Category Archives: Opinion

Nicola Jones and Andy Sumner, Child Poverty, Evidence and Policy

Nicola Jones and Andy Sumner, Child Poverty, Evidence and Policy, Policy Press, 2011, xii + 250 pp, pbk, 1 847 42445 7, £23.99, hbk, 1 847 42446 4, £65 The authors’ purpose isn’t entirely described by the title or subtitle. They claim in their introduction that the book ‘is about children’s visibility, voice and vision’ (p.1): that is, about children

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OPINION: Six Lesson from the Alaska Model

Basic income is a regular unconditional cash grant paid to all citizens without any means test or work requirement. It’s often dismissed as a utopian idea. However, a basic income, or something very close to it, exists today in Alaska. It’s called the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) or sometimes “the Alaska Dividend.” The PFD has been paying annual dividends to Alaskans since 1982 with no conditions except citizenship, residency, and the willingness to fill out a form. After following the Alaska Dividend since 1999, and I want to share six lessons that supporters of progressive economic policy should learn from what I call “the Alaska model,” but first some basic background.

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Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler, The Change Book: Fifty models to explain how things happen, Profile Books

Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler, The Change Book: Fifty models to explain how things happen, Profile Books, 2012, 1 78125009 9, hbk, vii + 167 pp, £9.99 For each of the fifty models there is a page or two of text and a page or two of diagrams. To give a flavour: There is a page about the ‘m=3 and

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OPINION: The European Citizens Initiative for Unconditional Basic Income: shall the expectations be attained?

In April 2012, grassroots organizations and citizens of 15 EU member states united their strengths to promote Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) in the EU and started the European Citizens Initiative (ECI) for UBI. It was a hard job to introduce this ECI, to get it registrated and accepted, to translate it in the several EU languages, to contact the relevant national authority and publish the certificate on their website. But on 14 January 2013, the organizers of this initiative finally obtained the green light of the EU commission!

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Karl Widerquist and Michael Howard, Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend: Examining its suitability as a model

Karl Widerquist and Michael Howard, Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend: Examining its suitability as a model, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, xvii + 267 pp, hbk, 0 230 11207 0, £62.50 In 1967 oil was found in the relatively new state of Alaska; in 1976 a constitutional amendment established the Alaska Permanent Fund (APF) to receive 25% of oil royalties; and in 1982

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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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Götz Werner and Adrienne Goehler, 1000€ für Jeden: Freiheit, Gleichheit, Grundeinkommen [€1000 for each person: freedom, equality, Basic Income]

Götz Werner and Adrienne Goehler, 1000€ für Jeden: Freiheit, Gleichheit, Grundeinkommen [€1000 for each person: freedom, equality, Basic Income] Ullstein, 2010, 267 pp, pbk, 978 3 548 37421 5, £6.56 It is unusual for us to review foreign language books in the Citizen’s Income Newsletter, but an exception surely has to be made for this German book which has been

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OPINION: A Three-Step Proposal to Get to a Basic Income For All Brazilians

Humanity has to rescue the human solidarity that used to pervade tribal societies where wealthy was evenly shared. In our days money has to be used to that effect as great social thinkers have been preaching. In Brazil, President Lula´s law 10,835 from 2004 says that “A monthly benefit enough for the basic needs of a person will be paid equally to all. This basic income is to be instated by steps, taking care first of the most in need.”

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Richard K. Caputo (ed.) Basic Income Guarantee and Politics: International experiences and perspectives on the viability Income Guarantee

Richard K. Caputo (ed.) Basic Income Guarantee and Politics: International experiences and perspectives on the viability Income Guarantee, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, 0 230 11691 7, hbk, ix + 322 pp, £62.50 This volume gathers together a huge of diversity of analysis of national and international political debates over the introduction of a Basic Income. A big challenge for a survey

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OPINION: The UN Social Protection Floor ‘Global fund’: An entry point for the basic income?

In 2011, the United Nations, fronted by Michelle Bachelet, head initiative of UN Women, launched the Social Protection Floor initiative. This initiative aims to support the development of social protection worldwide. Arguably, this development represents an opportunity for more experimentation with basic income and possibly fully-fledged basic income programmes.

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