Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

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Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

More discussion about the Basic Income Guarantee

This is what I posted on my blog about the Basic Income Guarantee. It might be worth it to call another conference in Duluth specifically to address organizing for BIG? There should be support for this kind of initiative in Wisconsin and Michigan, too.

I my opinion this should be linked to a Full Employment Act, peace and re-ordering priorities with how to pay for it coming from the military/war budgets, a tax on Wall Street transactions and a hefty tax on the wealthy beginning at around $100,000.00 and it should be made clear that BIG would be tied to the actual cost-of-living.

To start off a campaign for BIG we would need a good one page leaflet with a graphic; a statement of support signed by a couple hundred people, and a petition.

Letters to the Editor from around the state could be put together to form a little pamphlet.

I think this should be undertaken as a complete grassroots initiative without even asking for "big name" support. Let these people feel the heat building from below and respond to that. 

I recently purchased a high-quality laser printer (black print only) and would be willing to print everything we need at no cost provided the paper and printing cartridges are paid for. 

With all working class families now caught up in a "cost-of-living crisis" none of the politicians want to acknowledge let alone talk about or take action to resolve now is the time to move forward with the Basic Income Guarantee.

What do others think about this?

I would encourage others to circulate this entire e-mail to see if we can't reach some kind of meeting of the minds about how to develop this struggle for the Basic Income Guarantee.

I have e-mailed this to people in at least 20 states; how about a discussion?

This is the kind of issue that is perfect for organizing discussions and debates and should be a topic we can all come together around.

There has already been quite a bit of initiative taken. Here is an e-mail I  received from Liane Gale Notice: attached are the attachments Liane sent out):

Hello Alan:

I am very happy that you support BIG and that you are encouraging people to get involved and support the concept. Basic income has garnered quite some interest in Europe just the last few years, and the group that met a week ago in NYC is trying to initiate a political movement here in the US.

One of the speakers from last week's congress, Jurgen De Wispelaere, will be coming to Minnesota on March 19 to speak at the Minnesota State University in Mankato in a series of "Ethics of Economic Institutions". Flier is attached. The talk is open to the public.

Jurgen will then visit friends in the Twin Cities and he has agreed to give a talk on Friday, March, 20th. We were able to get 4200 Cedar for that evening, and I have set up a FB event. 

Attached is also the full information for the event. I will try to have some fliers made, and will share them with you as soon as they become available.

I would appreciate if you could share the events, but especially the one of the 20th, with your MN network.

Let me know if you have any other comments and questions.

We also decided that we try to start a movement. As you may know, I am currently one of the contacts for BIG and Women, New Economy, and Anti-Poverty. By March 20th, Ann Withorn and me have hopefully figured out a few first steps to take and can open it up to the community.

I am convinced that basic income has the potential to become a center point of a new women-lead movement that seeks to supersede patriarchal capitalism.

I am quite excited to have found a focus for my activism. Just a month ago, I was quite confused, as I had left the leadership of the Green Party, and also left a commitment to organize an event on Community Rights.

Thanks so much Alan for you immense support so far for BIG and I hope that you will want to be involved in some ways. Kristine Osbakken is the current contact for regional groups, so we will see whether besides a women-focused group we could also have a regional group here in MN. Maybe they can be one and the same.

In solidarity, Liane

For those who believe all the hype about an improving economy you might want to read this article which has been really big news in media all over the country:


Working people are going to need this Basic Income Guarantee to get through these ordeals combined with poverty wage paying jobs, part-time/on-call jobs and this cost-of-living crisis; not to mention that in spite of all this malarkey about an improving economy, tens of millions remain unemployed as this Wall Street bribed government seeks to use unemployment and poverty wages to "keep inflation down" and Wall Street profits high as we are forced to pay through the nose and with austerity measures for these never-ending dirty wars making us all poor. 

Any country which can afford the high cost of militarism and these wars certainly can provide everyone with a Basic Income Guarantee.

We need not wait for the Democrats or the foundation-funded outfits fronting for them like the Campaign for America's Future to bring forward solutions like the Basic Income Guarantee; nor should we pay any attention to their taunts that we must be patient and accept "incremental reforms" with the full remedy well into the future. We have seen where our patience has gotten us with the Democrats when it comes to the Minimum Wage, health care reforms and the need for child care as the Democrats push us towards a "three year war" with ISIS.

Here in Minnesota the Democrats joined with Republicans for a "blitz" to build a new Minnesota Vikings' stadium with tax-payer dollars for a bunch of billionaires. why no such "blitz" to put an end to poverty?

We need to figure out how to mount a "blitz" to win the Basic Income Guarantee.

