By Andrew Flowers for FiveThirtyEight
Daniel Straub remembers the night he got hooked on basic income. He had invited Götz Werner, a billionaire owner of a German drugstore chain, to give an independent talk in Zurich, where Straub was working as a project manager for a think tank. He had read an article about the radical proposal to unconditionally guarantee citizens an income and spent a few years casually researching the idea. Straub had heard Werner was a good speaker on the topic, and that night in 2009 he was indeed excellent at connecting with the audience, a sold-out house of 200. “It was a very intense evening; people were paying attention,” Straub recalled.Read more
By Hardeep Matharu, The Independent
A charity is aiming to provide thousands of Kenyans with a basic income for at least the next decade in a bid to investigate how a fundamental level of economic freedom could change people’s lives.
GiveDirectly, an organisation that was set up to transfer cash payments to those in poverty in Kenya and neighbouring Uganda, has said it now wants to structure its donations in such a way that would guarantee at least 6,000 Kenyans “an ongoing income, high enough to meet their basic needs – a universal basis income or basic income guarantee”.Read more
Roderick Benns recently interviewed Zachary Beaudoin, an entrepreneur living in Edmonton Alberta. He works closely with technology and believes the current economic system is unfit to deal with the shocks that will be created by the coming technological advances.
Benns: From your perspective as an entrepreneur, why is the concept of a basic income guarantee useful to society?
Beaudoin: First I want to explain the benefit of a basic income guarantee that I perceive as a citizen. I believe that a society as a whole benefits from having economic abundance for all. People would spend more time on education, learning, and leisure, become more politically involved and even pursue more fulfilling employment opportunities. The result would be a healthy, engaged, and progressive society with less crime and less suffering.Read more
By Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press
In the mid- to late 1970s, every single person in one rural Manitoba city received $1,255 a year — roughly $7,500 in today’s dollars.
The amount increased depending on the number of people living in each household, maxing out at $3,969, or nearly $23,500 in 2016 currency, for a family of five or more.
The people in the Dauphin, Man., experiment didn’t have to work to receive this stipend. If they did, their benefit dropped 50 cents for every dollar they received.
The residents of Dauphin just had to exist to receive their full guaranteed annual income.Read more
By Chris Weller for Tech Insider
Frans Kerver was working 12-hour days before the money started coming in.
For nine years, the 53-year-old freelance copywriter living in Groningen, the Netherlands, would rise at 7 a.m. and fall asleep at 1 a.m. His wife and three kids rarely saw him.
When Kerver began receiving a basic income last July, everything changed.Read more
The North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress 2016 is rapidly approaching. It will take place in Winnipeg, Canada at the University of Manitoba on May 12 – 15.
The detailed program is now available here.
REMINDER: early bird registration rates are available only until April 20.
By Steve Silva -- Global News
The adoption of a guaranteed basic income continues to grow support and get calls for consideration in Halifax, among other communities in Canada.
He spoke at a conference, titled “Basic Income Guarantee: The Time is Right”, at Halifax Central Library.Read more
By Rob Rainer
We are at the dawn of a new era of technology without parallel in history. Along with it, concern is rising that automation of all kinds, being developed at exponential rates, will displace labour on an unprecedented scale.
For example, a 2013 study out of Oxford University predicted that automation will cause 47 percent of the jobs in the U.S. to disappear within 20 years. We are talking about not only the work that’s been called “the dull, dirty, and dangerous,” which some believe should be handled by robots. Rather, we are talking about work of creative skill too, or requiring significant analytical power.
Our machines can now write prose, with a prediction that by 2030, 90 percent of journalistic writing will be done by computers. Our machines can compose music. They can even do things as delicate as administering anaesthesia or performing unassisted surgery.Read more
By Robin Boadway
The pursuit of a basic income guarantee (BIG) is gathering momentum, but much of the emphasis has been on setting up pilot projects.
This is fair enough given that implementation of a full-fledged BIG is a major undertaking. But, approaching BIG using pilot projects alone would be unfortunate. Pilots take time, and by focusing on the response of project participants they are unlikely to give a comprehensive account of BIG, which of necessity would involve significant reform of existing tax-transfer systems. A two-track approach could move incrementally in the direction of BIG. It would involve exploiting refundable tax credits in new and innovative directions.Read more
By Carter Vance
The problem of poverty – a deprivation among plenty — has blighted Ontario since our province’s beginnings, and has remained one of the more intractable problems of public policy.
Poverty’s reach continues to impair hundreds of thousands of individuals, families and children. Recent evidence has suggested that, despite government spending commitments and some improvements in certain indicators, poverty is becoming increasingly concentrated by neighbourhood and increasingly intergenerational, with fewer “ladders of opportunity” for poverty’s exit.Read more