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Über dieses Buch

This book, an updated version of Sheahen's original 1983 work, is a comprehensive look at a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) and what it would mean for the United States today.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction: It’s Time to Think BIG

Abstract
The idea of a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) has been called both a new hope for America and a threat to democracy; a creative new social program and the most stupid idea of all time; inspired legislation and a giant boondoggle; economic security for everyone and a free handout to welfare chiselers; the road to individual freedom and the path to social ruin.
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 2. So What’s the BIG Idea?

Abstract
It’s a plan based on the principle that everyone has the right to live. A Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) is a government program to ensure every citizen’s basic economic security. All adult Americans would receive, without means-test or work requirement, an income sufficient for food, shelter, and basic necessities.
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 3. Why Did We Lose the War on Poverty?

Abstract
Under the names of Guaranteed Income and the Negative Income Tax, the idea of a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) seemed to appear out of nowhere and onto the mainstream policy agenda in the mid-1960s. The idea had been discussed in academic circles as far back as the 1940s, but suddenly academics, policy makers, and welfare activists all seemed to be hitting on the same idea that we should replace many of the different policies designed to target specific groups with one simplified, comprehensive policy to ensure that everyone had a little money.
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 4. Did You Know?

Without Abstract
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 5. Why Are Jobs Not the Answer?

Abstract
We have entered a new era.
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 6. Why Is There So Much Inequality in the United States?

Abstract
In September 2011, thousands of people gathered spontaneously in Zuccotti Park in New York City to protest growing income inequality and what some called “the loss of our democracy.”
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 7. How Do Other Countries Handle Economic Security?

Abstract
As a percentage of national output, the United States ranks 25th in the world in social welfare spending (see table 7.1).
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 8. Why Should the United States Adopt a Basic Income Guarantee?

Abstract
Everyone has the right to live.
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 9. Is a Basic Income Guarantee Moral?

Abstract
Yes. There’s a moral obligation to provide every man, woman, and child with a decent level of living.
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 10. Why Should I Work to Support Welfare Chiselers?

Abstract
You shouldn’t. And you won’t.
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 11. Why Not Guarantee Everyone a Job?

Abstract
Sure it is. But under our present labor structure, it’s impossible.
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 12. Why Not Try Other Programs?

Abstract
Since 1970, the number of Americans receiving food stamps has grown from two million to 42.9 million in September 2010. This is one out of every seven Americans. It’s a large constituency.1
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 13. Can the United States Afford a Basic Income Guarantee?

Abstract
Yes. We are a wealthy nation. Our 2011 net worth was $58.1 trillion. Since the official 2010 population was 308.7 million, that’s an average of $188,200 for each man, woman, and child in the country. Our 2011 Gross Domestic Product was $14.7 trillion, an average of $47,643 per person.
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 14. Will a Basic Income Guarantee Work?

Without Abstract
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 15. Has the Basic Income Guarantee Ever Been Tested?

Abstract
Yes. One of the most significant outcomes of the guaranteed income movement of the 1960s and 1970s was the federal government’s decision to conduct four experiments to see how the idea would work in practice.
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 16. What about the Work Ethic?

Abstract
This is where the emotion is. It’s “workfare” versus “welfare.” “Emptying bed pans” versus “living the good life.” Logic won’t work. We believe what we want to believe.
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 17. What Will Life Be Like under a Basic Income Guarantee?

Abstract
Maybe, but if there is, we’ll regard that as good, not bad.
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 18. Will a Basic Income Guarantee Threaten Democracy?

Abstract
No. The Declaration of Independence affirms the right to “life,” as well as to “liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 19. How Is a Basic Income Guarantee Administered?

Abstract
Every adult who is an American and who has legally lived in the United States for at least five years will be covered. For those here less than five years, emergency services will be provided as they are now.
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 20. What’s Happening with BIG around the World?

Abstract
Perhaps the most important outcome of the guaranteed income movement of the 1960s and 1970s happened not at the federal level but in the state of Alaska.
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 21. Can America Be Convinced?

Abstract
Most people who oppose the concept of a basic income guarantee are sincere, hardworking, well-meaning people who simply feel it’s wrong to give people money for not working; that people should work for what they get.
Allan Sheahen

Chapter 22. Realistically, What Are the Chances for a BIG in the United States?

Abstract
No. The basic income guarantee (BIG) movement is clearly made up of academics and activists who are aware that it is a long road to get the idea back onto the mainstream political agenda in the United States.
Allan Sheahen

Backmatter

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