Thursday, October 16, 2014

Where Do We Go From Here?


October 17th is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.  So let's do it NOW.  #EndPoverty.

In the United States, this could be accomplished rather straightforwardly via expansion of the social security system to provide a guaranteed liveable income (a.k.a. basic income guarantee/B.I.G. or unconditional basic income/U.B.I.), along with passage of an improved and expanded Medicare for all.  
In the video below, in 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. advocates direct abolition of poverty via guaranteed basic income in Where Do We Go From Here - Chaos or Community?

In another powerful video below, Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaks out on behalf of direct abolition of poverty via guaranteed basic income, and in his address to the Basic Income Earth Network's 11th International Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, November 4, 2006.  

As blogged before, basic income is not a new idea, with supporters from different political persuasions and proposals for its implementation coming in various forms and amounts.  For the most part, however, BIEN advocates seem to agree that it must be unconditional (without regard to employment or income status or means testing), individual, and liveable. 

A recent article here by Naomi Klein advocating guaranteed basic income.

A video discussion below with Occupy Wall Street organizer and author David DeGraw who coined the now historic phrase, "We are the 99 percent."  He, too, advocates a basic income.  

From Dennis Traynor:
In his new book, The Economics of Revolution, DeGraw writes:
“Having that much wealth consolidated within a mere 1% of the population, while a record number of people toil in poverty and debt, is a crime against humanity. For example, it would only cost 0.5% of the 1%’s wealth to eliminate poverty nationwide. Also consider that at least 40% of the 1%’s accounted for wealth is sitting idle. That’s an astonishing $13 trillion in wealth hoarded away, unused.”

And a 2013 question and answer session with Allan Sheahen, U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network Board Member and author of the book, Basic Income Guarantee: Your Right To Economic Security.


The basic income movement is reportedly gaining momentum, worldwide, with the 2016 Congress for the Basic Income Earth Network to be hosted by South Korea.   The 16th BIEN Congress took place at McGill University in Canada where François Blais, the Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, recently announced his support for a basic income.  In Iceland, the Pirates Party is now proposing a guaranteed basic income.  And as blogged earlier, the Swiss will be voting on a guaranteed liveable income, having quickly gathered the requisite signatures for the ballot under Swiss law. 

A pro-business statement for a basic income:

Anonymous made a announcement, too:

Basic income pilots have been successfully implemented in communities ranging from Prince Edward Island, Canada to villages in India. 

On the Canadian pilot:

Why Basic Income? Campaign for a Basic Income Guarantee for PEI from C-BIG PEI on Vimeo.

On the pilot in India:

The 14th Annual North American Basic Income Congress is now scheduled for New York, 2015, with invitations for panel discussion proposals.

With November elections approaching in the U.S., and all the candidates who like to associate themselves with the ideals and vision of Dr. King - and sing his praises on Martin Luther King Day - well, I challenge them to "walk the talk" and outright declare support for his proposition in "Where do we go from here?" - and by strongly calling for direct abolition of poverty in the United States - through immediate passage of a guaranteed liveable income.
"If not now, when?"

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