← Back to Blog
Dear UBI Friends and Supporters,
Please find below our December update about UBI events, publications and appeals:
- Webinar “What’s Happening in Catalunya?” with Bru Laín & Aida Martinez on 21 December, 2023 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm (UK time)
Bru Laín and Aida Martinez will be talking us through the contemporary and highly charged politics of basic income in Catalunya. Having previously agreed to fund one of the most ambitious UBI pilots in history, earlier this year political authorities rolled back on that commitment, and the pilot is presently suspended. Bru and Aida will talk us through the politics and prospects.
You can join without registration from the website: https://www.fribis.uni-freiburg.de/event/politics-of-basic-income-talk-series-bru-lain-aida-martinez-on-december-21-2023-whats-happening-in-catalunya/
- Artificial Intelligence (AI), the future of work and UBI is discussed in
The Guardian: AI is coming for our jobs! Could universal basic income be the solution? Artificial intelligence will bring huge changes to the world of work – and dangers for society. Some think they can be solved by just handing everyone money. Is there a catch?
The Independent: Get £1600 a month to do ‘nothing’ welcome to an AI future where nobody works
Both are interesting articles which report about various past, present and planned BI pilots. There are two important questions which are hardly touched in both newspapers and require a more detailed analysis: 1) Who works? Do you work when you look after your friend or neighbour without payment? Do you work when you do politics rather than politics being done to you by professional politicians? Do you work when you educate yourself? 2) How shall we redistribute money to finance UBI? Should it be financed through earned income tax or instead through the sharing of wealth and profit and the eco-taxation of behaviour harming society and nature, e.g. carbon and waste taxes?
- In case you missed the session ‘Why a Basic Income is good for your mental and physical health?’ (25 mins) organised by Lib Dem for UBI group and presented by Prof Matthew Johnson, of Northumbria University.
- Do you want to know more about the experience of people participating in BI pilot? Here is one story: Basic Income Regenerates Life (12 mins)
- A Twitter (X) debate on BI has been analysed by Social Scientists ‘Constructing Credibility: How Basic Income Changed Policy Debate in the Netherlands’ and was published in Social Policy and Society.
- Tijs Laenen’s has launched his book The Popularity of Basic Income: Evidence from the Polls on 16 November. The book presentation was followed by a critical discussion by Prof. Philippe Van Parijs (UCLouvain, Belgium), co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN). You can view a recording of the book launch here (1hr 20mins). A summary of the book, worthwhile reading for every UBI advocate, can be found here.
- Good news about the Basic Income for the Arts pilot in Ireland:
The Irish government has just published the Initial Impact Assessment (6-month). You can read and download the document at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/b24f4-basic-income-for-the-arts-initial-impact-assessment-6-month/
Advocates are calling for the scheme, currently being trialled by 2,000 applicants, to be extended to the wider artistic community. What should happen after the end of the pilot? You can find out more in ‘State in line to pay €140m artists’ tab’.
In case you have missed our event about ‘Basic Income for the Arts in Ireland – What Have We Learned after 14 months?’ (3rd Session Dec 2023) you can watch the recording on the YouTube channel of UBI Lab Arts:
Some US American artists joined us to report about their experience with a Guaranteed Income.
- You may want to listen to the 50th anniversary Schumacher conversations ‘Expanding the Frontiers of Commoning’ (1hr 30mins). The use, abuse and exploitation of our many different Commons could serve as a financial basis for a UBI through ecotaxation.
- UBI4FARMERS has started a survey about UBI. They are especially keen to hear from farmers, farmworkers and all food producers! But if you don’t fit into these categories, they are interested in your viewpoint and you can complete the survey here.
- Good news about the GiveDirectly trial in Kenya:
Michael Tubbs, the founder of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income and the former Mayor of Stockton, has written about his recent visit to GiveDirectly cash aid programs in Kenya ‘From California to Kenya: trust people with cash’Here is one quote ‘…cash aid was also discussed as a way to help communities deal with the growing impact of climate change. We learned of a community in Siaya County that had dealt with catastrophic and unprecedented flooding, and how cash would be the best tool for building climate resilience in the near-term and beyond.’
