Category Archives: The Independentarian

The Independentarian

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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OPINION: Conservative website finds USBIG behind vast government conspiracy

You reach a milestone the first time you or your organization is named the mastermind behind a vast government conspiracy that goes all the way up to the President of the United States. This happened to the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee (USBIG) on July 23, 2012, when an opinion piece by J. D. Longstreet on The Right Side News website

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OPINION: Report from the NA-BIG Conference

The Eleventh North American Basic Income Guarantee (NA-BIG) Congress took place at the University of Toronto on May 3-5, 2012. I had the privilege of attending this conference. It provided an unusual opportunity for me to go to a NA-BIG Congress purely as a participant, because I had almost nothing to do with the organization of it this year.

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OPINION: Interesting times for Alaska’s Fund and Dividend

Alaska’s basic income is cursed with interesting times. The Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) is a small, variable basic income given yearly to every Alaskan who meets the state’s residency requirement. The size of the dividend is determined by several different factors, all of which are facing increased uncertainty and possibly moving in different directions.

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MONGOLIA: Government takes steps toward implementing an Alaskan-style BIG

The coalition government of Mongolia is taking steps to make good on promises made in the 2008 election to introduce an Alaska-style resource dividend. Mongolia is a large, sparsely populated land-locked country sandwiched between Russian and China. About half of its citizens still live as nomadic herders. Most of the land in the country is unowned: herders can camp anywhere

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