More on Guaranteed Income

Liveable4All dropped this video in the comments to my last post. It’s a short recording of Martin Luther King:

“We are demanding an emergency to program to provide employment for everyone in need of a job, or if a work program is impractical, a guaranteed annual income at levels that sustain life and decent circumstances.”

Here’s a bit more on King’s support.

Meanwhile, Glenn Beck is targeting Frances Fox Piven for her support of the basic income grant in 1966!

For the past three weeks Beck has relentlessly targeted Piven via his television and radio shows as a threat to the American way of life, seizing on an essay that she and her late husband wrote in 1966 as a sort of blueprint for bringing down the American economy.

Called The Weight of the Poor, it advocated signing up so many poor people for welfare payments that the cost would force the government to bring in a policy of a guaranteed income. For Piven, a committed voice of the left, known in academic circles but little recognised outside them, it was just one publication in a lifetime dedicated to political activism and theorising.

For Beck, however, Piven is a direct threat to the US. In show after show, the rightwing commentator has demonised Piven and framed her as part of a decades-old conspiracy to take over the country that culminated in the election of President Barack Obama. Beck’s heated language has provoked a tidal wave of death threats against both Piven and her academic colleagues at the City University of New York.

The threats are blunt and – in light of the recent shooting of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords – truly frightening. Many appear on Beck’s news website, The Blaze. “One shot… one kill,” wrote one. Others are sent directly to her email address or those of her colleagues. There are so many that she has contacted the police and this week will ask her college to make a formal complaint to the FBI.

I guess the optimistic uptake ought to be: Basic Income may not be so far off the radar as you’d think!

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