The Economist has reported about the long-term BI trial of GiveDirectly in Kenya: ‘Giving the poor a wodge of cash is better than dripping it out – The world’s biggest basic-income trial releases early findings’
An evaluation team has reported the findings for the first two years of a 12-years intervention. You can read the full report ‘Universal Basic Income: Short-Term Results from a Long-Term Experiment in Kenya’ or a summary ‘Early findings from the world’s largest UBI study’.
- Our UBI Lab member Dave Beck and Hefin Gwilym argue ‘Universal basic income: Wales is set to end its experiment – why we think that’s a mistake’. The main reason to not extend the pilot is the budget cost for Wales. Less consideration is given to the well-being effects and its long-term cost savings for the individual and society.
- A Compass Podcast (61 mins) about Land Ownership and the Commons with Guy Standing and Pam Warhurst the founder of Incredible Edible. The whole discussion is worth listening. At 43-46 mins Guy explains the importance of universal BI for well-being.
- Good news about Basic and Guaranteed Income (GI) from the USA:
You may want to read the first qualitative report about evaluations of four Mayors for a Guaranteed Income pilots in the USA: “My kids deserve the world”: How children in the
Southeast benefit from guaranteed income. A researcher who wrote the report said “This has been one of the most meaningful and moving pieces of research I’ve done in my career.”
Researchers at the Center for Homelessness, Housing, and Health Equity Research at the University of Southern California released an interim report on the first six months of a randomized controlled trial to study the impact of a basic income and social support intervention which shows a significant reduction of homelessness in Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area.
The University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Guaranteed Income Research has released its final report on the experiment with GI during the pandemic in Ulster County of New York State: “The American Guaranteed Income Studies: Ulster County, New York” This report is the first in a series of GI studies. The Center will be releasing full mixed-methods findings across a range of sites in the coming months.
A former hedge fund manager who was raised in a poor black family has now become a BI advocate. Darryl Finkton Jr has written the book ‘End Poverty. Make Trillions’.
- The paper ‘Money for everything? Universal basic income in a crisis.’ explores UBI in relation to crisis, from COVID-19 to techno-economic disruptions to work and prospective post-capitalist transition.
- Good news from South Africa:
The latest magazine of the Social Policy Initiative from South Africa has published an interesting article ‘WHY SHOULD SOUTH AFRICA HAVE UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME (UBI) INSTEAD OF A TARGETED BASIC INCOME GRANT?’
RighfulShare: An Income Movement is the first unconditional basic income transfer with GoodDollar in South Africa. GoodDollar is a digital currency and provides money as a public good. The project is pioneering fairer income access and web3 solutions in the small town of Groblershoop in the Northern Cape. RightfulShare was recently recognized by the Swiss/South African Blockchain Innovation Challenge as one of the most innovative projects in the blockchain space.
- BIEN’s affiliates, Germany’s “Netzwerk Grundeinkommen” and Korea’s “Basic Income Korean Network” have initiated an appeal on Basic Income and Climate Change. This appeal is based on the realisation that “Basic income is one of the necessary components of a global, national and regional policy mix for socio-ecological transformation”, according to Ronald Blaschke from Germany and Min Geum 금민 from South Korea. The full text can be found here: https://basicincome.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/2023-12-Basic-Income-and-socio-ecological-transformation-en.pdf Signatures can be sent by the deadline 7 January 2024, to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Finally, you may want to listen to the BI poem ‘Living in America’ of Poet Jose Cordon (2min 20sec) as an almost immaterial and nature-friendly end of year present:
We wish all of you a peaceful Winter Solstice, a good Christmas period and happiness and health in 2024 for you and your family,
reinhard on behalf of UBI Lab Leeds