The 81 senators, representing the 27 units of the Federation, 16 political parties, including two former presidents of the Republic, one current and two former presidents of the Senate, two likely candidates for the Presidency, 20 ex-governors and 18 ex-mayors, have signed a letter to president Dilma Rousseff, handed in by me on October 25th, with a proposal.
The President of Cyprus has announced the establishment of a ‘Guaranteed Minimum Income’. ‘Beneficiaries will be all of our fellow citizens who have an income below that which can assure them a dignified living.’
We did it! Did you hear about it? Did you see the picture of the 8 million 5-cent coins on the ground in front of Swiss parliament ? Did you read one of the hundreds of articles about it ? Here we are, Swiss basic income activists with the whole world watching and listening. It [...]
If you are searching the internet for ‘basic income’, ‘basic income guarantee’ or related subjects or you are a regular visitor to the various internet-based social networks like Facebook it would hardly have escaped your attention that quite a few of your hits will point to websites or blogs discussing topics like the Equal Money System and recently also Basic Income Guaranteed (previously ‘Grant’), with the acronym B.I.G. (or BIG)., but not to be confused with the Basic Income Guarantee (without ‘d’) of organisations such as USBIG that are affiliated to BIEN.
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.
The Alaska Permanent Fund (APF) has reached an all-time in a year in which Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) will probably reach its lowest level since 1987. The PDF is Alaska’s small, variable, yearly basic income. It’s financed by the returns of the APF. You’d think, then, that the fund and the dividend financed by it would move up and down together. And they do—on average, over the long-run, with a time-lag. But they don’t necessarily move together in any particular year, and this year the difference is extreme.
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.
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!
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.
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.”