sabato 21 novembre 2009
Dopo la Banca Mondiale, il Fondo Monetario Internazionale e Tremonti,
abbiamo deciso di notificare il falso in bilancio anche...
- l'intera delegazione italiana
p.c. Vari Ministeri del Governo italiano
Vi invitiamo ad esprimere un breve commento sul seguente documento.
Le opinioni più divertenti verranno pubblicate su internet.
Centro Studi Monetari
Un modo appropriato per contabilizzare la moneta nel bilancio della banca
Thomas Colignatus, 31 dicembre 2005
note a cura di Marco Saba, traduzione di Nicoletta Forcheri
IL FOGLIO, 21/11/2009
" Ecco la formula che tiene Israele fuori dalla crisi economica "
Gerusalemme. “Masà” in ebraico significa viaggio, ma è anche il nome di un’organizzazione che aiuta giovani ebrei di tutto il mondo a passare alcuni mesi in Israele per fare volontariato, studiare o lavorare. Da quando c’è la crisi economica, Masà rappresenta un forte richiamo. Quest’anno molti dei 160 programmi hanno visto il numero di partecipanti raddoppiare. Il piccolo paese mediorientale, privo di petrolio e altre risorse naturali, sembra aver trovato la via della ripresa più rapidamente di tanti altri paesi occidentali. Tra la fine del 2008 e il primo trimestre del 2009, una leggera recessione ha colpito il paese; poi però l’economia si è ripresa e ora la Banca d’Israele prevede una crescita zero per quest’anno e almeno un +2,5 per cento per il 2010. In ottobre la bilancia commerciale è tornata in positivo per la prima volta in 14 anni; l’inflazione e la disoccupazione sono cresciute, al 3,2 e al 7,5 per cento rispettivamente, ma meno delle previsioni. Gli analisti plaudono ai principali attori economici, il premier Benjamin Netanyahu e il governatore della Banca d’Israele Stanley Fischer, per aver superato la cattiva congiuntura con poche e leggere iniziative, anche grazie a un sistema bancario solido e ben regolamentato. Ma il paese deve la sua fortuna a uno sviluppo basato su ricerca e alta tecnologia. In totale, gli investimenti in ricerca e sviluppo arrivano al 5 per cento del pil, il livello più alto del mondo. “Israele ha deciso di usare la ricerca e lo sviluppo per far fronte ai suoi problemi più grandi, come la sicurezza o la scarsità d’acqua – dice Ricardo Hausmann, direttore del Centro per lo Sviluppo Internazionale presso l’Università di Harvard – Così ha trovato idee che sono valide a livello globale e si è specializzata nell’esportazione di soluzioni ai propri problemi”. Sono lontani i tempi in cui il pompelmo Jaffadel giovane stato, nato con un’economia largamente socialista incentrata sull’egualitarismo del kibbutz. Oggi le scoperte e i prodotti israeliani sono ovunque: nella tecnologia militare, ma soprattutto nell’informatica, nelle energie alternative, nella desalinizzazione dell’acqua e nella medicina. Il motore dell’economia è nelle tante piccole imprese, spesso create da giovani sulla base di invenzioni o idee creative, scrivono Dan Senor e Saul Singer in “Start-Up Nation”, un libro da poco pubblicato. Hausmann, autore di uno studio sullo sviluppo israeliano, afferma che Israele ha creato una filiera perfetta per l’innovazione, coltivando tramite la scuola, l’esercito, gli interventi statali e privati i talenti di una popolazione costituita in buona parte da immigrati Secondo gli esperti, la vera chiave si trova negli anni del servizio militare obbligatorio: tre per i ragazzi e due per le ragazze. Quello che per molti è una dura e rischiosa imposizione è anche il momento in cui i giovani imparano a trovare soluzioni con poche risorse. “Molti acquisiscono competenze di ingegneria elettronica e software – dice Asher Tishler, preside della Business School dell’Università di Tel Aviv – Così imparano a pensare, risolvere i problemi, prendere decisioni e non avere paura di contraddire i superiori”. Da poco ha aperto a Gerusalemme un impianto della Intel per la fabbricazione di matrici, passo fondamentale nella produzione dei microchip. Nel 2006, Warren Buffett ha preso il controllo di un’importante azienda metallurgica; Nissan Renault collabora alla creazione della prima rete capillare per ricaricare automobili elettriche. Per contenere il crollo delle esportazioni, calate del 25 per cento nei primi mesi della crisi, il governatore Fischer ha lanciato un programma di acquisti di valuta estera per abbassare il valore dello sheqel, la moneta israeliana, che continuava a rafforzarsi sul dollaro. L’anno scorso Fischer fu tra i primi ad abbassare i tassi d’interesse, mentre ad agosto fu il primo governatore a rialzarli dopo i primi segnali di ripresa. “La sua reputazione e la sua freddezza sono state essenziali per mantenerci in buona forma”, dice Tishler. L’impatto economico del nucleare iraniano Nel 2004 il governo ha approvato una riforma del sistema finanziario separando le banche da fondi di investimento e altre forme di gestione del risparmio. All’epoca Netanyahu era ministro delle Finanze nel governo Sharon. Neoliberista e sostenitore di uno “small government”, l’attuale premier rimane una figura controversa. Per i suoi sostenitori, ha rivoluzionato l’economia israeliana con tagli alle tasse, privatizzazioni e liberalizzazioni. Per i critici, ha tagliato troppo sul welfare, contribuendo ad accrescere lo squilibrio nella distribuzione della ricchezza. “Netanyahu è un thatcheriano, e il suo sogno è portare questa politica in Israele”, sostiene Ariel Arnon, professore di Economia dell’Università Ben Gurion. Netanyahu continua a tenere le fila della politica economica, controllando l’azione del ministro delle Finanze Yuval Steinitz, un professore di filosofia. Ora il premier ha dovuto moderare le sue posizioni per non perdere l’appoggio dei laburisti, compagni di governo. Secondo Arnon, l’equilibrio mantenuto da Netanyahu emerge anche dai consiglieri economici più influenti: Uri Yogev, convinto neoliberista ex capo del Bilancio del ministero delle Finanze poi entrato nel settore privato, e Ofer Eini, il presidente della Federazione dei sindacati. Gli economisti ora avvertono che le sfide non mancheranno. La preoccupazione maggiore è data dal programma nucleare iraniano. A Teheran basterebbe solo possedere l’arma atomica per far fuggire da Israele i migliori cervelli. “E’ un aspetto di cui non si parla, ma molti ne discutono a casa e con gli amici – dice Arnon – Pensano di avere ancora tempo, ma non c’è grande fiducia nel lungo periodo. Non è piacevole pensare di dover crescere i propri figli all’ombra di un fungo atomico”.
by Benjamin Fulford
China has stealthily introduced a new financial system based on the renminbi which is well on its way to becoming fully convertible, according to a high-level Chinese source. In addition, China is purchasing 10,000 tons of gold to back up a new fund designed to develop and market heretofore forbidden and suppressed technologies. The fund will be based outside of China and will be controlled by prominent members of the Chinese overseas community. The gold purchase will take some time because of the logistics of transporting it and the Chinese wish to test it thoroughly. Both the Chinese government and MI6 now confirm reports that much of the gold sold by the Federal Reserve Board over the past decade is in fact gold plated tungsten.
For its part, the renminbi is now convertible with South American currencies, the rouble, Middle-Eastern currencies, the yen, South East Asian currencies and African currencies. “We will slowly introduce our new financial system in parallel with the old one and hope that people steadily migrate towards it,” the Chinese official says.
Meanwhile, the latest G20 meeting ended in acrimony and chaos. The leadership of the West is in total disarray and will remain so until the Federal Reserve Board’s bankruptcy becomes visible even to brainwashed section of the Western public. This is now expected by January or February. Both MI6 and a senior Chinese government source now predict the collapse of the Federal Reserve dollar by that time.
We are also hearing various reports that many Pentagon and other US alphabet suit agency figures with both US and Israeli citizenship have recently fled to Israel. Things are coming to a head.
Banche: io me la cavo. L’autodifesa per cittadini e imprese Domenica mattina alle 9.30 all’Hotel Excelsior di Bari la casa editrice “la Città” promuove un seminario formativo aperto alla cittadinanza per orientarsi nel mondo del credito
BARI - Avere un conto corrente in banca da gestire, o un mutuo da accendere o da rinegoziare oggi possono essere operazioni a rischio. Da una parte, infatti, ci sono i risparmiatori dall’altra le banche. E anche il semplice conto corrente, il prodotto per eccellenza che dovrebbe semplificare la gestione del risparmio, grazie alle mille condizioni cui è sottoposto non dà sufficienti garanzie.
La casa editrice “la Città” che promuove periodicamente appuntamenti formativi con illustri professionisti di fama nazionale ha invitato domenica 22 novembre alle ore 9.30 all’Hotel Excelsior di Bari tre illustri professionisti: Antonio Miclavez, Marco Della Luna e Argo Fedrigo. Lo scopo è quello di mettere in chiaro alcuni lati oscuri nella gestione del credito e spiegare come orientarsi nei rivoli dei servizi ai clienti offerti dalle banche. Questo è già esplicito sin dal titolo dell’evento: “Banche: io me la cavo. L’autodifesa per cittadini e imprese”.
