Articles of interest

The following articles of interest relate generally to the Australian economic social scene or socioeconomic issues that have interest for the social justice aspects of Basic Income.

For Current International Newsletters from BIEN Linked to another web site and USBIG Linked to another web site

Some contemporary Unionists' objections to Basic Income... and some responses (PDF, 138KB)

Subject: NAMIBIA: Fundraising for Basic Income Pilot Project (PDF, 22KB)
At BIGA we would prefer that Governments rather than NGOs funded a Basic Income. The Basic Income Guarantee organisation of Namibia has for some years attempted to convince the Namibian Government to fund a Basic Income guarantee for all citizens. So far the government has refused. So the BIG organisation has decided to run a pilot program in one province as a demonstration project. A somewhat similar project was run by the Brotherhood of Saint Laurence in Melbourne in the late 1970s (see Liffman, M. (1978). Power for the Poor . George Allen & Unwin, Sydney). Jenni Mays and I met the Rev. Haarmann and Bishop Dr. Z. Kameeta at the Cape Town Basic Income Conference in Dec 2006. They seem very committed people.

The information below was extracted from the Basic Income Earth Network Newsletter Sept 2007. Please note that a $100  Namibian equals $13 US for 24 months this is about $ 312 US or about  $400 Australian. John Tomlinson

Editors Note: John Tomlinson has sent off his A$400 donation to the appropriate BIG Namibia First National Bank without complication!!! (Namibia is not Nigeria!)

For full details, Registration and Bank deposit details click here : FUNDRAISING FOR BASIC INCOME PILOT PROJECT (PDF, 22KB)
         The background is that a pilot project might be able to concretely show that a BIG can work and will indeed have the predicted positive effects on poverty alleviation and economic development.
         The BIG Coalition has started to implement the BIG pilot project in Otjivero/Omitara, a small village in the East of Namibia. On July 31st 2007, a team of the BIG Coalition registered 1005 people in this small village to receive a grant of N$100,- (Euro 12,-) per person per month for two years starting in January 2008.   On August 6th 2007, Bishop Dr. Z. Kameeta officially launched the BIG FUND in order to start fundraising.    For more information on the BIG pilot project and the BIG Coalition, see
the BIG Coalition webpage Linked to another web site or write to

After the successful 11th Basic Income Earth Network Congress in Cape Town, South Africa,the BIEN Newsflash 42 November 2006 (PDF, 82KB) (PDF, 82KB) carries a report on the proceeding, including a summation by Philippe Van Parijs and a link to the moving short video presentation made to the conference by Nobel Laureate BISHOP DESMOND TUTU Linked to another web site and links to the on-line papers presented.

For example in the BIEN Basic Income Earth Network NEWSFLASH 39, May 2006 (PDF, 50KB) (PDF, 50KB) is an editorial on the death of John Kenneth Galbraith at age 98. Galbraith long promoted a Basic Income

BASIC INCOME STUDIES: An new International Journal of Basic Income Research Linked to another web site (BIS) Call for papers for future editions and further details : Basic Income Studies (PDF, 14KB)

New Bepress academic Journal : Basic Income Studies Inaugral Issue Linked to another web site

New contact information here below for BASIC INCOME STUDIES: Linked to another web site
"Basic Income Studies: An International Journal of Basic Income Research" (BIS) is a new international journal devoted to the critical discussion of and research into universal basic income and related policy proposals. BIS is published by The Berkeley Electronic Press and edited by an international team of scholars, with support from Red Renta Básica, the Basic Income Earth Network and the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network. The inaugural issue of BIS appeared in June 2006 with articles by Joel Handler and Amanda Sheely Babcock, Michael W. Howard, Yannick Vanderborght, and a retrospective on Robert van der Veen and Philippe Van Parijs's seminal article on "A Capitalist Road to Communism". The retrospective includes a reprint of the original article and a set of specially written comments by Gerald Cohen, Erik Olin Wright, Doris Schroeder, Catriona McKinnon, Harry Dahms, and Andrew Williams, together with a specially written reply by the authors.

