Basic Income Worldwide: Horizons of Reform


Increasing inequality and the yawning gap between rich and poor are provoking criticism of the economic system. This timely volume is the first to discuss both examples of and prospects for basic income, a system of cash transfers, and a new approach to inequality that is gaining in popularity. The book considers experiments in and examples of basic income in such diverse countries as the USA, Namibia and Brazil before looking at the prospects for the introduction of basic income into some other regions and ...

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Basic Income Worldwide: Horizons of Reform

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Increasing inequality and the yawning gap between rich and poor are provoking criticism of the economic system. This timely volume is the first to discuss both examples of and prospects for basic income, a system of cash transfers, and a new approach to inequality that is gaining in popularity. The book considers experiments in and examples of basic income in such diverse countries as the USA, Namibia and Brazil before looking at the prospects for the introduction of basic income into some other regions and countries, such as East Timor, New Zealand, Germany and South Africa. It provides expert and informative discussion of the operation and forms of basic income in very different social, economic and political circumstances, the improvements it brings to people's lives and the difficulties, challenges and problems that it faces.

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Meet the Author

MATTHEW MURRAY Special Lecturer of Philosophy at Providence College, USA and received his PhD in Political Theory from Cardiff University, Wales, where he also served as an Associate Lecturer. Matthew has published work and continuing research interests in distributive justice, approaches to disability and basic income studies.
CAROLE PATEMAN Distinguished Professor of Political Science Emeritus, UCLA, USA, and Honorary Professor, Cardiff University, Wales. She was President of the American Political Science Association, 2010-2011. Her books include Participation and Democratic Theory, The Sexual Contract, and most recently (with Charles Mills) Contract and Domination. She has a long-standing interest in basic income. She was awarded the 2012 Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science for outstanding contributions to the discipline.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables ix

List of Figures x

Acknowledgements xi

Notes on Contributors xii

Introduction Carole Pateman Matthew C. Murray 1

I.1 What form should the payment take? 2

I.2 At what level should the income be paid? 3

I.3 Should the income be paid unconditionally? 4

I.4 Should the income be universal, paid to all citizens in a country, or should it be targeted to a particular section of the population? 4

I.5 Can basic income be afforded? And how is it to be funded? 5

Part I Experiments 9

1 The United States: The Basic Income Guarantee - Past Experience, Current Proposals Karl Widerquist Allan Sheahen 11

1.1 Alaska's permanent fund dividend 12

1.2 The guaranteed income movement of the 1960s and 1970s 15

1.3 From the family assistance plan to temporary assistance for needy families 16

1.4 Offshoots of the guaranteed income movement 18

1.5 The negative income tax experiments 19

1.6 The standard tax credit proposal and the current discussion of the basic income guarantee in the United States 22

1.7 The background of the standard tax credit proposal 24

1.8 The proposal 25

1.9 Why we need the STC 29

1.10 Response to the standard tax credit proposal 30

1.11 Conclusion 30

2 Namibia: Seeing the Sun Rise - The Realities and Hopes of the Basic Income Grant Pilot Project Claudia Haarmann Dirk Haarmann 33

2.1 History of the BIG coalition and reasons for the pilot project 34

2.2 The dawn of economic security for all ? results from the pilot project 37

2.3 Will a national BIG in Namibia see the light of day? 52

3 Brazil: Basic Income - A New Model of Innovation Diffusion Denilson Bandeira Coêlho 59

3.1 The debate in Brazil: main actors, arenas and political strategies 60

3.2 The victory of the political entrepreneurs: minimum income at the federal capital and in the city of Campinas 62

3.3 An increasing political competition: from municipal to state diffusion 66

3.4 The federal government enters the scene: the creation of the first national programmes 68

3.5 The competitive adherence of the municipalities to the federal programmes 69

3.6 Minimum income in Brazil: a brief description of the programmes of the federal government 71

3.7 Conclusion 77

4 Canada: The Case for Basic Income Evelyn L. Forget 81

4.1 Welfare, welfare reform and a guaranteed income 82

4.2 The Royal Commission on the Economic Union and development prospects for Canada 88

4.3 Reconsidering Dauphin 90

4.4 Conclusion 96

Part II Proposals 103

5 East Timor and Catalonia: Basic Income ? Proposals for North and South David Casassas David Raventós Julie Wark 105

5.1 Freedom and material independence 108

5.2 Basic income and freedom in North and South 110

5.3 Financing freedom in North and South: basic income in Catalonia and East Timor 115

5.4 Basic income in Catalonia: simulating a financial model 115

5.5 Basic income in East Timor: guidelines for a financial model 120

5.6 Conclusion 123

6 South Africa: The Continuing Politics of Basic Income Jeremy Seekings Heidi Matisonn 128

6.1 Expansion without restructuring: welfare reform, 1994-2002 130

6.2 The Basic Income Grant and its critics 132

6.3 Parametric reforms as an alternative to a Basic Income Grant, 2002-10 135

6.4 Explaining both the extent and limit of welfare reforms: government, parliament and courts 139

6.5 Civil and political society 142

6.6 Conclusion: prospects for welfare reform 146

7 Ireland: The Prospects for Basic Income Reform Seán Healy Brigid Reynolds 151

7.1 First approach: maintaining much of the current structure 152

7.2 Second approach: replacing the current structure with a basic income system 153

7.3 Pathways to a basic income 154

7.4 Government-chaired working group on basic income 155

7.5 Government Green Paper 156

7.6 Towards a half-way house: making tax credits refundable 159

7.7 Working Group on refundable tax credits 160

7.8 Social Justice Ireland's study of refundable tax credits 161

7.9 Parliamentary Committee on Social Protection 162

7.10 Challenges ahead 163

7.11 Conclusion 168

8 Germany: Basic Income in the German Debate Sascha Liebermann 173

8.1 A brief history of the current debate 174

8.2 Precursors - similarities and differences 180

8.3 Manifold possibilities and peculiar obstacles -arguments and debates 183

8.4 Families, childcare and emancipation 189

8.5 A note on taxation and social justice 190

8.6 Basic income - just a pipe dream or emerging reality? 190

9 New Zealand: Prospects for Basic Income Reform Keith Rankin 200

9.1 Proportional (flat) taxes and the link to basic income 201

9.2 Taxation and basic income in New Zealand - the numbers 202

9.3 New Zealand superannuation 204

9.4 The political challenge 205

9.5 Universal welfare in New Zealand, 1898-1976 206

9.6 Winding back universal welfare, 1978-91 208

9.7 Basic income proposals, 1991-2009 210

9.8 Criticism of basic income proposals, 1991-2009 213

9.9 A new proposal for basic income 215

9.10 Summary and conclusion 220

10 Australia: Basic Income - A Distant Horizon John Tomlinson 227

10.1 The poverty inquiry and its aftermath 229

10.2 The governmental income support policies ? late 1970s to mid-1990s 232

10.3 From "mutual obligation" to the intervention 233

10.4 Economic stimulation, but business as usual on the welfare front 234

10.5 Private superannuation 236

10.6 Division and downward envy 238

10.7 Basic income as an alternative to the existing income maintenance system 240

10.8 What would an Australian basic income look like? 242

10.9 Is a basic income affordable? 244

10.10 Conclusion - is a universal basic income likely to be introduced in Australia? 245

Conclusion: A New Day Matthew C. Murray 250

Index 263

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