Thursday, February 4, 2010

Basic Income Conference

Thursday, 15 April and Friday, 16 April, 2010, at Universite de Montreal. The full program, as well as more information, can be found here. Basic income is probably the only policy in the world advocated by communists, Rawlsian liberals, and Sarah Palin (as governor of Alaska, she presided over the only operating basic income program in existence, the state oil revenue grants).

I don't know the precise form of basic income guarantee advocated by all of the speakers at the conference, but it is certainly worth differentiating between the negative income tax advocated by neoliberals and neo-classical economists (of which the US earned income tax credit is an instance) and the basic income guarantee, which would be unconditional (except, perhaps, ofr citizenship), and hence not means-tested or tied to employment.


Paul Nollen said...


If a Basic Income is taxable with income tax, like it is the case in Alaska, there is not much of a difference between a Basic Income and a Negative Income Tax. This as far as the cost for the government is concerned. On the receiver end there is an important difference because a Basic Income works with a "prebate" and is taxed afterwards, and a Negative Income Tax is a "rebate" long after the "harm" (of poverty) is done.

Paul Nollen

Will Roberts said...

Personally, I'm more interested in the recipient's side of the equation. The negative tax was always meant to keep people in the job market. I'm much more sympathetic to those who want to provide as many alternatives to the job market as possible.