Ron Paul Defends His Plan for Fed OversightNYTimes, November 20, 2009, 6:26 pm
Defending himself against critics, Representative Ron Paul of Texas played down continuing concerns on Friday that his amendment to give Congress sweeping new oversight powers over the Federal Reserve would compromise the central bank’s political independence. He asserted that the Fed was not truly as independent as it would like the public to believe.
“There is already a tremendous amount of political pressure on the Fed,” Mr. Paul, a libertarian Republican, told DealBook. “The Federal Reserve Board chairmen have notoriously been sympathetic to the presidents who might be reappointing them and there has been evidence to show that.”
Mr. Paul also asserted that the Fed was beholden to pressures beyond the government from special interests, including Wall Street.
“It’s not like the banks and Goldman Sachs doesn’t have influence over the Fed,” Mr. Paul said. “Every time the Fed says it wants its independence, what they are really saying is we want to keep our secrets.”
The renewed attacks on Mr. Paul’s controversial amendment to provide audits of the Fed comes after the House Financial Services Committee voted Thursday night to insert the amendment into its version of the financial overhaul bill.
The amendment would allow the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, to have access to a vast array of information on the nation’s monetary policy currently out of their reach, including information on the Fed’s emergency lending programs, information on the financial bailouts, the Fed’s dealings with foreign central banks and the Fed’s decisions to drive down interest rates by intervening in bond markets.
Representative Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, told DealBook that he voted against the amendment because he said he felt “it went a little bit too far.” But he noted that he could support it going forward if it did not dispel the “perception” that the Fed is independent.
“The problems with monetary policy is that perception plays a real role and I did worry that that could lead people inside America and also outside to be worried about the integrity of the monetary policy function,” Mr. Frank said. “If it turns out that the amendment does not cause these kind of concerns, then I would be fine with that.”
Meanwhile, other critics of Mr. Paul’s amendment contend that Congress is “pandering to public anger” and fear that the Fed would lose its ability to set interest rates, putting Congress in charge of this very important subset of monetary policy.
“Yesterday’s passage of the Paul amendment by the House Financial Services Committee is a dangerous move by this Congress to pander to the populist anger currently directed against our central bank, the Federal Reserve,” Senator Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire, said in a statement. “Congress has demonstrated time and again its inability to manage the nation’s fiscal policy, illustrated by our staggering national debt in excess of $12 trillion, so how can anyone think that its involvement in monetary policy would be good for the country?”
Mr. Paul shot back at Mr. Gregg. “It’s not pandering, it’s listening,” Mr. Paul said. “The people are angry because they are finding out what the Fed is doing.”
One of the more controversial things the Fed has done during the crisis was to buy up billions of dollars’ worth of mortgage-backed securities from banks and government-sponsored entities. Since the Fed is shielded from oversight, Congress has little idea what the Fed bought or exactly how much it paid for the potentially toxic securities. Mr. Paul said he feared that the government could be paying full price for the securities, which could end up being worthless.
Mr. Paul also said the amendment specifically barred Congress from intervening in any aspect of monetary policy and that any audits of the Federal Reserve’s decisions to raise or lower interests rates would be made available to Congress on a six-month time lag.
The bill will be voted on by the committee at the end of the month and it will then go to the House floor for debate and a vote. The Senate, meanwhile, is considering its own financial overhaul bill. If those bills are approved, they would then have to be reconciled by both houses of Congress before going to the president.
– Cyrus Sanati
A: Banca Mondiale
Maria Teresa Pugliese
CC: Fondo Monetario Internazionale
- MEF Italia
- Presidenza della Repubblica
- Corte de' Conti
- Presidente Onorario Corte Costituzionale
Avv. A. Baldassarre
Vi invitiamo ad esprimere un breve commento sul seguente documento.
Centro Studi Monetari
Un modo appropriato per contabilizzare la moneta nel bilancio della banca
Thomas Colignatus, 31 dicembre 2005
note a cura di Marco Saba, traduzione di Nicoletta Forcheri
USBIG NEWSLETTER Vol. 10, No. 54 Fall 2009This is the Newsletter of the USBIG Network (www.usbig.net), which promotes the discussion of the basic income guarantee (BIG) in the United States. BIG is a policy that would unconditionally guarantee at least a subsistence-level income for everyone. If you would like to be added to or removed from this list please email: Karl@Widerquist.com.
Table of Contents1. Call for Papers: USBIG/BIEN Canada
2. Call for Papers: Thirteenth International Congress of BIEN
3. Editorial: Small Victories
4. Mongolia Expected to Introduce the First National Basic Income in the World
5. Alaska Permanent Fund Distributes a BIG of $1305
6. Other BIG News from around the World
7. Upcoming events
8. Recent Events
9. Recent Publications
10. New Members
11. New Links
12. Links and Other Info
1. CALL FOR PAPERS: Joint Conference of the USBIG Network and BIEN Canada
Basic Income at a Time of Economic Upheaval: A Path to Justice and Stability?
A joint conference of the USBIG Network and BIEN Canada
Hosted by Centre de recherche en ethique de l’Universite de Montreal (CREUM)
University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Thursday, Friday, April 15-16, 2010
This two-day event will be the first joint conference of the two North American affiliates of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN)—the US Basic Income Guarantee network (USBIG) and BIEN Canada.
Prof. Guy Standing, of University of Bath, and Louise Haagh, of the University of York (UK), will give keynote addresses. Standing is a leading expert on basic income, economic development and the labor market. His presentation will be based on his new book, Work after Globalisation: Building Occupational Citizenship. Haagh is a world poverty, labour studies and social policy specialist working in the field of comparative labour market institutions, welfare regimes and the political economy of development.
The conference will also include a special roundtable with political experts and policy activists, including Senator Hugh Segal (Canada), Senator Art Eggleton (Canada), Sheila Regehr, Al Sheahen and Rob Rainer. A closing statement on the conference will be delivered by Senator Eduardo Suplicy (Brazil).
The conference will examine whether instituting an unconditional Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) as an economic floor, aimed at preventing those affected by the current economic upheavals from falling below what any modern democracy would consider a decent standard of living, constitutes a desirable and feasible option in Canada or the United States. The conference aims to compare the prospects and challenges faced by the BIG proposal in the context of both Canada and the US, two countries that share many similarities and yet are profoundly different in terms of their economic, social and political background.
The organizers invite panel presentations from academic scholars, practitioners and policy activists on a wide variety of topics dealing with the challenges of designing, promoting or instituting a BIG in the current economic climate in Canada or the US. Priority will be given to papers that explicitly discuss BIG in the context of either Canada or the US, or that compare the distinct prospects in both countries.
The Centre de recherche en ethique de l’Universite de Montreal (CREUM—The Center for Research in Ethics at the University of Montreal) will host the conference. The main language of the conference is English, but the organizers will try to accommodate French speakers as much as possible.
To submit a proposal, email a title and short abstract to
firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 15 January.
The official call for papers and further information are posted on the BIGMontreal website at http://bigmontreal.wordpress.com/, which can also be reached by link for the USBIG website http://www.usbig.net.
Admission is free. Everyone is welcome to attend, but pre-registration is required. Details about registration and other aspects of the conference will be announced on the conference website. If you have any additional questions, please contact the conference organizer: Jurgen De Wispelaere at email@example.com.
2. CALL FOR PAPERS: 13th BIEN Congress, Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 30 – July 2, 2010
The 13th International Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network: Basic Income – an Instrument for Justice and Peace will take place at the Universidade de Sao Paulo, in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 30, July 1-2, 2010. The Congress will explore the basic income option from the standpoint of its contribution to social justice and peace. This includes basic income as a means of reducing inequality and poverty, guaranteeing economic security in an increasingly insecure world and addressing citizenship rights directly.
Prospective paper authors are welcome to examine these issues from various standpoints – conceptual, philosophical, theoretical, empirical, political – taking into account local, global or comparative perspectives. The organizers invite paper and panel proposals on topics such as:
• BI and the global financial crisis: challenges to and opportunities
• Feasibility and financing issues at the local, national, regional, and global level (including political economy of financing, concrete experiments, and alternative revenue sources)
• BI in comparative focus (Employment Guarantees, Stakeholding, Earned Income Tax Credit, Revenue Minimum d’Insertion, Bolsa Família, FTC, Solidariedad, Oportunidad. etc.)
• BI and work (ethical, political, & empirical issues of the formal & informal labor markets)
• BI and informal communities (migrant and immigrant communities, shanty towns, slums, “quilombos”, and rural villages)
• Urban or rural issues and BI (violence, economic security, etc.)
• BI and welfare (care, family policies, pensions, social services and the transition from conditional to universal programs)
• BI and the contemporary discussions on development
• BI: Left or right politics?
