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TOPIC: Basic Income News and Comments 01

Basic Income News and Comments 01 29 Mar 2017 02:42 #290

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A new documentary on basic income —Url=http://www.austrianfilms.com/film/whats_wrong_with_a_free_lunch]Free Lunch Society
[/url] by Austrian director Christian Tod — premiered in Copenhagen’s Bremen Theatre on March 20, 2017, to a crowd numbering in the hundreds





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The 90-minute film covers a range of “highlights” of the basic income movement, such as (for example) Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend, Manitoba’s “Mincome” experiment, campaigns for guaranteed minimum income in the 1960s US, the 2008 basic income pilot in Namibia, Switzerland’s 2016 basic income referendum, and current concerns about automation.

Along the way, it features interviews with prominent basic income proponents — including, among others, billionaire businessman Götz Werner (founder of the German drugstore chain dm-drogerie markt), libertarian political scientist Charles Murray (American Enterprise Institute), venture capitalist Albert Wenger (Union Square Ventures), Mein Grundeinkommen founder [url=v]Michael Bohmeyer[/url], Swiss referendum co-founder Daniel Häni, economist Evelyn Forget, and writer and entrepreneur Peter Barnes.

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Source: BIEN
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Basic Income News and Comments 01 29 Mar 2017 02:48 #291

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Finland’s basic income experiment is now underway, with the first payments having been mailed this week. With the experiment generating much media attention, here is a review of some of the basics.


FINLAND: First Basic Income payments sent to experiment participants


On January 1, 2017, Finland launched an experiment in which 2,000 individuals–randomly selected from a pool of unemployment benefit recipients–will receive unconditional cash payments of €560 (about 590 USD) per month for two years.

The first payments were sent out on Monday, January 9.
The main goal of the experiment, as it presently stands, is to determine whether unconditional cash transfers are more effective than means-tested unemployment benefits with respect to promoting job-seeking and employment.

Olli Kangas, leader of the research team at Kela that designed the experiment, has recommended expanding the experiment to other target populations (including “other persons with small incomes” and individuals under age 25).

The Sample

The test subjects comprise 2,000 individuals between the ages of 25 and 58 who were receiving unemployment benefits from Kela (the Social Insurance Institution of Finland) as of November 2016. These subjects were randomly selected from a pool of about 175,000 individuals nationwide.

To avoid selection bias, participation in the experiment was mandatory for those selected.

Kela reports that, of those selected, 87% had been receiving the Labour Market Subsidy, while 13% had been receiving the Basic Unemployment Allowance. These programs provide taxable payments of €32.80 per day, five days per week, to those (and only to those) who are officially registered as unemployed job seekers.

The benefits are subject to withdrawal if a recipient turns down an offer of work or training. Furthermore, if a recipient takes temporary or part-time employment, the amount of the benefits is decreased (as a general rule) by 50 cents per euro in earned income over €300 per month.

The Basic Income

Those included in the study population will be paid a monthly basic income of €560 for a period of two years. Unlike the Labour Market Subsidy and Basic Unemployment Allowance, the amount of the benefit does not decrease if the recipient earns additional income (regardless of the amount of earned income).
The basic income is not subject to tax. However, it is counted as income for the purpose of determining eligibility for additional social assistance.
Kela notes that there are some circumstances under which payment of the benefit might be terminated, such as moving abroad or entering military service.

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Source: BIEN
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Basic Income News and Comments 01 29 Mar 2017 03:09 #292

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Three University of Manitoba economists, Wayne Simpson, Greg Mason, and Ryan Godwin, have jointly authored a new research paper about the Manitoba Basic Annual Income Experiment (“Mincome”), a trial of a guaranteed income that took place from 1974 to 1979.


“The Manitoba Basic Annual Income Experiment: Lessons Learned 40 Years Later”


The Mincome experiment consisted of randomized studies in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba, as well as a saturation study in the town of Dauphin, where all residents were eligible for participation in the study. Participants received an income supplement that was phased out as personal earnings increased, and several combinations of minimum income level and taxation rates were tested.

The guaranteed income scheme tested, a negative income tax, is equivalent in its distributional effects to a basic income that is taxed back with personal income over a certain amount. Decades after Mincome ended, its outcomes were analyzed by economist Evelyn Forget. The results are now frequently mentioned as evidence of the effectiveness of basic income / negative income tax.

At present, the province of Ontario is preparing a new major trial of a guaranteed income (which, as in Mincome, is likely to be designed as a negative income tax).