Alan L. Maki

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Just about everything you need to initiate a campaign in support of the Basic Income Guarantee

Basic Income Guarantee...


 a big idea whose time has come.

I don't know anything about this organizational undertaking or the conference, theNorth American Basic Income Guarantee Conference, other than what you are able to read here; although I know a couple of the people involved.

I'm glad to see people working on this idea about a Basic Income Guarantee(BIG) first advanced here in the United States by the great citizen-patriot-revolutionary Thomas Paine.

In the year 2000, political leaders from around the world signed on to a commitment to end poverty in fifteen years... here we are fifteen years later and poverty is getting worse instead of being alleviated and ended.

Common sense tells us that people without jobs are going to be poor... the unemployed need BIG.

Common sense tells us that workers being paid poverty wages are going to be poor. Poverty waged workers need BIG.

Common sense tells us that workers employed “on-call” and part-time are most likely to be poor. These workers need BIG.

Common sense tells us that people living on pensions and Social Security providing incomes that aren't in line with the actual cost-of-living are going to be poor. Retired people need BIG.

Common sense should tell us that people who face discrimination in education and employment based on race and sex are going to be poor. Victims of discrimination need BIG.

Tens of millions of people in this country are living in poverty many of whom are children, women and people of color. These are all people who will benefit from BIG.

There is the basis for a massive grassroots and rank-and-file coalition effort to win this Basic Income Guarantee.

This is the richest country in the world; if we can't put an end to poverty with all of our resources and wealth what other country can?

At the present time, much of our Nation's wealth created by workers is being squandered on militarism and wars, subsidizing Wall Street's profits with our tax dollars and this Wall Street bribed government--- local, state and federal--- does nothing to put an end to poverty because there are big profits in poverty--- whether the profits come from paying workers poverty wages or banks being paid big bucks for being involved in administering poverty programs.

In my opinion, this Basic Income Guarantee is a very good reform provided it becomes legislatively tied to ALL actual cost-of-living factors.

While I definitely support the idea of lobbying for this important reform, I don't think we should kid ourselves into believing this Wall Street owned and dominated government will provide such a reform anymore that they will put an end to all these dirty wars which are making us all poor.

This Basic Income Guarantee is going to have to become a big part of the platforms and programs of alternative political parties; and, in my opinion, what we really need is a new progressive working class based political party to bring forward this important reform--- a political party intent on challenging Wall Street for political and economic power.

I hope others will forward and circulate this e-mail everywhere.

Post it on union and church bulletin boards.

Bring this idea into the proverbial public square where it belongs.

Create resolutions in support for your organizations, political party and unions to endorse.

Get out and leaflet and table.

Tens of millions of names on petitions are needed.

Organize demonstrations and educational picket lines.

Talk to people at work and at school. Talk to people in your neighborhood.

Make a banner for BIG to be used at demonstrations and on picket lines.

Put a sign in your window or in your yard for BIG.

We should be thinking of convening some kind of local, state, regional and national conferences involving hundreds, if not thousands, of people in active support of theBasic Income Guarantee--- BIG.

The Basic Income Guarantee is an effort we should all be able to plug into in one way or another to lend our support.

Cindy Sheehan did a good job bringing this issue forward in her campaign for California Governor on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket.

We also need a Full Employment Act making it mandatory for the president and Congress to attain and maintain full employment.

I have suggested the two be tied together as some kind of reform package like a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity;" does this make sense to you?

The Basic Income Guarantee is in line with our Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights along with the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, too.
I am especially happy to hear there is cross-border collaboration with our neighbors to the north in Canada on this very important issue of a Basic Income Guarantee.

Spread the word because if you don't, the Wall Street owned and controlled media isn't going to spread the word for us, although this would be the perfect issue for writing a "Letter-to-the-Editor" of your local newspapers--- and don't forget the many newsletters, too. And FaceBook posts and blogs.

If we want to build a movement to win the Basic Income Guarantee we need to bring this issue into the public square in a massive way.

We can't talk about a Basic Income Guarantee in isolation from all “cost-of-living” factors anymore than we can talk about wages in isolation from the actual “cost-of-living.”

Educate about BIG.

Organize for BIG.

Unite for BIG.

Action in the streets, places of employment and at the ballot box is needed to win BIG.

Don't be patient waiting for Wall Street bribed politicians to implement BIG.

Don't settle for incremental reforms with promises to implement BIG someplace down the road.

Inching our way towards reforms doesn't work--- health care and the Minimum Wage prove this.

The Basic Income Guarantee is a universal reform we need NOW!

