Basic income

Erik Olin Wright, Unconditional Basic Income: Progressive Potentials and Neoliberal Traps

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 13/03/2018 - 6:00pm in


Blog, Basic income

Erik Olin Wright, Unconditional Basic Income: Progressive Potentials and Neoliberal Traps

Within Envisioning Real Utopias, Erik Olin Wright argues that a social economy could be promoted if the state, through its capacity to tax, provided funding for socially organised non-market production and that the institution of an unconditional basic income could be one such policy. By partially delinking income from employment earnings, an unconditional basic income would enable voluntary associations of all sorts to create new forms of meaningful and productive work in the social economy. The result would be economic democracy by creating conditions of social power, organised through civil society to establish social empowerment.

In his return to the Department of Political Economy and the University of Sydney, as an Honorary Professor, Erik Olin Wright revisits and further develops these arguments with crucial import for economic policy and envisioning anti-capitalism in and beyond Australia.

Venue: New Law Lecture Theatre 104, Eastern Avenue

Date: Thursday 29 March 4:00 – 5:30 pm

The post Erik Olin Wright, Unconditional Basic Income: Progressive Potentials and Neoliberal Traps appeared first on Progress in Political Economy (PPE).

LSE Festival Beveridge 2.0 Preview: ‘Why We Need a Citizen’s Basic Income: A New Edition or a New Book?’ by Malcolm Torry

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 12/02/2018 - 10:46pm in


Basic income

75 years after the publication of the Beveridge report, LSE Festival Beveridge 2.0 (Mon 19 Feb – Sat 24 Feb 2018) offers a week of public engagement activities exploring the ‘Five Giants’ identified by Beveridge in a global 21st-century context. Tickets to all the events, which are free and open to all, can be booked here.

On Tuesday 20 February 2018, LSE are hosting a ‘Citizen’s Basic Income Day’, including an LSE Festival evening event, Beveridge Rebooted: A Basic Income for Every Citizen?’. Ahead of the discussion, panellist Dr Malcolm Torry discusses his forthcoming new book on the topic, Why We Need a Citizen’s Basic Income, and how it builds on his previous works, including Money for Everyone: Why We Need a Citizen’s Income. 

LSE Festival Beveridge 2.0 Preview: ‘Why We Need a Citizen’s Basic Income: A New Edition or a New Book?’ by Malcolm Torry

Why We Need a Citizen’s Basic Income will be published on 1 May 2018. It can be pre-ordered now from Policy Press.

A Citizen’s Basic Income (sometimes called a Basic Income, a Citizen’s Income or a Universal Basic Income) is an unconditional and nonwithdrawable income for every individual. Everyone of the same age would receive the same amount, every week or every month, no matter what their income, wealth, employment status, household structure, etc. Children would receive less, younger adults might receive less than working-age adults and older people might receive more; the amounts paid would be uprated each year, but otherwise the amount would never change. The payment would begin at birth, and it would cease at death.

Ever since the late eighteenth century, and possibly before that, this idea has emerged into public consciousness and then disappeared into obscurity. A brief flurry of activity 35 years ago prompted a small group of us to form the Basic Income Research Group – now the Citizen’s Basic Income Trust – and then the Basic Income European Network (BIEN: now the Basic Income Earth Network) to promote research and debate, so that the idea wouldn’t disappear entirely, and so that the next time there was an upswing in interest, there would be expertise and literature available to facilitate an intelligent discussion.

By 2011 no book-length general introduction to Citizen’s Basic Income had been published for twenty years, so I wrote Money for Everyone: Why We Need a Citizen’s Income (Policy Press, 2013). We decided to put detailed research results in an online appendix because we believed that the figures would go out of date much faster than the book. We were wrong. The figures for a feasible Citizen’s Basic Income scheme haven’t changed very much, but the debate has.

In response to demand for a shorter introduction to the topic, I subsequently published 101 Reasons for a Citizen’s Income (Policy Press, 2015); and then, in 2016, Policy Press suggested that a new edition of Money for Everyone might be required. I agreed, so set about updating the book. I quickly realised that the whole of Money for Everyone would have to be rewritten.

