Austin's guaranteed basic income pilot program was a hit. A GOP state senator doesn't want it to happen in Houston

A new report from the Urban Institute once again busts tired and false myths and stereotypes about public assistance. The new report presents results from a guaranteed basic income pilot program that was run by the city of Austin, Texas in partnership with non-profit organization UpTogether and ten other community-based partners. — Read the rest

Universal basic income vs jobs guarantees: which one will make us happier?

Two competing (or, possibly, complementary?) proposals for resolving income inequality and the hole that four decades of demand-side Reaganomics has dug us into are Universal Basic Income and a federal jobs guarantee (the former being a kind of "venture capital for everyone" that provides enough money to live without having to work for an employer; and the latter being a guarantee of a good, meaningful job of social value in sectors like infrastructure, education and caring professions).

Making sense of Basic Income proposals

Universal Basic Income isn't just one proposal: it's a whole spectrum of ideas, with different glosses and nuances coming from the right and the left, from libertarians and those of a more paternalistic bent.

How modern crises originate from a social order built on insecurity

In this episode of the Future Now podcast (which I produce for Institute for the Future), IFTF Executive Director Marina Gorbis speaks with author, filmmaker, and activist Astra Taylor about economic insecurity and building solidarity.

They discuss Astra's new book The Age of Insecurity, which examines how insecurity is political and manufactured by capitalism, organizing and solidarity are key to building power and security for all, and there is massive pushback from elites against any programs that provide economic security for the masses. — Read the rest

How UBI is helping farmers deal with poverty and pandemic life at the same time

I've posted before about the great work being done by US charity GiveDirectly, which raises funds to pilot Universal Basic Income programs around the world. It's not only good for those communities, but it also allows the organization to collect data on the successes of these kinds of programs — strengthening the argument for greater UBI implementation, and improves the distribution of existing programs. — Read the rest

Liberaltarianism: Silicon Valley's emerging ideology of "disruption with economic airbags"

Boing Boing favorite Steven Johnson (previously) has written at length about the emerging politics of "liberaltarianism" in Silicon Valley, which favors extensive government regulation (of all industries save tech), progressive taxation, universal basic income, universal free health care, free university, debt amnesty for students — but no unions and worker acceptance of "volatility, job loss, and replacement by technology."

Eight people own the same wealth as 3.6 billion other people

Last year, according to a recent study by Oxfam International, just eight people owned as much wealth as half of the world's population. That's bad. Many people suggest Universal Basic Income as a way to help solve that problem. My friend and Institute for the Future colleague Marina Gorbis suggests that we need something more — Universal Basic Assets. — Read the rest

RAW Week: Wilson and I, by Richard Metzger


As "outsider" teenage readers of Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea's classic Illuminatus! Trilogy in the early 1980s, it seemed to some of my friends at the time (all big Kurt Vonnegut, Richard Brautigan and Philip K Dick fans, too) that the novel's authors were trying to communicate something "in code" to their readers, like it was a message about "the conspiracy" that was coming from an underground resistance group. — Read the rest