A Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) is the unconditional government-ensured guarantee that all citizens will have eugh income to meet their basic needs without a work requirement. There are two main versions of such a program - BIG and a Negative Income Tax (NIT). BIG provides an income to all people whether they have other income or t. The NIT provides an income only to those who lack sufficient other income. Reading about BIG can be confusing because these terms are used in different ways by different people. Any policy that gets cash into the hands of people without saddling them with conditions or supervision moves in the direction of BIG. These are questions such as: Can the US afford a BIG? Why can't everyone get a job? Why don't the current welfare programs work? Why should we adopt a BIG? Why t guarantee everyone a job? Would anyone work if his or her income were guaranteed? Does everyone have a right to a BIG? Has a BIG ever been tested? This book answers each question in simple, easy-to-understand language, updates many of the statistics in the 1983 version, and answers even more questions.
Allan Sheahen is the author of Guaranteed Income: The Right to Economic Security. In 2005, Sheahen co-authored, with Karl Widerquist, The Tax Cut for the Rest of Us Act, the first true guaranteed income bill ever introduced in the U.S. Congress. The bill would have provided a 'refundable tax credit' of $2,000 to every adult American. For the next three years, he lobbied legislators, non-profit groups, and others to encourage the bill's passage. But this was the era of the conservative Bush Administration and the bill failed to gain enough support to pass. Sheahen is a committee member of the US Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG) and he has spoken at each of its annual conferences since 2002. He is also a member of the international Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), and has presented papers at several of its biennial conferences. He has volunteered in the USA's VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program in Los Angeles. He is the domestic group leader in the San Fernando Valley of RESULTS, a national non-profit organization working to end hunger and poverty at home and abroad.