Image Credit: (Generation Grundeinkommen CC BY 2.0)

Money for Everyone was written to facilitate the debate as it was six or seven years ago, and it answered the question: ‘would a Citizen’s Basic Income be a good idea?’ There were chapters on the history of the UK’s benefits system and of Citizen’s Basic Income. Further chapters compared the UK’s current system and one based on a Citizen’s Basic Income in relation to administration, employment incentives, household structure, efficiency and dignity. I then asked whether people would still seek employment, and decided that many people would be more likely to do so than they are now because a Citizen’s Basic Income would not be withdrawn as earnings rose, whereas means-tested benefits are. Another chapter asked whether a Citizen’s Basic Income would reduce poverty and inequality (in general yes, but the answer depends to some extent on the tax and benefits changes that would accompany the implementation of a Citizen’s Basic Income). The following sections were about citizenship and who should receive a Citizen’s Basic Income; whether the country could afford a Citizen’s Basic Income; and whether the idea cohered with a variety of political ideologies. The final two chapters were about alternatives to Citizen’s Basic Income, and about the social problems that a Citizen’s Basic Income would not solve.

By 2016 the question ‘would a Citizen’s Basic Income be a good idea?’ was still being asked, but two other questions were if anything more prominent: would a Citizen’s Basic Income be feasible? And how would it be implemented?

In 2014 I had been asked to write an entire book on feasibility: The Feasibility of Citizen’s Income (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). This listed seven different feasibilities: administrative; psychological; behavioural; political; policy process; and two kinds of financial feasibility: fiscal feasibility and household financial feasibility. In today’s financial climate we have to assume that there will be no additional public funds available, so to be feasible a Citizen’s Basic Income would have to be paid for by rearranging the current tax and benefits system. Because under those circumstances every household net income gain would imply a net income loss for another household, it would be essential to ensure that no household would experience unsustainable losses at the point of implementation, and in particular that no low income household would suffer a net loss. The book concluded that there were Citizen’s Basic Income schemes and implementation methods that could satisfy the feasibility criteria.

Given the current state of the debate, it was essential that the new edition of Money for Everyone should contain substantial amounts of material on both feasibility and implementation. In 2016 the Institute for Chartered Accountants held a consultation on the implementation of Citizen’s Basic Income and asked me to write a report. This became the basis for the chapter on implementation in the new edition. The Feasibility of Citizen’s Income became the basis for the chapter on feasibility.

It was also clear that it had been a mistake to relegate research results on a feasible illustrative scheme to an online appendix to Money for Everyone. Many of the questions that I was being asked related to affordability, net income losses for low income families, poverty and inequality indices and marginal deduction rates (the total rates at which additional earned income is reduced by taxation and benefits withdrawal). It had also become essential to include results from microsimulation research in a substantial appendix in the book itself.

And of course, much of the book needed updating and expanding. There have been more pilot projects and experiments to report on in India, Finland, Kenya, Germany, Scotland, Canada, the USA and the Netherlands, and it was now vital to include a chapter that responded to objections to Citizen’s Basic Income. With so much new material, something had to go: so no longer will the reader find a lengthy history of the UK’s benefits system or a detailed exploration of the notion of citizenship.

Because the publication is perhaps more a new book than a new edition, Policy Press has given it a new title, Why We Need a Citizen’s Basic Income (with a subtitle relating to feasibility and implementation), as well as a new cover featuring the familiar pair of wallets: a reference to Money for Everyone. If the Citizen’s Basic Income debate continues to evolve as rapidly as it is evolving now, then perhaps there will need to be another new edition in 2021.

A significant element in the continuing discussion will be the Citizen’s Basic Income day at the LSE on Tuesday 20 February as well as the LSE Festival debate in the evening, Beveridge Rebooted: A Basic Income for Every Citizen?’. The morning will bring together experts on political feasibility, funding methods and costings; the afternoon will gather speakers from pilot projects and experiments around the world. In the evening, Professors Philippe Van Parijs and John Kay will debate the motion: ‘This house believes that if the Beveridge Report were being written today then it would have recommended a Basic Income’. The answer to that question might, of course, be different from the answer to the question: ‘do we need a Citizen’s Basic Income?’

Dr. Malcolm Torry has been Director of the Citizen’s Basic Income Trust since 2001 (and was Director before that between 1988 and 1992); he is a Visiting Senior Fellow in the Social Policy Department at LSE; and he is General Manager of BIEN, The Basic Income Earth Network. He is the author of Money for Everyone: Why We Need a Citizen’s Income, 101 Reasons for a Citizen’s Income, The Feasibility of Citizen’s Income and a new edition of Money for Everyone out later this year with a new title, Why We Need a Citizen’s Basic Income. Malcolm is a priest in the Church of England, and from 1980 to 2014 served in full-time posts in South London parishes. He has written extensively on the characteristics and management of religious and faith-based organisations.

Note: This review gives the views of the author, and not the position of the LSE Review of Books blog, or of the London School of Economics. 

Fully Automated Luxury Socialism: The Case for a New Public Sector

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 12/02/2018 - 7:15pm in

With ever more job-killing robots on the horizon, it’s time to demand a new public sphere: one that guarantees not just jobs but leisure too.