Yours in the struggle,

Alan L. Maki

Here is the e-mail I received from USBIG...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Karl Widerquist 
Date: Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 2:45 PM
Subject: Special USBIG NewsFlash report from the meeting to create a political movement for basic income
To: bignews@widerquist.com

As editor, I'm sending this report is to all subscribers of the USBIG NewsFlash. A new political movement began organizing itself at the 14th NABIG Congress in New York on March, 1, 2015. The following report shows how interested people can get involve. Please send correspondence to the relevant committee contacts (below), or to Jason Burke Muprhy .

Thank you, 
Karl Widerquist, editor, USBIG NewsFlash
Report from the meeting to create a political movement for basic income

Thirty-one people signed the attendance sheet at the first meeting of group of people attempting to start a political movement for basic income in the United States. Several more people attended without signing, and others followed and contributed to the meeting online. The meeting took place from 6:30 to 9:30pm at the Commons Brooklyn on February 26, 2015, at the close of the Fourteenth North American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) Congress. The meeting began with all participants discussing their background and the history that brought them to the basic income movement. The group then split into several small groups, each discussing a different issue. Participants reassembled to bring their discussion to the whole group and to make some decisions.

The group chose not to name a leader or a leadership committee. It did not even pick a name for the new organization at this point. Instead, it created several committees and asked them to perform certain tasks. The group created the following committees:

1. One committee will be in charge of legally chartering two groups. The U.S. Basic Income Guarantee (USBIG) Network, which has existed since 1999 without an official legal charter, will become a U.S. nonprofit organization—a so-called 501(c)(3). This means that it will be able to accept tax-deductible donations, but it will not be able to do overtly political work. The second organization (yet to be named) will be chartered as a social welfare organization or a lobbying group with a 501(c)(4) tax designation. This means that it will be able to do overtly political work, but donations to it will not be tax-deductible. The following members have so far joined the committee to charter the two organizations:

CONTACT PERSON: Steven Shafarman 
Ian Ash Schlakman 
Jason Burke Murphy 
Mark Witham 
Eri Noguchi 
Dan O'Sullivan 

2. A committee was created to organize the next meeting of the unnamed political group. The USBIG Network meets once a year at the NABIG Congress (which alternates each year between the U.S. and Canada), but the political group will meet more often. The committee hopes to organize the next meeting within 3 to 6 months. The committees within the unnamed political group will probably meet earlier via the internet. The following members volunteered to organize the next meeting of the unnamed group:

Jude Thomas 
Diane Pagen 
Ann Withorn 
Dorothy Howard 

3. The content creation committee is in charge of research, news reporting, social media presence, and media relations.

CONTACT PERSON: Jason Burke Murphy 
Contact for people interested in the NewsFlash and BI News: Karl Widerquist 
Contact for people interested in improving the Basic Income articles on Wikipedia: Dorothy Howard 
Scott Santens 

4. The regional network committee will work on establishing local chapters of the group in cities and towns across the United States. The contact person for this committee is:
Kristine Osbakken 

5. Liane Gaile and Ann Withorn agreed to be the contact people for the four working groups on women & Basic Income, basic income & the new economy, and basic income as an anti-poverty policy.

The organizers of this new group without a name put out a nationwide call to anyone who wants to get involved. If people would like to join one of the existing committees or propose a new committee, please email the relevant committee contacts and volunteer. If you don’t know which committee to contact, the two groups have two general contact people:

The unnamed political group: Jason Burke Murphy 
The USBIG Network coordinator: Michael Howard 

The Following people signed the attendance sheet at the meeting:

Ann Withorn
Buffy Cain
Dan O'Sullivan
Diane Pagen
Dorothy Howard
Felix Coeln
Ian Ash Schlakman
Jason Burke Murphy
Jesse Alexander Myerson
Joel Cabrera
Johannes Ponader
Jude Thomas
Karl Widerquist
Kristine Osbakken
Leah Grace
Liane Gale
Mark Witham
Mary Bricker-Jenkins
Michael Bohmeyer
Michael Lewis
Mike Sandler
Mitchel Cohen
Peter Barnes
Ron Rubin
Scott Santens
Scott Simpson
Steven Shafarman
Eduardo Suplicy
Tristan Roberts
Tristan Mantel-Hoffmann
Victor Chudnovsky

Karl Widerquist
Associate Professor at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University
3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W.
Suite 2100, Harris Building
Washington, D.C. 20007-2401
US cell phone: +1 504-261-0891
Qatar cell phone: +974 5508-9323
Qatar office phone: +974 4457-8384
Qatar fax: +974 4457-8231
EMAIL: Karl@widerquist.com
Website: http://works.bepress.com/widerquist/


This e-mail circulated and distributed by:
Alan L. Maki

58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Cell: 651-587-5541