In a lengthy discussion paper about the new trial, project advisor Hugh Segal notes that the Dauphin saturation study, showed “population health improvements, the potential for government health savings, and no meaningful reduction in labour force participation.”

In their new article, Simpson, Mason, and Godwin re-examine Mincome, and consider how it might answer questions about contemporary experiments in Ontario and elsewhere.
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Source: BIEN
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Basic Income News and Comments 01 05 Apr 2017 23:49 #1060

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Psychologists for Social Change: “Universal Basic Income: A Psychological Impact Assessment”


Psychologists for Social Change, a UK-based network of applied psychologists, academics, therapists and psychology graduates, publishes reports on topics at the intersection of psychology and public policy, such as the psychological impact of austerity policies and, now, basic income.

Abriefing paper published in March 2017 examines the potential psychological effects of a universal basic income (described therein as “a regular, non-means tested, guaranteed income, delivered to every citizen of and beyond working age”) and offers recommendations for further research.

According to the report, there is evidence to suggest that basic income could increase five important psychological indicators: agency, security, connection, meaning, and trust.

With respect to agency, the authors maintain that a basic income would allow individuals to “make meaningful choices about the kind of work they would like to do”. Additionally, they claim that the removal of sanctions on benefits would increase the sense of agency for recipients.

With respect to connection, they note that a basic income is individual rather than household based, eliminating economic constraints on relationship formation, and that the policy could potentially allow individuals to work less, spending more time with friends and family.

Meaning, according to the authors, would be promoted insofar as individuals are able to take advantage of the basic income to “prioritize spending time on creative projects, volunteering or other non-paid work (such as caring) that has meaning for them”.

At the same time, Psychologists for Social Change acknowledge that the effects of basic income are uncertain, and they call for more trials of the policy in the UK, which, in particular, would gather data on mental well-being and other psychological indicators.

Read the full report:
Psychologists for Social Change, “Universal Basic Income: A Psychological Impact Assessment” (March 2017).


Source: BIEN
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Basic Income News and Comments 01 07 Jul 2017 16:01 #3595

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www.indy100.com/article/first-us-state-passed-bill-support-universal-basic-income-hawaii-wealth-redistrubution-wealth-7828811
Hawaii has become the first US state to pass a bill to support universal basic income.

The bill, called HCR 89, means the Hawiian government will convene "a basic economic security working group", which many are touting as the first step towards a nationwide basic income programme.

Last month Chris Lee, a state representative for Hawaii wrote a piece on reddit to "introduce a conversation about our future". In the post he wrote:

Planning for the future isn't politically sexy and won't win anyone an election, if anything it tends to bring out opposition that doesn't want to see things change. But if we do it properly we will all be much better off for it in the long run.



Hawaii is quickly gaining a reputation of the most progressive state. In June, it became the most the first in the US to formally accept the provisions of the Paris Climate Agreement after President Donald Trump withdrew from it. It's a bit of a historic pattern for Hawaii, who were the first state to sign in the Equal Rights Amendment, and the first to legally mandate employer-sponsored healthcare in 1974.

Additionally, in 1970 it legalised abortions - two years before the rest of the US.
"Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." - Robert Frost ...
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Basic Income News and Comments 01 17 Aug 2017 02:47 #3984

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It is very encouraging to see an "idea whose time has come" taking root, even if only incompletely here and there...lets push on!

THE NETHERLANDS: Government authorizes social assistance experiments in first five municipalities


The municipalities of Groningen, Wageningen, Tilburg, Deventer, and Ten Boer have received permission from the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment to proceed with proposed social assistance experiments.

Jetta Klijnsma, State Secretary of Social Affairs and Employment, signed the authorization of the five municipal experiments on June 3.
Groningen and Ten Boer will be carrying out their experiments in cooperation with one another.
In each of the experiments, which will run for two years, participants will be randomly selected from a pool of current social assistance beneficiaries (with participation voluntary for those selected), and assigned either to a control group or to one of several treatment groups.
Each experiment has at least three treatment groups, testing the following types of interventions: (1) removing reintegration requirements (e.g. job applications and training programs) on welfare benefits; (2) providing a more intensive form of reintegration service; (3) permitting participants to earn additional income on top of their welfare benefits. Subjects assigned to the third treatment groups will be permitted to retain 50% of additional earned income, up to a maximum of €199 per month, for the duration of the two-year experiment. In contrast, under current policy, welfare recipients are permitted to keep only 25% of additional income, and only for up to six months.
The Groningen / Ten Boer experiment includes a fourth treatment group, in which participants are permitted to choose to join any one of the three preceding groups.

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Souce: BIEN


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