003 you can participate in a Zoom webinar entitled “The Politics of Basic Income in South Africa: Perspectives, Strategies, and Realities” sponsored by BIEN and four other organizations.The webinar will begin at 17:00 SAST (GMT+2) and feature as Guest Speaker Neil Coleman, Co-Founder & Senior Policy Specialist at the Institute for Economic Justice in South Africa.

To register click here.

A ballot initiative in Oregon is making progress towards establishing a state UBI

A ballot initiative in Oregon is making progress towards establishing a state UBI

May 23, 2023 Press Release

In Oregon, a ballot initiative is making progress towards establishing a statewide Universal Basic Income. 

Portland, OR — The Oregon Rebate (IP 2024-017) ballot initiative campaign has announced early success in collecting the necessary signatures to qualify for the November 2024 General Election. 

The Oregon Rebate will establish a statewide Universal Basic Income in the form of yearly rebates valued at approximately $750. Every Oregonian, regardless of age, income, or status will be eligible to receive a yearly rebate. For example, a 4-person household will receive four rebates, or about $3,000, tax free. 

The rebates are funded by increasing the minimum tax rate of the largest corporations doing business in Oregon. Currently, the minimum corporate tax rate for corporations with more than $25 million of annual Oregon sales is less than 1% and the Oregon Rebate proposes to increase this minimum corporate tax rate to 3%, still well below the 5-10% of personal tax rate Oregonians pay. 

“Oregonians know that the biggest corporations are not paying their fair share, and that yearly cash rebates will help them make ends meet.” said Antonio Gisbert, chief petitioner of the Oregon Rebate. 

The scope of the Oregon Rebate is noteworthy: Every year, approximately $3.0 billion of new revenue will be rebated among the approximately 4 million Oregonians. Using the UBI Center’s Basic Income Builder, the campaign estimates an overall reduction in poverty of approximately 15% and, specifically, a reduction in child poverty of approximately 26%. 

“Cash is care, cash reduces poverty and provides opportunity, and cash stimulates our local economies and communities,” said Antonio Gisbert. 

To date, among others, the Oregon Rebate campaign has been endorsed by PCUN, the Oregon Working Families Party, the Pacific Green Party, and the Oregon Progressive Party.

The campaign has until July 2024 to collect the statutorily required 120,413 signatures to qualify for the 2024 General Election. Those interested in reading the full text of the petition, learning more, and getting involved or contributing to the Oregon Rebate campaign may do so at


Basic Income for the Arts in Ireland – What have we learned after 8 months?

Basic Income for the Arts in Ireland – What have we learned after 8 months?

What? Basic Income for the Arts in Ireland – What have we learned after 8 months?

When? Wednesday 7th June 2023 6:30pm – 8pm BST,

Where? Online: You can register for the event here.

UBI Lab Arts, UBI Lab Leeds and UBI Lab Network, in association with Basic Income Ireland present:

This second in a special series of discussions is dedicated to reflecting on what we can learn from the Irish Basic Income for the Arts Pilot Scheme, as it unfolds.

The Government of Ireland is running a Basic Income pilot that began in September 2022. 2000 artists and cultural workers will receive a weekly unconditional income of €325 weekly for a period of three years. This second session will be an opportunity to check-in with some of the artists involved in the pilot scheme and learn from them about how it is affecting them and their creative communities. You can watch the recording of the first session from December 2022 here and read the blog about the session here.

This time artists Shane Finan, Alisha Doody and Tadhg Ó Cuirrín will give their personal insights from the perspective of recipients and members of the ‘control group’ who applied but will not receive the basic income. Also Basic Income Ireland will give a brief introduction to their work and the political context of Ireland.