• BI and democracy and justice (political, social, economic, and international issues)
• BI as emancipation policy: breaking racial or ethnic prejudices and transforming gender relations?
• BI and culture
• BI in particular countries and regions, and regional integration
Scholars and practitioners are invited to propose panels and individual paper presentations for the Congress; different perspectives are welcome. Civil society organizations are encouraged to participate. Proposals for papers (by individuals or as part of a panel) should include the following information:
2. Affiliation (if applicable) including job title and organization
4. Telephone number (including international access code)
5. Email address
6. Title of the presentation/contribution
7. Selected topic (either one of those listed above or the topic proposed for the respective panel)
8. Abstract (summary of 800 to 1000 words)
Proposals should be emailed to
Panel proposals must provide all of the above information for each paper, plus a definite title for the panel, and a brief formulation of questions to be discussed (300-500 words). Papers may be written in any language but the abstract must be submitted in English. The working language of the Congress will be English. The keynote sessions will be in English or Portuguese with simultaneous translation.
The deadline for submission of papers and panel proposals is February 25th 2010. Acceptance of proposals will be communicated by March 25th, 2010 at the latest. This confirmation of acceptance will be provided earlier to those who submit proposals earlier. Details concerning registration, accommodation, etc. will be available at the Congress website, which can be accessed through the BIEN website:
3. EDITORIAL: Small Victories
The political barriers between the current situation in the United States and the implementation of a full basic income are daunting. On an international basis, the outlook is much brighter. As far as I can tell, there are more basic income projects underway or under discussion worldwide now than ever before. There are small, privately funded pilot projects going on in Namibia and Brazil. Thirty basic income supporters were elected to the German Bundestag in recent elections. The Nigerian government is considering a regional basic income in the Niger Delta area. The Mongolian government has recently pledged to introduce the world’s first national basic income. (See stories below.)
Just last week, October 29, 2009, I had the honor to be present when the city council of Santo Antonio do Pinhal, Brazil (a city of about 7,000 people in the State of Sao Paulo) voted unanimously to create a small basic income from local tourist revenue. What will come of this small, locally based income remains to be seen. But remember that the Alaska oil dividend was inspired by a local basic income introduced in a small town. And the Alaska dividend may prove to be an inspiration for similar programs in places as far away as Mongolia and Nigeria.
So, progress is happening worldwide. In America, however, it is important to focus on small victories. Politics is full of opportunities to change minds toward the ways of thinking that support basic income.
Two of the most compelling reasons to support basic income are the belief that people have an equal right to the world’s resources and the belief that everyone should have the right to meet their needs. Any policy that helps establish these norms moves us (however gradually) in the direction of basic income.
People don’t discover oil every day, but some kind of new government giveaway of natural resources does happen just about every day. Every new mine, well, or beach front hotel is an opportunity to establish the norm that people have a shared right to natural resources, and that they should be compensated if private firms want to privatize it.
Two years ago we missed an opportunity when the U.S. government gave away a substantial portion of the broadcast spectrum to a few corporations at no charge; and then allowed those companies to sell it back to us. But the issue isn’t settled. A recent study by the Consumer Electronics Association found that reallocating broadcast spectrum could yield cost savings of more than 1 trillion dollars. If and when that reallocation happens, we have the opportunity to press for auctioning off that spectrum and sharing the proceeds.
Several BIG-related campaigns are under way right now. The refundable child tax credit was won a few years ago. It is essentially a very small basic income for children, but only a portion of the federal government’s child tax credits are refundable. Several groups are pushing for a larger refundable credit. The cap-and-dividend approach to greenhouse gas reduction would establish a small basic income out of taxes designed to discourage the behavior that causes global warming www.capanddividend.org. Cap-and-Dividend is a live issue on Capitol Hill, and several Members of Congress have signed on.
Probably the biggest issue in U.S. politics right now is healthcare reform. The current debate is largely a debate over whether there should be a universal right of access to healthcare. Almost every other country has established that right in law, and the United States might finally join them this year. The versions of healthcare reform on the table right now are not as close to true universality as the healthcare systems exist in most other countries, but they clearly help to establish the norm that healthcare ought to be universal.
Once norms like this are established in law, they tend to become more popular. Although the creation of national health was controversial in many countries, I don’t believe that there is any country in the world that has the universal right to healthcare in which a majority of people would like to go back to a system in which some have health insurance and some don’t. Public education is far from equal, but few people today want to deny a basic education to the children of the poor as most countries did a hundred years ago.
Establishing a universal right to healthcare is not the same as establishing the norm that all people should have an unconditional right to other necessities, but it certainly brings us closer to that objective. The fight for universal healthcare is our fight.
-Karl Widerquist, editor
Begun in Santo Antonio do Pinhal, Brazil, October 29, 2009
Completed in Doha, Qatar, November 4, 2009
4. MONGOLIA TO INTRODUCE THE FIRST NATIONAL BASIC INCOME IN THE WORLD
The Mongolian government has taken the initial steps to create a basic income in the form of an Alaskan-style resource dividend. That would make it only the second regular basic income in the world and the first on a national level. This action has received very little attention in the international media, probably because Mongolia is a small and isolated country. However, the resource dividend has the potential to become extremely significant for Mongolians.
Bloomberg News reports that the Mongolian government has pledged to set up a “sovereign wealth fund” using mining royalties from new gold and copper mines, which are expected to begin generating large tax revenues within the next three to five years. The fund is expected to distribute part of its revenue as an annual income to every Mongolian.
In an interview with Bloomberg News, Mongolian Finance Minister Sangajav Bayartsogt, said that the government studied examples like the Alaska Permanent Fund when drafting the proposal.
Although the government has not yet published estimates of how large the annual income might turn out to be, this program could eventually make a large impact on Mongolians, because Mongolia is a small, poor country with a large amount of newly discovered resource wealth. During the elections this year, both parties discussed distributing as much as $1000US to each citizen. Although the government might not follow through with such a large grant, the size of the new mines brings this size of a dividend into the realm of possibility.
A $1000 dividend might not seem terribly significant in comparison to the Alaska dividend, which will be $1305 this year and reached a high of $3269 last year. But the potential impact of the dividend has to be looked at in relation to how wealthy the citizens already are. According to Bloomberg, per capita income in Mongolia is only $1,680US. According to the Bureau of Business & Economic Research, per capita income in Alaska is $44,039US. That means, the average Alaskan is twenty-six times wealthier (at current exchange rates) than the average Mongolian. A dividend of only $50 per year would have the same relative impact on the average Mongolian’s budget as Alaska’s $1300 dividend has on the average Alaskan’s budget. The impact of a dividend of $500 or $1000 could be astounding, but we should be cautious about expecting anything like this in the short run.
Even if the size of the dividend is uncertain, Eugene Tang of Bloomberg argues that there will be some dividend. The fund has been created, and the government has talked so much about distributing a dividend out of the fund that they can no longer afford the political cost of going back on their pledge to introduce it at some level.
Whatever happens, basic income supporters will probably want to keep an eye on developments in Mongolia.
For more information, see “Mongolia Fund to Manage $30 Billion Mining Jackpot,” by Bloomberg News, online at:
The Bloomberg reporter is: Eugene Tang
5. ALASKA PERMANENT FUND DISTRIBUTES A BIG OF $1305
The Alaska Permanent Fund (APF) began distributing this year’s APF dividend on October 8. This year’s amount, $1305, is considerably less than last year’s bolstered dividend of $3200, but it is still a healthy size, thanks in part to the recovery of the stock market in the last six months.
According to SIT News, 628,499 Alaskans will receive the dividend this year.
The fund from which dividends are drawn has recovered to more than 33 billion dollars, after sinking to a low of 28 billion dollars earlier this year. This amount is quite a bit less than the $40 billion high the fund reached last year, but it is a healthy amount when looked at in the perspective of the entire history of the fund.
Despite the comeback of the fund’s investments, and despite a movement to a slightly more conservative investment strategy earlier this year, Alaskan lawmakers continue to question whether the investment strategy is conservative enough.
For stories on the permanent fund go to:
“Legislators skeptical of 'leading edge' model for asset allocation” by Pat Forgey of the Juneau Empire: http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/092909/sta_498790071.shtml
For an article on how Alaskans will spend their dividends. See: “Annual dividend for Alaskans will be $1,305” Cordova Times: http://www.thecordovatimes.com/news/show/7515
“2009 Permanent Fund Dividend is $1,305.00,”
“State prepares to distribute dividend checks,: by Pat Forgey of the Juneau Empire:
“Increase in PFD recipients has officials guessing why,” by Elizabeth Bluemink for the Alaska Daily News: http://www.adn.com/news/government/story/950923.html
6. OTHER BIG NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD NIGERIA: Federal government considers a regional oil dividend
Several sources are reporting that the Nigeria federal government is planning to introduce a local basic income in the Niger Delta region. The plan is supposed to distribute 10% of the country’s oil revenue to the people of that region. The plan is at least partly a response to militant attacks on oil installations. Emmanuel Egbogah, the president’s special adviser on oil, told the Financial Times, “every citizen will say: ‘I own a part of this business.’” However, the BBC reports that the plan is likely to receive opposition from other regions, which will receive a smaller share of the benefits of the oil revenue if 10% of it goes to individuals in the Niger Delta region.
