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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The guaranteed minimum income (GMI) is a proposed system[1] of social welfare provision that guarantees that all citizens or families have an income sufficient to live on, provided they meet certain conditions. Eligibility is typically determined by citizenship, a means test and either availability for the labour market or a willingness to perform community services. The primary goal of a guaranteed minimum income is to combat poverty. If citizenship is the only requirement, the system turns into a Basic Income guarantee.

Contents

Elements

A system of guaranteed minimum income can consist of several elements, most notably:

Basic income

A basic income is granted independent of other income (including salaries) and wealth, with no other requirement than citizenship. This is a special case of GMI, based on additional ideologies and/or goals. While most modern countries have some form of guaranteed minimum income, a basic income is rare.

A basic income is a proposed system of social security, that periodically provides each citizen with a sum of money that is sufficient to live on. Except for citizenship, a Basic Income is entirely unconditional. There is no means test; the richest as well as the poorest citizens would receive it.

A basic income is often proposed in the form of a citizen's dividend (a transfer) or a negative income tax (a guarantee). A basic income less than the social minimum is referred to as a partial basic income. A worldwide basic income, typically including income redistribution between nations, is known as a global basic income.

Advocates

American revolutionary Thomas Paine advocated a basic income guarantee to all US citizens as compensation for "loss of his or her natural inheritance, by the introduction of the system of landed property" (Agrarian Justice, 1795).

In his final book Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? (1967) Martin Luther King Jr. wrote[2]

I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.
from the chapter entitled "Where We Are Going"

In 1968, James Tobin, Paul Samuelson, John Kenneth Galbraith and another 1,200 economists signed a document calling for the US Congress to introduce in that year a system of income guarantees and supplements.[citation needed]

In 1973, Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote The Politics of a Guaranteed Income in which he advocated for the Guaranteed Minimum Income and discussed Richard Nixon's GAI proposal.

In 1987, New Zealand's Labour Finance Minister Roger Douglas announced a Guaranteed Minimum Family Income Scheme to accompany a new flat tax. Both were squashed by then Prime Minister David Lange, who sacked Douglas.[3]

Modern advocates include Hans-Werner Sinn (Germany) and Ayşe Buğra (Turkey).[citation needed]

Funding

Many different sources of funding have been suggested for a guaranteed minimum income:

See also

References

  1. ^ History of Basic Income, Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), retrieved on 18 June 2009
  2. ^ Martin Luther King jr., Where do we go from here: Chaos or community? (New York: Harper & Row, 1967)
  3. ^ "New Zealand Is Jolted By a Speedy Decontrol", Seth Mydans, The New York Times (24 February 1988)

External links

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