Papers of historical interest

The BIGA site also has an Historical (Archive) Section listing early articles on Basic Income that are downloadable.

The idea of a Basic Income is not new. Van Trier (1995) noted that in 1920 Dennis Milner published one of the early British books on the idea of a Basic Income, which Milner called Minimum Income, and it was largely ignored. Milner (1920) called for a minimum income to apply to all citizens, man, woman and child, without conditions or deductions (p.19) and his arguments, which he called ‘a business proposition’ are remarkably similar to those used today, eighty odd years later (Tomlinson, 2000). Milner noted in his preface that he had chosen intentionally to eliminate ‘all speculations on justice and ethics’ so as to leave his proposal uncluttered and simple (Milner, 1920, p.6). Thus right from the conception of a Basic Income, there has been some lack of discussion of the ethical issues.

BIGA has reproduced the Milner Book in it entirety on this page. The 1920 book was entitled Higher Production by a Bonus on National Output. A Proposal for a Minimum Income for All varying with National Income (PDF, 1MB).

John Tomlinson has written a short article on this early Milner period entitled ‘A Most Neglected Movement’ (PDF, 21KB).

‘An Australian History of Basic Income’ (PDF, 23KB) is a short article relating to the Australian Basic Income story.

After the successful 11th Basic Income Earth Network Congress in Cape Town, South Africa,the BIEN Newsflash 42 November 2006 (PDF, 76KB) 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.

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.

The History of Income Insecurity: There is an alternative (PDF, 60KB). A keynote paper given by John Tomlinson at the Queensland State Youth Affairs Network Conference, Mackay April 14th-16th 2003.

Possibilities for Social Welfare in Australia (PDF, 2MB) is a 1975 copyright Commonwealth of Australia document, reproduced by permission. The Priorities Review Staff published this review as a contribution toward improving the security of income in Australia.

Australian Government Commission Of Inquiry into Poverty (PDF, 349KB) (1975) Chapter 6 of the report: Income Support: A Guaranteed Income Scheme

Australian Government Commission Of Inquiry into Poverty (1975) Appendix 6 to the Poverty in Australia Report (PDF, 706KB) entitled The Incidence Of Guaranteed-Income Schemes

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 (PDF, 943KB) (1729) 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

Manning, Ian (1981) An Australian Guaranteed Income Scheme (PDF, 153KB). A paper presented for the workshop on Income Distribution and Redistribution, University of Melbourne, July 31 and August 1, 1981.

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.

Wiseman, John (1978) Book Review Power handout at the family centre? (PDF, 666KB) Arena, No 51 pp155-162

Commonwealth Institute of Family Studies (1985) Changing the Australian taxation system: towards a family guarantee (PDF, 2MB) A submission to the Economic Planning Advisory Council. Full text doc. "Copyright Commonwealth of Australia reproduced by permission"

Tomlinson, John (1991) Work and Income Guarantees (PDF, 55KB) in Journal of Social Alternatives vol 10, issue 3 pp5-8. Click for full article

The Importance of Trust (PDF, 60KB). John Tomlinson
6th National Conference on Unemployment, University of Newcastle, 23&24 September 1999.
The major problem facing Australian people without paid employment (or sufficient paid work) is not the absence of work but the absence of a decent income support mechanism. There are many ways of providing sufficient paid employment to all who desire it. Identifying ways to surmount the obstacles to full employment are by no means intellectually challenging. Langmore and Quiggan (1994) set out a detailed blueprint to reduce unemployment to 3%. Governments, since 1974, have failed in this important task. The last Labor Government at least presented a coherent plan to train unemployed people and reduce the level of unemployment to 5% by the end of this century (Keating 1994).

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