For more information see:
“Nigeria 'to give 10% of oil cash'” on BBC News (Oct 19):
“Nigeria Offers ‘Revolutionary’ Oil Deal to Niger Delta Region” on Chariman King: http://www.chairmanking.com/nigeria-offers-revolutionary-oil-deal-niger-delta-region-20091021/
“Nigeria offers ‘revolutionary’ delta deal,” by Tom Burgis:
SOUTH AFRICA: Basic income unlikely in KwaZulu-Natal
The Sowetan reports that a group called the South African Unemployed People’s Movement was threatening to “wreak havoc” unless the Province of KawZulu-Natal started distributing a BIG of 1500 Rand. However, according to South Africa’s Mail & Guardian (July 23, 2009), the Prime Minister of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, M. Zweli Mkhize, shrugged off suggestions of introducing a basic income grant, saying this would bankrupt government as it did not have available funds. "It is not affordable, it is not something that we are considering implementing as it would bankrupt government," he told the media.
See: “Give us a basic grant of R1500 or we’ll wreak havoc,”
CANADA: Christian organization calls for a basic income for all
Each year, the Canadian House of Commons Finance Committee asks Canadians to share their priorities and concerns for the federal budget. This year, the Christian organization Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) responded “by reflecting on the Biblical values of justice, love for neighbor and care for creation.” It argued that the Canadian economy should be “an economy of care.” In its submission entitled “Building an Economy of Care” (August 2009), CPJ argues in favor of a basic income for all Canadians: “Fairness is a fundamental Canadian value. Extreme income inequality means that some have all the wealth and opportunity, while others are barely subsisting. A Guaranteed Livable Income for all Canadians would ensure that all Canadians had enough income security to meet their basic needs, while offering the opportunity for a better life.”
FRANCE: Capital grant for the youth discussed in official report
The idea of a “capital grant” is discussed in an official green paper entitled “Reconnaitre la valeur de la jeunesse” (“To acknowledge the importance of youth”), which was published by the office of the French Prime Minister on July 6, 2009. Currently, the French minimum income scheme is only paid to individuals who are more than 25 years old, hence the idea to launch a new program of financial support for young adults. Among the options available, the idea of giving a capital grant that could be used for various purposes is considered attractive, because it would ensure equal opportunities and autonomy. This universal cash grant could be complemented with a targeted scheme for the poorest.
The report (PDF) is available at:
GERMANY: Campaign to vote for Basic Income at Federal elections
More than one hundred candidates for the Federal elections of September 27, 2009 supported the idea of a basic income. The German Netzwerk Grundeinkommen promoted these candidates in a number of constituencies with the slogan “Grundeinkommen ist wählbar” (You can vote for basic income). Most of the candidates (59) belonged to the Green party “Bündnis 90/Die Grünen”, followed by 34 candidates with no party affiliation and 28 of the left wing party “Die Linke”. Among the candidates were Katja Kipping, who is the vice-chairwoman of the party “Die Linke,” and Susanne Wiest, who collected 50,000 signatures on a petition in favor of basic income submitted to the Bundestag in early 2009. She was standing in Vorpommern (the most Northern Land of former East Germany) and can be seen campaigning on
http://vimeo.com/6184109. She was not elected.
Thirty Basic Income-supporters got elected and are becoming members of the German Bundestag: 15 from the Greens, nine from the conservative party, five from "Die Linke" and one from the Social Democratic Party. None of the candidates with no party affiliation got elected. Among the elected candidates are the poverty researcher Dr. Wolfgang Strengmann-Kuhn of the Green party and the vice-chairwoman of the party “Die Linke” Katja Kipping. If the direct votes for all candidates are counted together 2,133,083 people voted for a basic income supporter in the German elections.
For further information:
IRELAND: Late tribute to Maire Mullarney
On August 7, 2008, Irish activist Maire Mullarney died in Dublin, Ireland. A founding member of the Green Party, and a member of South Dublin County Council (1991-1999), she was also an early BIEN stalwart, and was involved in various campaigns in favor of basic income in Ireland and Europe. She wrote several papers on the topic, including one in Esperanto (1996).
IRELAND: Social Justice Ireland
A new organization called Social Justice Ireland was launched on Monday September 7, 2009. Led by Sean Healy and Brigid Reynolds, Social Justice Ireland will take over the programs and projects run in recent decades by CORI (Council of the Religious of Ireland) Justice including its role in the Irish basic income discussion. The website http://www.socialjustice.ie will provide up-to-date material on the range of issues addressed previously on the CORI Justice website. You will find all the papers and related material from BIEN Congress 2008 on the new website. The work of CORI Justice has developed in recent years to involve many local groups and individuals throughout Ireland. The establishment of Social Justice Ireland is a logical step to reflect this broader involvement beyond the members of religious congregations. The new structure will reflect this development and will consolidate the work across the various categories of activity into the future.
The new organization has the support of religious and lay people throughout Ireland. It describes itself as “working to build a just society where human rights are respected, human dignity is protected, human development is facilitated and the environment is respected and protected.” Membership of Social Justice Ireland is open to individuals (religious and lay) and to groups (organisations and congregations etc.) who support the basic thrust of the values and work that form the core of Social Justice Ireland.
For further information : Social Justice Ireland, Arena House, Arena Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland, Website: http://www.socialjustice.ie, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Brigid Reynolds: email@example.com, Sean Healy: firstname.lastname@example.org.
EUROPEAN UNION: EAPN launches adequate minimum income campaign
On May 25, 2009, The European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN) launched a website http://www.adequateincome.eu as part of the second stage of its Adequate Minimum Income Campaign. EAPN calls on all people who believe in providing everyone with the opportunity to live a dignified life to join the campaign by signing the appeal on the website. According to Ludo Horemans, President of EAPN, “Minimum Income schemes are a lifeline for many people experiencing poverty, providing money for essentials and support to be active in society, as well as being essential tools to stabilize the economy and ensure a social response to the current economic crisis” As a key part of this campaign EAPN calls on the Member Sates and the EU Institutions to respect the commitment made in December 2008 Recommendation on Active Inclusion to recognize “the individual’s basic right to resources and social assistance sufficient to live a life that is compatible with human dignity”.
JAPAN: Small party puts basic income in its electoral platform
On August 30, 2009, general elections were held in Japan. According to Alex Martin from the Japan Times (August 8, 2009), the small New Party Nippon had included basic income in its campaign platform. It promised “several major policies, including the enactment of a monthly "basic income" allowance for all citizens”
Party’s website: http://www.love-nippon.com/12jyunbi_chu.htm
SWITZERLAND: Basic income to be included in the Geneva Constitution?
On October 19, 2008, a Constituent Assembly was elected in the Geneva district (canton) of Switzerland. Its main task consists in discussing a new cantonal constitution, which is aimed at replacing the 1847 Constitution. According to the Newspaper Le Courrier (Geneva, July 29, 2009), BIEN Switzerland managed to collect 1,900 signatures for a petition in favor of the inclusion of the right to a basic income into the new constitution.
NAMIBIA: Basic income pilot project discussed in major German magazine
On August 10, 2009, Der Spiegel, one of Germany major news magazines, published a long and favorable article on the Namibian basic income pilot project entitled “How a Basic Income Program Saved a Namibian Village”. “[I]t sounds like a communist utopia, but a basic income program pioneered by German aid workers has helped alleviate poverty in a Namibian village. Crime is down and children can finally attend school. Only the local white farmers are unhappy”, the author argues. The English version is online at:
BIEN reports that the German television channel ZDF aired a special 9-minute documentary on the basic income pilot project in Otjivero-Omitara. You can watch the clip at:
http://www.heute.de under: BIG money für alle or try the following direct link:
According to BIEN, the BIG pilot project also got good press coverage in the Stabroeknews, a newspaper from the Republic of Guyana. In its August 29, 2009 editorial, the Stabroeknews staff wrote the following: “What makes the Otjivero precedent so important is the very hopelessness of the village’s initial situation. In terms of developmental challenges, Otjivero is the New York of the developmental world. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. With a small tax increase, the government of Namibia could easily guarantee a monthly stipend for all its citizens, opening up a promising and almost completely new prospect for grassroots development, not just for Namibia but for every underdeveloped country in the world. While there are still, undeniably, very large problems which remain to be solved across the continent, the Otjivero project also offers a glimmer of hope that Africa’s future may not be irretrievably lost after all. ”
The BIG Coalition itself published a brief report on the project in The Namibian (August 7, 2009), focusing in particular on the situation of children. The authors conclude that “the pilot project in Otjivero-Omitara has proven the potential enormous positive developmental impact of a national BIG and the good news is that independent research has clearly shown that such a grant is affordable for Namibia.” See:
According to the New Era (Windhoek, August 19, 2009), Namibian trade union leaders under the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), threw their support behind the Basic Income Grant (BIG) concept in the framework of their Central utive Committee. They resolved to “establish a high-level committee to initiate dialogue on BIG and related efforts with the Government and all social partners involved and relevant in this noble fight”.