The Berkeley Electronic Press, together with editors Rafael Pinilla-Pallejà (Ministry of Public Affairs, Spain), Jurgen De Wispelaere (Trinity College Dublin), and Karl Widerquist (University of Oxford), is very pleased to announce the launch of Basic Income Studies, the first peer-reviewed journal devoted to basic income and related issues of poverty relief and universal welfare. An exciting new venture supported by major international networks of scholars, policy makers, and activists, Basic Income Studies is the only forum for scholarly research on this leading edge movement in contemporary social policy. Articles discuss the design and implementation of basic income schemes, and address the theory and practice of universal welfare in clear, non-technical language that engages the wider policy community.

Old Problem, New Label: Reconstructing the Problem of Welfare Dependency in Australian Social Policy Discourse (PDF, 762KB). Dr Benno Engels in Just Policy journal No 41 September 2006 pp. 5-14.

USBIG NEWSLETTER VOL. 6 No 35, Sep-Oct 2005 (PDF, 48KB) (PDF, 48KB)


Greenstuart, Malcolm (2007). Cosmic Green Accounting: Introduction to a BIG Energy Economic System (PDF, 53KB). An interesting paper outlining a form of basic income using tradeable units per Kilowatt-hour (kWh) rather than money .

ON LINE Opinion, Australia's e-journal of social and political debate features several articles of interest on their website:

War, Famine, Pestilence and Neo-Liberalism Linked to another web siteJohn Tomlinson writes on first and third world poverty for On Line Opinion.

Building a land fit for heroesLinked to another web site (2005) On Line Opinion: John Tomlinson argues that the Howard Government is destroying social justice in Australia.

Disability on Howards 'Animal Farm' Linked to another web site(2005) On Line Opinion: John Tomlinson argues there should be equality for all, not just the rich.

Adele Horin: A Welfare change that will help only the bean counters  Linked to another web site OPINION in Sydney Morning Herald July 30 2005. Howard's plan to place single mothers and people with disability into unemployment mutual obligation.

The Art of Taxation Linked to another web site(2005) On Line Opinion, John Tomlinson argues there is no difference between evading tax and fraudulently claiming social security.

Welfare-to-work program punishes the poor Linked to another web site(2005) GREEN LEFT WEEKLY article by Linda Seaborne and Alison Thorne.

Centrelink's breaching policies do the unemployed more harm than good Linked to another web siteby Simon Schooneveldt (2004)

The real moral jeopardy of 'Welfare Dependency Linked to another web siteby John Tomlinson (2004)

Compulsory contributions corrode community Linked to another web site by John Tomlinson (2004)

'Mutual obligation' policies do little to help the poor and underemployed Linked to another web siteby John Tomlinson (2004)

Tomlinson, John (2005) Faint praise for a chimera: Selectivity versus universalism in social policy (PDF, 132KB). A paper presented at the December 2005 Unemployment Conference CofFEE, University of Newcastle NSW

Mutual obligation: ethical and social implications Linked to another web siteby Pamela Kinnear (2000)

More items of interest follow this image of one of Brisbane's many streams that flow into Moreton Bay. This one is Cabbage Tree Creek

Photo of Cabbage Tree Creek  flowing into Moreton Bay
Photo by Jim Hansen.

Heinlein, Robert. A. (2004 - written in 1938-1939) For us, the living: A comedy of customs (PDF, 609KB). This is chapter 10, which outlines and justifies an early basic income Heinlein called a 'dividend or inheritance check' and more formally "a blanket dividend for ones inheritance".

Australian Government discussion paper The Challenge of Welfare Dependency in the 21st Century (PDF, 65KB)(1999) By Senator the Hon Jocelyn Newman Minister for Family and Community Services.

