Inderscience Publishers

Contrasting primitive conceptions of Basic Income Guarantee

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The aim of this paper is to outline and compare the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) proposals by Thomas Paine and Thomas Spence. In assessing the two proposals using the current version of BIG criterion, each proposal has consistent and inconsistent elements. It can be argued that the two proposals are 'primitive' versions of BIG, as espoused today by the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) and the United States Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG Network). Nevertheless, beyond what would be perceived today as flaws in both proposals, Paine and Spence equally contributed to the historical development of BIG.

Keywords: basic income guarantee, BIG, Thomas Paine, Thomas Spence

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