The National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) endorsed the Basic Income Grant at a recent Central utive Committee. But the Prime Minister spoke against it during a meeting with the National Youth Council. These developments reflect the trend in both Namibia and South Africa in recent years. Ruling party governments have consistently opposed BIG, although it receives strong support from labor unions, churches, and the public.
If you would like to donate to the project, please contact Claudia, Dirk Haarmann email@example.com.
NEW ZEALAND: Opposition Party Renews Endorsement of BIG
Democrats for Social Credit, a small party in New Zealand renewed their commitment to BIG at their party conference in September 2009. Point 6 of their 7 point plan to reform the financial system proposes to make debt free money available by a government run monetary authority, “in the form of a national dividend to every resident New Zealander.
For the party’s report on its conference, go to:
BRAZIL: Pilot Project completes its first year.
Last year, a small neighborhood of Mogi das Cruzes in the state of Sao Paulo became the first place in Brazil to implement a Basic Income of Citizenship (BIC). The project is the initiative of the two founders of a group called ReCivitas, Bruna Augusto Pereira and Marcus Vinicius Brancaglione dos Santos.
Brancaglione originally financed the project with his own money. Today, generous donations from individuals inside and outside of Brazil have enabled the project to expand considerable. It began with 27 recipients in October 2008. Today 65 residents receive BIC of R$30.00 (about $17.50US) per month. The size of the grant is small by U.S. standards, but it is significant in comparison to income of the recipients.
The BIC is distributed as an unconditional right; recipients do with it as they please. The six-month report on the project finds that the BIC has enabled recipients to consume better food, to discharge debt, to increase their savings, and to make use of transportation to search for employment.
Videos of meetings about the project are online at:
For more information, or instructions on how to donate, contact:
7. UPCOMING EVENTS
CALL FOR PAPERS: Basic Income Session at The Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) Conference
SSSP, an organization of applied sociologists/social scientists, will hold its annual conference in Atlanta in 2010. It will take place from August 13-15 and will be held at the Sheraton Hotel located at 165 Courtland Street NE, Atlanta, GA. One of the sessions is being organized by Michael A. Lewis of the Hunter College School of Social Work. The session is entitled "Contested Paths to Good Policy: Assets, Income, Jobs" and will focus on comparing and contrasting social policies intended to promote the right to work, the right to income, or asset development. Those interested in submitting an abstract should send it to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 10, 2010.
8. RECENT EVENTS
NEW YORK CITY: Film, “The End of Poverty” by Cinema Libre
November 13, 2009, Village East Cinema, New York
A new documentary film, “The End of Poverty?,” produced by Cinema Libre and the Schalkenbach Foundation, premiered in New York on November 13 at the Village East Cinema. Narrated by Martin Sheen, this film is a documentary that asks why poverty still exists when there is so much wealth in the world. After premiering at the Cannes Film Festival last summer, the film has been invited to over 25 international film festivals. It illustrates the origins of poverty, not from the failures of poor people, but from an economic system that cherishes profits over life. Through interviews with internationally recognized experts including Nobel Prize winners Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz, as well as authors and activists such as Susan George, Eric Toussaint, John Perkins and Chalmers Johnson, the film shows how poverty is linked to colonialism, neo-colonialism and globalization while providing insight into current economic crises.
For more information contact: Cinema Libre Studio to email@example.com Cinema Libre Studio, 8328 De Soto Ave., Canoga Park, CA 91304.
NAMUR, BELGIUM: Debate on basic income: October 22, 2009
Philippe Defeyt, an economist and prominent figure of Belgium's francophone green party, debated the idea of a "universal grant" with Paul Palsterman from the Christian Trade Union confederation. Whereas Defeyt is a long-standing advocate of basic income, Palsterman has always been one of its most consistent opponents in the Belgian context. The debate took place at the University of Namur, Auditoire E1, Rue Rempart de la Vierge 8, at 7:30 PM. For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
TORONTO: Andrea Fumagalli speaks on Basic Income and the Crisis, October 14, 2009
Basic Income and the Crisis
A Presentation by Andrea Fumagalli
A Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry event
Wednesday, October 14, 2009, 7:00-9:00 pm
Andrea Fumagalli is Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Pavia (Italy). He also teaches political economy at Corso di laurea interdisciplinare in scienze multimediali, University of Pavia and advanced macroeconomics at Bocconi University. Professor Fumagalli is member of UniNomade Network, Vice-President of Bin-Italy (Basic Income Network, Italy), and a member of BIEN (Basic Income Earth Network). In his presentation, he discussed basic income security as a policy response to the inequalities inherent in contemporary cognitive capitalism. For more information contact: email@example.com
OTTAWA, ONTARIO: BIEN Canada Symposium: October 1-2
Income Security for All Canadians: the Potential for a Guaranteed Income Framework for Canada
BIEN Canada reports that their symposium, held in Ottawa on October 1 & 2 was a success. The Research Forum featured presentations by Jurgen DeWispelaere of CREUM (Centre de Recheerche en Ethique de l’Universite de Montreal), Michelle Lasota of Informetrica, Andy Mitchell of the University of Toronto, and many others. Speakers at the conference addressed a variety of aspects of how to ensure economic security for everyone in Canada and move the Guaranteed Income agenda forward. More information can be found on the BIEN Canada website. Photos of and a report on the conference are online at:
http://www.cpj.ca/en/bien-canada-ottawa-conference. For additional information contact Mike McCracken at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jim Mulvale at Jim.Mulvale@uregina.ca.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: American Monetary Institute Conference: September 24-27, 2009
Richard Cook was a policy analyst for the U.S. government from 1970 until 2007, his career included service with the U.S. Civil Service Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Carter White House, NASA, and the U.S. Treasury Department. His presentation at the AMI conference focused on an overview of the monetary reform movement, including Social Credit and the National Dividend.
KYIV (KIEV) UKRAINE: Symposium: September 16, 2009
Basic Income Guarantee: History, present and future
September 16, 2009, Hotel Ukraine, Instytutska Street 4, Kyiv, Ukraine
On the 16th September 2009 the first international symposium about the topic “Basic Income” took place in Kyiv in two languages: Ukrainian and Russian. This event was enabled by a donation from Germany within the international “Week of Basic Income”, which took place from 14. – 20. September 2009. Guests included Manfred Fuellsack (University of Vienna), Nazip Khamitov (National Academy of Science in Ukraine) and Joerg Drescher (Project Jovialism), as well as Olesya Storozhuk and Yulia Samus, who bridged the different languages and contributed to the discussion themselves. Texts of the speeches from the symposium can be found on the web in four languages (English, German, Ukrainian and Russian):
9. RECENT PUBLICATIONS
Possibilities and Prospects: The Debate Over a Guaranteed Income
Margot Young and James P Mulvale
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, October 30, 2009
ABSTRACT: The idea of a guaranteed income has a long and respectable history in Canadian political and economic thought. Recently, in the face of both wide criticism of the Canadian income security system and growing recognition of the unacceptability of current poverty rates, there has been a resurgence in calls for implementation of a Canadian guaranteed income. But the idea is a controversial one; progressive activists, academics, and politicians disagree about the desirability and the practicality of a guaranteed income. This report traces the history of guaranteed income proposals in Canada, reviews the arguments in favour and against, and suggests a number of other social welfare measures that should be central elements of any reform program, but that guaranteed income debates often ignore.
This paper can be read or downloaded at:
Saving Ghana from Its Oil: The Case for Direct Cash Distribution
Todd Moss and Lauren Young
Center for Global Development Working Paper 186, October 2009
ABSTRACT: Ghana can be considered a relative success story in Africa. We cite six variables—peace and stability, democracy and governance, control of corruption, macroeconomic management, poverty reduction, and signs of an emerging social contract—to suggest the country’s admirable political and economic progress. The expected arrival of sizeable oil revenues beginning in 2011–13, however, threatens to undermine that progress. In fact, numerous studies have linked natural resources to negative outcomes such as conflict, authoritarianism, high corruption, economic instability, increased poverty, and the destruction of the social contract. The oil curse thus threatens the very outcomes that we consider signs of Ghana’s success. This paper draws lessons from the experiences of Norway, Botswana, Alaska, Chad, and Nigeria to consider Ghana’s policy options. One common characteristic of the successful models appears to be their ability to encourage an influential constituency with an interest in responsible resource management and the means to hold government accountable. The Alaska model in particular, which was designed explicitly to manufacture citizen oversight and contain oil-induced patronage, seems relevant to Ghana’s current predicament. We propose a modified version of Alaska’s dividend program. Direct cash distribution of oil revenues to citizens is a potentially powerful approach to protect and accelerate Ghana’s political and economic gains, and a way to strengthen the country’s social contract. We show why Ghana is an ideal country to take advantage of this option, and why the timing is fortuitous. We conclude by confronting some of the common objections to this approach and suggest that new technology such as biometric ID cards or private mobile phone networks could be utilized to implement the scheme.