Swift, Jonathan. (2000). A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland, from Being a Burden to their Parents or Country; and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick (1729) (PDF, 943KB) in Goodin, Robert and Mitchell, Deborah, The foundations of the welfare state volume II, Cheltenham, Glos: Edward Elgar Publishing Inc, pp.109-118.
Library Note: This portion is part of a larger pager range: Pp 109 - 118; 221 - 258 and 459 - 462

The following paper outlines some findings from a survey that was conducted by Simon Schooneveldt in Brisbane, Australia, regarding the treatment some unemployed people received as they were penalised (breached) for not complying satisfactorily with government requirements to engage in job search activities in return for unemployment income support payments. A significant proportion of people were obliged to move into less desirable accommodation as a consequence. Do Centrelink Activity Breach penalties coerce outcomes from unemployed welfare recipients in line with Mutual Obligation policy? (PDF, 95KB)

The following is a recent book review by John Tomlinson. The book is entitled Socioeconomic Democracy: An Advanced Socioeconomic System by Robley George; Praeger, Westport. An Author's rejoinder to the review appears at the end. Socioeconomic Democracy: An Advanced Socioeconomic System (PDF, 30KB)

John Humphreys (2005) has written an interesting paper for reform of Australia's welfare system. John argues that hoary political favourites such as 'budget neutrality' and 'no-person-worse-off' ought be dumped by instituting a flat tax of 30% across all income taxes with a negative income tax coming in for those with less than $30,000 per annum income. Reform 30/30: Rebuilding Australia's tax and welfare system Linked to another web site CIS Policy Monograph 70, 27 pages.

Beyond the New Paternalism: Basic Security as Equality (PDF, 15KB) by Guy Standing (2002) Verso, London. This book was recently reviewed by John Tomlinson (2004).

Standing, Guy. (2002). The Paternalistic Consensus (PDF, 366KB) in Standing, Guy, Beyond the new paternalism : basic security as equality, London: Verso, pp.159-172.

Tomlinson, John (1998) The war on poverty (PDF, 73KB). Published in Anarchist Age Monthly Review No 80. July

Tomlinson, John (2005) Must be the grog, can't be the Government (PDF, 235KB). A paper presented at Engaging Communities Conference, Brisbane Australia.

Harriss, Ian and Robbins, Bill. (2007) From Harvester to Work Choices (PDF, 60KB). A paper presented at 10th Annual Labour History Conference - Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, Melbourne 4-6 July 2007.

Heathershaw , J.T (1935). The invalid and old age pensions act 1908-1935 (PDF, 4MB) Canberra: AGPS. Known as The Little Brown Book, These are the Commonwealth's confidential guidelines and instructions to Deputy Commissioners in the administration of the Invalid and Old Age Pensions Act 1908-1935. It remained in use well into the 1960's.

Wiseman, John (1991 Revised, provided to the ACOSS working group on Guaranteed Minimum Income) A Guaranteed Adequate Income Scheme for Australia in the 1990's: Proposals and Issues (PDF, 395KB)

Wiseman, John (2005) Power Point presentation to Conference: 'Other Worlds: Social Movements and the Making of Alternatives' (PPT, 108KB) Sydney, April 28-29. John Wiseman is Professor of Public Policy, Victoria University.

Cassassas, David. Raventos, David and Julie Wark (2005) Basic income for East Timor? an exploratory report. (PDF, 120KB) Contacts, (see also The Haarmann resource book on BI for Namibia Linked to another web site

This article was first published in the Australian Journal of Social Issues Volume 39, No 2 May 2004. Simon Schooneveldt Do Mutual Obligation Breach Penalties Coerce Compliance with Government Expectations? (PDF, 87KB)

Contact BIGA

Phone: 07 3138 4612
From overseas: + 61 7 3138 4612
Fax: 07 3138 0296
From overseas: + 61 7 3138 0296

Email: or directly contact BIGA’s web site administrator Greg Marston.