On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, more basic income news and updates

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States, helping to remember and celebrate the legacy of the great civil rights leader. Shortly before being assassinated in 1968, Reverend King championed the idea of basic (aka guaranteed) income, saying that he was “now convinced that the simplest solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income. A host of positive psychological changes inevitably will result from widespread economic security. The dignity of the individual will flourish when the decisions concerning his life are in his own hands, when he has the assurance that his income is stable and certain, and when he knows that he has the means to seek self-improvement.”

For more information on Rev. King’s views on guaranteed income, see Martin Luther King’s Economic Dream: A Guaranteed Income for All Americans. And, see this news article on how the Mother’s Pension Program, which ran in the U.S. between 1911 and 1930 and was the first cash transfer program in American history, resulted in dramatic health and other benefits for recipients, and conclusively demonstrated that  “giving money, rather than offering in-kind goods and services, lets families use the money in the way that helps them most.”

Don’t miss the February 12th deadline for submitting a proposal in response to the Call for Participation in the 17th Annual North American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) Congress, May 24-27 at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario! The major themes for the 2018 NABIG Congress are (1) the converging paths leading to basic income (e.g., heath, human rights, automation, sustainability, democracy, etc.); and (2) making basic income a reality, through pilots, policy, and public support. You don't have to be a basic income expert: if the work you do and the issues you care about have a connection to basic income, your perspectives and knowledge matter. We hope to see you in Hamilton for NABIG 2018!

If you subscribe to Netflix, check out the excellent, award-winning dramatic British film, I, Daniel Blake. Superbly written, acted, and directed, the film portrays (with moments of levity) the struggle of desperate people to secure the income support they ought to receive from a contemporary Western society that clings to an archaic, stigmatizing, and destructive welfare system. Meanwhile, in real life today, see this article on how “Scotland [is] united in curiosity as councils trial universal basic income.”

Scott Santens, one of the leading thinkers on basic income, has compiled a Top 10 Basic Income Articles of 2017 and a Top 10 Basic Income Videos of 2017. Check them out and add to your basic income resources!

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