Progressive step or recipe for disaster?
Sunday, November 1, 2009, the London Student
This article gives an overview of recent basic income movements in Europe
Why Austrian socialism?
The Review of Austrian Economics, Volume 22, Number 3 (September, 2009)
Abstract: Socialist objectives can be achieved in a market context with the rule of law if market socialism were to take the form of competitive worker-owned and self-managed enterprises, supplemented by universally available welfare redistributions, which could include a basic income, universal capital grants, or education and health insurance vouchers.
Cut the roots of poverty with a living wage
The Telegraph-Journal, Wednesday October 21st, 2009
Janice Harvey, president of the New Brunswick Green Party, wrote a column for the Telegraph-Journal in which she called for a guaranteed income. She discussed the results of the Canadian negative income tax experiment conducted primarily in Dauphin, Manitoba in the 1970s. According to Harvey, researchers found that the negative income tax improved community health and education indicators, and therefore reduced the cost of social programs. She concludes, “A guaranteed annual income, sometimes called a negative income tax, replaces all the piecemeal, ineffective measures now administered by provincial agencies …. It treats people with dignity and provides a basic level of well-being across the community without discrimination.”
The article is online at: http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/opinion/article/830851
Janice Harvey’s email address is: email@example.com
“The Northern Territory In(ter)vasion”
Online Opinion October 14th, 2009
This article looks at the Australian Federal Government’s intervention into Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, the quarantining of half of Aboriginal people’s welfare payments for approved purposes, and a school attendance requirement. It compares these policies with the Namibian Basic Income Grant.
A Common Sense Approach to Poverty
An interview with Canadian Senator Hugh Segal
By Michael Enright for CBC Radio One's The Sunday Edition
Monday, October 19, 2009
Conservative Senator Hugh Segal is one of the few voices speaking out on poverty issues at a national level in Canada. He is a strong supporter of basic income. A full transcript of that interview (made by the “Prairie Preacher”) is online at:
Why not just give cash to the poor?
The National Post (Canada), August 24, 2009
Stephen Gordon, begins this comment writing “Here is what I would like some staffer to ask next time NDP strategists are kicking around ideas for goods to subsidise or services that governments provide at a discount in order to advance their agenda of reducing poverty and inequality: "Why don't we just give low-income households money and let them spend it on what they need most?"” The article is not so much about why basic income is a good idea, but why it is better than subsidizing target commodities so that low-income people can afford them.
Stephen Gordon is a professor of economics at l'Universite Laval in Quebec City, Canada.
This article is online at:
Work after Globalization: Building Occupational Citizenship, 2009
Guy Standing, Professor of Economic Security, University of Bath
Edward Elgar, Publisher
In this new book, Guy Standing has refined ideas he has been making since the inception of BIEN, in which he has seen basic income as part of a progressive strategy to replace social democracy. This book emphasizes that in a globalized society tertiary work styles are becoming the norm, in which forms of work other than labor are taking up an increasing proportion of time, conventional forms of social security are woefully inappropriate. A result of globalization and labor flexibility policies has been the growth of a new class, the global precariat. That is, people who are not necessarily in immediate economic distress but who are in precarious economic situations. Unless their insecurities, needs and aspirations are addressed, they will opt for political extremism. Yet, even since the financial crisis, chronic inequality is not being addressed. To combat this, and growing work-for-labor, and to give security to the precariat, a basic income is essential. Besides, Standing argues that a worrying feature of modern consumerism, with its squeeze on time, is that it has resulted in a loss of leisure, as defined by public participation in society. He concludes that the one form of ‘conditionality’ that could be a way of legitimizing basic income is that people as citizens agree to vote and to participate in political activity. In this, he is closer to Bruce Ackerman than to Tony Atkinson, since community labor would have distortionary effects in the labor market.
A Fair Economy: Beyond the Basic Income
Published by “l’Esprit Frappeur” 2008
No abstract available. An Abridgement of this book as available for free online at:
CITIZEN’S INCOME TRUST (2009), The Citizen's Income Newsletter, Issue 3, 2009.
This issue of 20 pages contains a report on the seminar series that was coordinated by the CIT, and delivered in March this year. It also contains a major article that addresses the challenge of using ‘The Minimum Income Standards’ published by The Joseph Rowntree Foundation in 2008 as a benchmark for a Full Citizen’s Income http://www.minimumincomestandard.org. The MIS values enable one to adopt much more generous levels of CI than previously, for elderly people, those with disabilities, parents-with-care and carers-of-last-resort. The article proposes that able-bodied people of working age, without major caring responsibilities, or any obvious impaired ability to earn, would receive a Partial CI. It is claimed that this scheme is economically feasible. This issue of the Newsletter ends with two ‘Viewpoints.’
The CI Newsletter is online at: http://www.citizensincome.org/index.html
RAVENTOS, Daniel & LO VUOLO, Ruben (2009), ‘Basic Income: good in the boom, essential in the crisis’, On Line Opinion. Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate, July 16, 2009, http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=9172
Today’s economic crisis invites reflection on the role a basic income might play as an effective way of combating some of its worst effects, especially in protecting some of the hardest-hit groups, Daniel Raventos (Red Renta Basica, Spain) and Ruben Lo Vuolo (REDAIC, Argentina) argue.
Available at: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=9172
A BIG Idea: A Minimum Income Guarantee: An Interview with Karl Widerquist
The Multinational Monitor, MAY/JUN 2009. VOL 30 NO. 3
Multinational Monitor (MM) is a monthly magazine (in print and online) devoted primarily to examining the activities of multinational companies. The magazine also covers issues involving labor, the environment, corporate crime, multilateral banks and development. In this lengthy interview, Widerquist answers the following questions:
What is a basic income guarantee?
MM: What are the origins of the BIG concept?
MM: Is it a concept designed for rich or poor countries?
MM: How does it compare in terms of benefits and disadvantages to the idea of providing individuals, at birth or adulthood, with a lump sum endowment?
MM: How does it compare to the U.S. Earned Income Tax Credit?
MM: Are there examples of BIG policies being enacted? How have they turned out?
MM: In rough terms, what levels of BIG payments do you propose for a rich country like the United States? For poor countries? Is the aim to provide a subsistence-level income from the BIG payment alone?
MM: Should BIG payments be means tested? Does this consideration vary between rich and poor countries?
MM: From experience and modeling, what impact would BIG policies have on poverty — taking into account that the answer necessarily depends on the details, including size of payment — in rich and poor countries? Are there particular gender components to such impacts?
MM: From experience and modeling, what impact would BIG policies have on economic growth, and economic performance more generally?
MM: How does society make a judgment that a relatively high level of payment for BIG is worth it? What mechanisms do you favor to raise funds for BIG policies?
MM: Given the size of the financial commitment, is there inherently some trade off between adopting BIG policies, and investing in health, education, clean water, etc.? Or, stated differently, why should a country spend significant sums on BIG payments rather than investing in health, education, clean water, etc.?
MM: An obvious criticism of BIG is that it provides payments to people without any test of “deservingness.” How do you respond to that critique?
MM: Are there legitimate concerns that regular cash transfers will be spent in socially undesirable ways, for example on alcohol?
MM: What is the level of political interest in BIG? In which countries is there interest in taking up or experimenting with the idea?
The interview is online at:
10. NEW MEMBERS
Seven new members have joined the USBIG Network in the last three months. The USBIG Network now has 189 members from 32 U.S. states and 256 foreign countries. Membership in USBIG is free and open to anyone who shares its goals. To become a member of USBIG go to http://www.usbig.net, and click on “membership.”
The seven new members of the USBIG Network are: Claudia Alejandra Mazorra Otero, Bogota, Colombia; Arjun Banker, San Francisco, CA; M. Radh Achuthan, Southampton, NY; Faith Van Horne, Columbus, OH; Karl Howeth, Lawton, OK; Jennifer "Jenni" Mays, Brisbane, Australia; Tamara Trout Samassekou, Louisa, KY.
11. NEW LINKS
The Brazilian group ReCivitas has a website with several videos on basic income. Most of the site is in Portuguese, but it includes a lecture in English by Karl Widerquist, entitled “Freedom as the Power to Say No.”
The Lecture is online at: http://atvong.ning.com/video/karl-widerquist-freedom-as.
UKRAINIAN WEBSITE ON BIG
A Ukrainian group has created a website on basic income with articles, news, and multimedia presentations on BIG in several languages including English. The site is managed by Joerg Drescher firstname.lastname@example.org, and it is online at: http://bod.in.ua/.
BASIC INCOME FOR CHILDREN IN NEW YORK STATE
New York State currently spends roughly 20,000 US dollars per schooled child per year to support the public school system. An essay by Paul Fernhout suggests that the same amount of money be given directly to the family of each homeschooled child.
OXFAM BLOG ON A CITIZEN’S INCOME
Oxfam is hosting a Blog Debate on basic income, with respect to its role in combating poverty. Citizen’s Income Trust (CIT) Director, Dr Malcolm Torry has prepared a paper, “A Citizen’s Income: part of the answer to poverty”. Another blogger will prepare an article on the case against basic income.
