chapter  1
An Introduction to the Basic Income Guarantee
ByMichael Anthony Lewis, Steven Pressman, Karl Widerquist
Pages 10

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book examines the relationship between the welfare reform passed by the United States Congress in 1996 and Speenhamland, a British town that decreed the poor were entitled to certain public assistance. It focuses on the historical antecedents of contemporary basic income proposals. The book also examines political rights and Basic income guarantee (BIG). It also focuses on poverty reduction as a central goal of any income policy, but also attends to the effect such policies have on work incentives. The book analyses the work incentive problems of BIG. It discusses the possibility of implementing a BIG in South Africa. The book provides some cost estimates for several possible Canadian BIG programs. It explores how to set up a negative income tax in the United Kingdom.