LSE RB Guide to LSE Festival Beveridge 2.0 (Mon 19 – Sat 24 February 2018)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 06/02/2018 - 12:00am in

75 years after the publication of the Beveridge report, LSE Festival Beveridge 2.0 offers a series of public engagement activities shining a light on the ‘Five Giants’ identified by Beveridge in a global 21st-century context. Originally described as Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness, today’s Giants are being framed for the Festival as the challenges of povertyhealth and social careeducation and skillshousing and urbanisation; and the future of work. In exploring these topics, the Festival will also consider their interconnections and the cross-cutting questions they raise. And what would you add to the list today? LSE Festival will be identifying ‘missing Giants’ that a modern-day Beveridge would prioritise instead.

Tickets for the Festival, running between Monday 19 February and Saturday 24 February 2018 and free and open to all, will be available after midday on Tuesday 6 February: further information can be found here. Before you book your tickets, check out our guide to some of the events on offer!

Interested in the challenges of poverty?

The possibility of a Citizen’s Basic Income has become a mainstream global social policy discussion. In ‘Beveridge Rebooted’, key figures on both sides of the divide will be debating whether Beveridge would have recommended a Citizen’s Basic Income if the Report were being written today. Since the wealth of the richest in society has risen dramatically since 1942, ‘The Challenge of Richness’ asks whether addressing poverty requires us to tackle extreme wealth too.  ‘Five LSE Giants’ Perspectives on Poverty’ looks at the issue of poverty through a historical lens, discussing five key reports authored or co-authored by LSE thinkers – including Beatrice Webb and Amartya Sen – that have sought to challenge inequality over the last 100 years.

Interested in the challenges of health and social care?

‘The Doctor’s Dilemma’ spends an evening discussing health service resource allocation and medical ethics, culminating in a staging of George Bernard Shaw’s titular 1906 play. A panel of academics explore the possibilities and challenges of implementing universal health coverage in the Global South. With the average life expectancy increasing from 66.7 in 1942 to 81.25 in 2017, the Festival also looks at ‘The Future of Ageing’. On Sat 24 February, the panel ‘Who Cares’ critically examines the provision of care today, complementing an exhibition on ‘Who Cares? Women, Care and Welfare’ running from 19 February – 23 March 2018.

Interested in the challenges of education and skills?

Does education, and Higher Education in particular, lead to greater happiness and social mobility or can it contribute to continued inequalities? Though one of the Giants of 1942, Ignorance was barely mentioned within the Beveridge Report. ‘Education and the Giant of Ignorance’ returns to this enduring issue, particularly looking at equality of opportunity, while Bridging the Gap’ explores how students’ backgrounds prior to entering university can have a huge impact on their destination once they graduate. ‘Is Higher Education Good for You?’ debates the fundamental role of Higher Education today – should government reduce HE funding in favour of early years education, as LSE Professor Paul Dolan will argue, or should we stand up for the continued value of a university degree with former UK Minister for Universities, David Willetts?

Interested in the challenges of housing and urbanisation?

The crucial role of social housing has been recognised following the Grenfell Tower disaster, which also laid bare the disconnect between elites and the most disadvantaged in society. In ‘Lessons from Grenfell Tower’, Danny Dorling, Lynsey Hanley and Anne Power explore the link between inequality and housing. ‘Getting Ahead of the Curve’  looks at the particular challenges facing developing countries experiencing rapid urbanisation, the pace of which is often exceeding their capacity to ensure decent, affordable housing for citizens.



Interested in the future of work?

The structure of the economy and the nature of employment have fundamentally changed in the 75 years since the Beveridge Report. ‘The Future of Work’ brings together academics from LSE’s Employment Relations and Human Resource Management Faculty Research Group to debate what Beveridge 2.0 would involve for work and how work could change in the future. ‘Our Automated Future’ looks at the question of automation and its particular impact on younger generations, asking whether it is something to be embraced or feared.


Interested in exploring further?

Featuring a video by LSE European Institute students, a panel discusses the most promising 21st-century European welfare state reforms that are tackling the five Giants today, while ‘Civil Society and the Five Giants’ looks at the vital role played by contemporary civil society actors across the globe in enabling bottom-up transformation. ‘Identity and the Welfare State’ reflects on the challenge of sustaining social solidarity, while ‘Beveridge and Voluntary Action for the 21st Century’ uses Beveridge’s lesser known Voluntary Action report as a springboard for considering the value of private action for public good. ‘The Evolution of Altruism’ returns to the 1960s theories of WD Hamilton to examine the evolutionary significance of altruism. And can literature reach audiences on the issues explored by the Giants in ways that the social sciences cannot? In ‘Writing Fiction to Dramatise Inequality’, novelist Louise Doughty, Not the Booker Prize winner Winnie M Li and LSE Professor Nicola Lacey discuss the importance of narratives that bring to life such experiences. LSE LIFE rounds off the Festival with ‘Tongue Lash’, a night of spoken word performances hosted by Poetcurious with hiphop poets from across London offering lyrical rhymes that challenge our assumptions on urban spaces, masculinities, racism and much more.