The debate is online at: http://www.oxfamblogs.org/ukpovertypost
OIL RESOURCE RENTS
In a paper entitled ‘Citizen dividends and oil resource rents, a focus on Alaska, Norway and Nigeria’, Alanna Hartzok (Co-Founder and Co-Director of Earth Rights Institute, Vice President of the Council of Georgist Organizations, and UN NGO Representative for the International Union for Land Value Taxation) explores the oil rent institutions of Alaska, Norway and Nigeria with a focus on these questions: Are citizen dividends from oil rent funds currently or potentially a source of substantial basic income? Are oil rent funds the best source for citizen dividends or should CDs be based on other types of resource rents?
KATJA KIPPING ON BASIC INCOME
Katja Kipping, the Vice-Chairwoman of the German political party “Die Linke”, has published an online article on basic income in the framework of Znet’s series “Reimagining Society Project”. “The most logical answer to the insecurity caused by the precariousness and transformation of the world of work is an unconditional basic income.”, Kipping argues.
OXFAM UK WEBSITE BLOGGING ABOUT BIG
Moussa Haddadm of UK Poverty Post (an Oxfam website) began blogging on Citizen’s Income August 26th, 2009. The conversation includes articles by Colin Williams and Jan Windebank Dan Paskins, and Dr Malcolm Torry. It’s online at: http://www.oxfamblogs.org/ukpovertypost/2009/08/citizens-income-week-on-uk-poverty-post/
12. LINKS AND OTHER INFO
For links to dozens of BIG websites around the world, go to http://www.usbig.net/links.html. These links are to any website with information about BIG, but USBIG does not necessarily endorse their content or their agendas.
The USBIG Network Newsletter
Editor: Karl Widerquist
Copyeditor: Mike Murray and the USBIG Committee
Research: Paul Nollen; and Yannick Vanderborght of the BIEN NewsFlash
Special help on this issue was provided by Jeff Smith, Jurgen de Wispeleare, Guy Standing, Jim Mulvale, Alanna Hartzok
The U.S. Basic Income Guarantee (USBIG) Network publishes this newsletter. The Network is a discussion group on basic income guarantee (BIG) in the United States. BIG is a generic name for any proposal to create a minimum income level, below which no citizen's income can fall. Information on BIG and USBIG can be found on the web at: http://www.usbig.net.
You may copy and circulate articles from this newsletter, but please mention the source and include a link to http://www.usbig.net. If you know any BIG news; if you know anyone who would like to be added to this list; or if you would like to be removed from this list; please send me an email: Karl@Widerquist.com.
As always, your comments on this newsletter and the USBIG website are gladly welcomed.
-Karl Widerquist, editor
Associate Professor in Residence, Philosophy
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar
3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W.
Suite 2100, Harris Building
Washington, D.C. 20007-2401
US cell phone: +1 504-261-0891
Qatar cell phone: +974 508-9323
Qatar fax: +974 457-8231
PERSONAL WEBSITE: http://www.widerquist.com/
venerdì 20 novembre 2009
Thomas Colignatus, 31 dicembre 2005
note a cura di Marco Saba, traduzione di Nicoletta Forcheri
Una corretta gestione della contabilità comporta che:
1. le banche centrali si conformino alla prassi della Federal Reserve di distinguere tra Stato patrimoniale o Bilancio e Dichiarazione sulla Situazione;
2. la moneta decretizia (“fiat money”) non figuri al passivo nel bilancio;
3. la banca centrale non iscriva a bilancio titoli del debito pubblico più di quelli che sono oggetto delle operazioni di mercato aperto. I titoli eccedenti dovrebbero essere considerati nulli (sono prestiti del governo che dovrebbero essere azzerati).
In caso di mancato rispetto delle regole contabili corrette, avremo dei criteri contabili inesatti, per misurare il debito pubblico, e le condizioni operative della politica ne risulteranno distorte.
La proprietà più saliente della moneta decretizia è quella di essere a corso legale/forzoso. Se A è debitore nei confronti di B, A rimborserà il debito con la moneta "legale" senza che B possa rifiutarla in pagamento; e se A volesse rimborsare il debito con la sua macchina usata, o con un quadro di inestimabile valore, B potrebbe legalmente rifiutare tale rimborso. Il fatto essenziale è quindi l'esistenza di una cornice giuridica che offre fiducia e stabilità alla comunità.
Una volta che tale contesto legale viene costituito, risulta vantaggioso per la comunità utilizzare la moneta decretizia al posto della banconota garantita da oro. Con la moneta decretizia non c'è bisogno di preoccuparsi del suo valore poiché questo deriva da un contesto legale. Inoltre, il vantaggio della carta è di essere più facile da trasportare e più maneggevole dell'oro. Ma non è tutto, perché altrimenti useremmo ancora le banconote garantite da oro. Infatti, la moneta decretizia presenta, anche e soprattutto, i seguenti benefici per la società:
1. che il livello dei prezzi può essere influenzato dalla Banca centrale piuttosto che dalla scoperta di nuove miniere d'oro;
2. che il signoraggio tocca alla Banca centrale.
Sono due lati del medesimo aspetto benefico rappresentato da un maggiore controllo monetario da parte della comunità. 
Il signoraggio può essere definito al meglio semplicemente come un cambiamento della massa monetaria. Se M è la massa monetaria, il signoraggio equivale a ∆ M. Alcuni autori come Inklaar et al. (2005) e Drazen (1985) vi includono i proventi degli investimenti produttivi effettuati con queste risorse aggiuntive. Tuttavia, il budget dello Stato è un insieme, e sarebbe arbitrario isolarne alcune voci: pertanto non è possibile assegnare tali investimenti a una risorsa determinata.
Con l'equazione di Fisher, P Y = M V, dove P è il livello dei prezzi, Y sono le entrate reali, V la velocità di circolazione monetaria, avremo che la moneta, a velocità di circolazione costante, può registrare lo stesso tasso di crescita delle entrate nominali. Quindi, con un tasso d'inflazione del 2% e una crescita reale del 3%, il signoraggio potrebbe ammontare al 5% della massa monetaria: una notevole fonte di entrate...
Se la Banca centrale non avesse il monopolio della moneta decretizia, il signoraggio verrebbe spalmato nel sistema economico. Chiunque abbia la possibilità di accedere a una stampante, potrebbe tentare di emettere ITD (titoli del tipo “Io Ti Devo”, in inglese IOU). Si noti che, ad esempio, alcuni supermercati distribuiscono carte di sconto, alcuni negozi stampano buoni regalo e altri strumenti che possono fungere da moneta. Le banche potrebbero emettere la loro moneta cartacea (come proposto da tempo da Hayek) e aggiungerne il reddito agli utili . La regola che vuole che “la moneta cattiva scaccia quella buona” funzionerebbe così: la gente accumulerebbe le banconote delle banche “buone” e farebbe circolare la moneta delle banche “cattive”, quelle che stampano (troppe) banconote. La constatazione fondamentale però è che così la società perderebbe il controllo dell'inflazione, da cui ne conseguirebbe che è meglio creare un monopolio di una banca centrale.
La banca centrale controlla l'inflazione sia con il sistema d'ispezione e controllo qualità delle banche commerciali, sia con misure di politica monetaria, come le condizioni vincolanti di riserva e le operazioni di mercato aperto. Se c'è troppa liquidità nel sistema economico, a fronte di carenza di beni, la banca centrale vende i titoli statali facendo innalzare il tasso d'interesse . Nei casi di insufficienza di liquidità e quantità sovrabbondante di prodotti sugli scaffali, la banca centrale riacquista i titoli riducendo il tasso di interesse.  Con un tasso d'interesse costante, la massa di titoli del debito può variare anche in funzione della volontà di lasciare un po' di “liquidità” per i titoli stessi.
Negli anni è invalsa la prassi che la banca centrale realizza il signoraggio acquistando titoli statali. La banca centrale stampa la sua moneta o accredita direttamente i conti correnti del governo e riceve in cambio i titoli di Stato . In modo cumulativo, negli anni, la banca centrale compensa a bilancio la massa di moneta decretizia con i titoli statali. Chiunque apra il Rapporto annuo di una banca centrale, al foglio del Bilancio, troverà la massa di moneta decretizia emessa nella colonna del passivo e la massa dei titoli del debito detenuti a contropartita, nella colonna dell'attivo. In pratica, il signoraggio che la banca centrale cede al governo si chiama “finanziamento monetario” ("monetary financing"). Mentre il governo deve pagare interessi sui titoli detenuti dalla Banca centrale, essa li contabilizza come entrate . Questi interessi vengono iscritti come un “trasferimento di utili” aggiuntivo al governo (che non è propriamente signoraggio, ma rappresenta gli interessi sul signoraggio stesso). 
Contabilità per l'attivo e il passivo
Per una banca commerciale sarebbe corretto contabilizzare la massa monetaria cartacea negli attivi. In particolare, le banconote che una banca commerciale detiene possono essere scambiate con beni primari e rappresentano, quindi, una titolarità su risorse reali.
