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Friday, June 10, 2011

Basic income enters political discussion in Germany

Over at, Sue Howard notes that there is a best-selling book in Germany titled (in English translation) "1,000 Euro for everyone. Freedom. Equality. Basic income." (The German title is "1.000 Euro für Jeden: Freiheit. Gleichheit. Grundeinkommen", by Götz W Werner and Adrienne Goehler.) Sue links this to Robert Anton Wilson's advocacy of basic income, for example in "The RICH Economy" in The Illuminati Papers.

Sue links to an article in Spiked about the proposal, commenting, "The first half of the review I go along with, pretty much. The second half seems, to me, a sort of logical travesty. Non sequitur in great abundance. But worth a read to see the weird forms that reactions to Basic Income take."

R. Michael Johnson, in reply, says this group "also seem resonant to RAW's economics."

In the U.S., to the extant that this is discussed at all, the proposal is linked to Milton Friedman's proposed negative income tax. The negative income tax recently has been advocated by Will Wilkinson, the liberaltarian commentator. I asked Wilkinson for an interview via e-mail, and he agreed, but alas I never succeeded in getting him to actually answer my questions.

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