And what’s missing? 

Join the debate on the sixth Giant for the 21st century! Having polled LSE students, staff and alumni, a sixth giant will be selected from one of the following: Sustainability; Equity; Loneliness; Security; or Extremism. Which would you pick? To help you decide, on Mon 19 Feb, panellists will make a pitch for each of the potential missing Giants for Beveridge’s Sixth Giant. This will be complemented by a screening of the 2016 documentary RiverBlue, while ‘The Future of Fashion’ will explore the capacity of the industry to reduce its environmental impacts. ‘Sustainable Food and Beveridge’ looks at how to tackle the mountains of food waste in the UK. ‘Who Belongs?’ examines the challenges of developing a diverse, inclusive and equitable society. In ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It?’, Paul Dolan turns his attention to loneliness and how the relationships we pursue and discard impact on social and individual wellbeing. To close the Festival, LSE Director Minouche Shafik will chair an event discussing ‘The Giants of 2020’ and the missing Giant, as voted by you, will be revealed!


Professor argues for job guarantee over basic income

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 17/01/2018 - 9:28am in

Philip Harvey, a professor of law at Rutgers, argues that a job guarantee could eliminate poverty for a fraction of the cost of UBI.

The post Professor argues for job guarantee over basic income appeared first on BIEN.

Ontario Basic Income Pilot in Difficulties

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 20/12/2017 - 2:45am in

The basic income pilot currently taking place in Ontario has run into problems over concerns that the money provided may be taken by landlords and large companies. Issues have arisen regarding wage garnishment and debt liens, both of which allow companies to take money directly from the accounts of those who owe them unpaid debts. As the money provided during

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Social Security Reform: Revisiting Henderson, Poverty and Basic Income

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/12/2017 - 2:21pm in

2018 Henderson Conference

The 2018 Henderson conference will focus on how the social security system can more effectively respond to issues of poverty and inequality. Over the course of two days, a variety of speakers will cover what key changes have taken place since the 1970s and the Henderson Poverty Inquiry – to the labour market, families and to the position of vulnerable groups – and will assess the effectiveness of how social security has responded. It will also canvas different options for reform, including proposals for some kind of a basic income in Australia.Date:  Thursday 15 – Friday 16 February 2018
Venue: University of Melbourne, The Spot Building, 198 Berkeley Street, Carlton

A conference dinner will be held on the night of Thursday 15 February 2018 at Graduate House, 220 Leicester Street, Carlton. Tickets to this dinner are limited; purchase yours upon registering for the conference to secure your spot.


More than 20 experts will gather to discuss Australia’s social security system, how it has changed over time, and its effectiveness in responding to the challenges of poverty and inequality in Australia today. Read about the Henderson Anniversary Project Publication authors and conference speakers here.

Registration Details

Registrations are now open – purchase your ticket(s) through the Melbourne Institute eCart.

Standard (two day) ticket $180
Concession (two day) ticket $30*

Standard dinner ticket $90
Concession dinner ticket $40*

*Please note that proof of concession is required to gain access to the conference and dinner.

For queries, please contact Caitlin Hindmarsh (03) 9035 8135.


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US: Reverend Dr William Barber revives Dr King’s concept of “guaranteed income” as part of new Civil Rights movement

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 20/11/2017 - 8:15pm in

Reverend Dr William Barber. Credit to: Flickr   Reverend Dr William Barber of Birmingham, Alabama, has spoken of the need for a “breakthrough” in the civil rights movement in the US, citing an acceptable development being a point where “every poor person has a guaranteed income”. During his tour across 14 states, Rev Barber talked of the need for a

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The New York Times acknowledges the Basic Income worldwide movement

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 18/11/2017 - 6:00pm in

Peter S. Goodman, a veteran economics journalist, wrote a comprehensive piece about the recent Basic Income developments for the New York Times. In this piece, Goodman refers to the main motivations behind the idea of Basic Income as including the current wage stagnation, the lack of jobs to support the middle class and the threat of automation. The idea, Goodman

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Universal Basic Income and the Duty to Work

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 13/11/2017 - 9:02pm in

What should a government faced with an unmanageable level of unemployment do when conventional policy has failed to resolve the issue?

The post Universal Basic Income and the Duty to Work appeared first on BIEN.