Per la banca centrale ha un qualche senso iscrivere l'importo delle sue emissioni di moneta decretizia al passivo. Ogni banconota che essa emette e inietta nel sistema economico rappresenta un titolo di credito su risorse reali, di cui la banca centrale si appropria e di cui dovrebbe sentirsi responsabile. 
Per l'intero sistema economico è logico che tutto il patrimonio in moneta decretizia delle banche commerciali, delle aziende e delle famiglie, sia compensato da un'equivalente passività presso la banca centrale.
Tuttavia, il punto che il presente articolo vuole evidenziare è che la moneta decretizia non costituisce per nessun operatore economico un valido titolo di credito presso la banca centrale .
Legalmente, quando una persona si reca allo sportello della banca centrale, supponiamo con una banconota da un dollaro a corso legale/forzoso, e desidera scambiarla con un valore reale, la banca centrale la scambierà con un'altra banconota da un dollaro a corso legale/forzoso. Non esiste, di fatto, in capo alla banca centrale qualcosa di paragonabile a un obbligo di rimborsare con qualcosa di reale le banconote di moneta decretizia emesse.
L'aspetto fondamentale di questo punto dell'analisi è che non esiste alcuna ragione per la banca centrale di accumulare più titoli del debito di quanto non siano necessari per le operazioni di mercato aperto, titoli che occupano solo spazio, memoria e tempo per la contabilità, contribuendo così alla confusione sulla situazione reale.
Un aspetto importante di questa confusione è il fatto che il debito del governo nei confronti della banca centrale viene contabilizzato assieme al debito nazionale. Soprattutto nei paesi in via di sviluppo, che fanno più uso del signoraggio (tassa dell'inflazione) - poiché la riscossione delle imposte è difficoltosa - la dimensione dell'indebitamento del governo risulta distorta e una scorretta contabilizzazione della moneta decretizia rischia di provocare decisioni sbagliate come, ad esempio, programmi di austerità troppo pretenziosi.
Il sistema monetario della Federal Reserve a confronto di quello della UE
Il Rapporto annuale della Federal Reserve americana del 2004 può essere considerato l'eccezione alla regola descritta sopra, in quanto distingue correttamente il bilancio di sé stessa, considerata come impresa, dal suo patrimonio in strumenti monetari. Così, alla pagina 266, si legge: “Dichiarazione della Banca sulle Condizioni bancarie della Federal Reserve, 31 dicembre 2004 e 2003” (“Statement of Condition of the Federal Reserve Banks, by Bank, December 31, 2004 and 2003”), non nel foglio del Bilancio ma sotto il titolo “Dichiarazione sulla condizione” (“Statement of Condition”). Tra le sue passività figurano “le banconote circolanti della Federal Reserve” con una sottile distinzione tra quelle garantite da collaterali in titoli governativi e quelle non coperte da tali garanzie. Tale distinzione non ha senso non essendo affatto chiaro quanto sia necessario per effettuare le operazioni di mercato aperto.
Il Rapporto annuale del 2004 del sistema monetario europeo obbedisce alla regola già spiegata sopra. Le riserve monetarie sono repertoriate nel “Bilancio” mentre non vi è alcuna ragione di controbilanciare tale moneta decretizia.
Constatiamo quindi che la Fed sta già gradualmente accettando la moneta decretizia per quello che è, anche se non completamente, mentre il sistema monetario europeo tende a contabilizzarla come se fosse in un "gold standard". Ciò si riflette anche nella quota-parte d'oro indicata nei patrimoni delle banche centrali, vedi anche Henderson et al. (1997).
All in millions_____US Fed. Res. ($)_ ECB (EUR)_ EUsys (EUR)
Gold _____________11,041 _______7,928 _____125,730
% Gold in assets_____ 1,4% ________8,8% ______14,2%
In una prossima versione del presente documento sarà opportuno offrire un esempio di un Bilancio “ribilanciato”. Eliminando la moneta decretizia dalle passività e scartando la maggior parte dei titoli del tesoro, che potranno essere restituiti al governo e quindi stracciati, ci si può immaginare il risultato: una "Dichiarazione sulla Situazione" propriamente redatta con meno attività sotto forma di titoli e con più patrimonio intangibile (“goodwill”).
Allo stesso tempo, sarebbe utile che sia gli economisti monetari che e le autorità monetarie stesse prendessero in considerazione queste argomentazioni, ma anche che gli economisti che trattano con i paesi in via di sviluppo, come quelli del FMI e della Banca Mondiale, riconsiderassero la questione del debito nazionale.
1] A vantaggio della comunità se la banca è sotto il diretto controllo pubblico, ovviamente.
2] Oggi le banche emettono nuova moneta virtuale attraverso scritture contabili secondo una regola autogestita basata sull'espediente della riserva frazionaria, per un ammontare di circa 50 volte rispetto alle riserve effettive (coefficiente di riserva al 2% nell'area euro, pre-crisi 2008). Il "circa" è dovuto al fatto che alcuni "depositi" sono esenti dai requisiti di riserva o seguono disposizioni più lasche. La parola "depositi" è ambigua in virtù del fatto che le banche, a fronte di deposito di contante, creano immediatamente nuova moneta contabile accreditando il conto del cliente.
3] A fronte di un aumento d'offerta di titoli sul mercato, lo Stato è costretto ad alzare i tassi per trovare compratori.
4] A fronte di nuova domanda, lo stato può abbassare i rendimenti dei titoli.
5] Nel caso dell'Italia, dal 1907, le funzioni di Tesoreria dello Stato sono state appannaggio della banca centrale e senza gare pubbliche. Ne deriva che, a seguito della privatizzazione della banca centrale, tutte le più alte cariche dello Stato e tutti i dipendenti pubblici, magistratura compresa, sono "pagati" attraverso una struttura privata assolutamente indipendente e avulsa dal controllo democratico.
6] In certi casi, gli interessi sono riconosciuti attraverso una vendita all'asta di titoli con sconto sul valore nominale alla scadenza.
7] In pratica, la banca centrale restituisce allo stato solo gli interessi ricevuti sui titoli, più altri eventuali utili derivanti da operazioni di mercato aperto, detratte le proprie spese gestionali (circa 2 miliardi di euro all'anno). La parte importante - il controvalore del capitale creato - non viene mai restituito. Lo si è visto col passaggio dalla lira all'euro: biglietti di carta sostituiti con altri biglietti di carta, ad infinitum... senza nemmeno restituire le tonnellate d'oro demonetizzato. Questa carta decretizia che pesca valore, diciamolo, nell'ingenuità del pubblico, della comunità che è costretta ad usarla come strumento econometrico, rappresenta un'espropriazione continuata di ricchezza che viene continuamente ricollocata e riallocata, sotto forma di credito, a soggetti ritenuti... idonei. Una lista di soggetti italiani "bonificati" - come direbbe Flavio Carboni - dalla BCE, attraverso le cosiddette operazioni di "mercato aperto", è stata pubblicata qui:
8] La banca centrale si "sente" il debitore ultimo, ma conta temerariamente sull'ingenuità del pubblico che si crede saldato dalla mera disponibilità di cartamoneta.
9] Non è "liquido ed esigibile". La banca centrale è tecnicamente insolvente.
10] Allo stesso modo, e fatto ancor più grave, il discorso vale per la moneta contabile emessa continuamente dalle banche commerciali sotto forma di prestiti e depositi a vista.
11] Ma anche queste operazioni rappresentano un'appropriazione ingiustificata di ricchezza altrui senza reale contropartita da parte della banca. La contropartita la offre la comunità, accettandola, quando prende per buona questa moneta creata ad hoc. Se la banca centrale fosse gestita correttamente, avrebbe senso che si appropriasse di valore monetario solo nella misura di quelli che sono i sui costi d'esercizio, ovvero i servizi offerti: nel caso di Bankitalia, due miliardi di euro l'anno. Tutto il resto della moneta prodotta andrebbe assegnato allo Stato. E' da notare che così facendo si ottempererebbe alla continua richiesta sempre più pressante, da parte delle istituzioni monetarie internazionali (Fondo Internazionale, OCSE, etc.), di abbassare il livello del debito pubblico. Possiamo tranquillamente affermare che, a contabilità corretta, questo debito verrebbe inibito alla radice.
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (2005), “91st Annual Report 2004”, Washington,
European Central Bank (2005), “Annual Report 2004”, Frankfurt am Main
Drazen, A. (1985), “A general measure for inflation tax revenues”, Economics Letters, 17, 327-333 (cited by Inklaar cs.)
Henderson, Dale W., John S. Irons, Stephen W. Salant, and Sebastian Thomas (1997), “Can Government Gold Be Put to Better Use? Qualitative and Quantitative Effects of Alternative Policies”,
Inklaar, R, R. Jong-A-Pin, J. de Haan (2005), “Geldscheppingswinst als bron van overheidsinkomsten”, Financiële en monetaire studies, issue 23, no 2