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Basic Income and Sovereign Money

The Alternative to Economic Crisis and Austerity Policy

  • Book
  • © 2020


  • Challenges the orthodox explanation for economic crisis and the justification for austerity policy
  • Demonstrates that declining earned income and government deficit is inevitable in high technology economies
  • Solves this dilemma through a unique policy combination of universal basic income and debt-free sovereign money

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About this book

“This is a radical, thought-provoking book, which brings together debates that are often kept separate about basic income and 'sovereign money'. You might not agree with all of it, but it makes big arguments and does so with constructive intent: that of proposing alternative ways of organising our economy and welfare states.”

Nick Pearce, Director of The Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath, UK

“Though I have criticized modern money theory (MMT) for being too facile regarding the consequences of money financed deficits, I welcome this book’s advocacy of a universal basic income. MMT proponents have focused on the problem of employment. Geoff Crocker wants to shift the focus to basic income, and I believe he is right. We are in an era of transition. Employment was the fundamental problem of the 20th century. Income distribution will be the fundamental problem of the 21st century. We must begin transitioning the policy discourse now. Incoming decades we will need both employment and basic income policy. It is good to have MMT advocates on board.”

Thomas Palley, independent economist, Washington, DC, USA

"Geoff Crocker's book is a very stimulating and provoking contribution to the discussion of how to define, identify, and finance basic income. It addresses very clearly the societal issue of a monetary basic income funding which will excite the discussion beside well --known tax proposals, and establishes the discussion on integrating basic income directly into crisis prevention and crisis solution."

Bernhard Neumärker, Götz Werner Professor of Economic Policy & Constitutional Economic Theory and Head of Freiburg Institute for Basic Income Studies (FRIBIS) at the University of Freiburg

The current economic system is dysfunctional, characterised by crises, austerity, excessive household and government debt, low pay, poverty, inequality, and ecological damage. This needs a radical re-think and re-engineering of the economic system. The standard explanation of the 2007 economic crisis is that banks behaved badly and governments failed to regulate. But policies of tighter bank regulation, quantitative easing, and austerity failed, and proved counter-productive. This book challenges this orthodox view. From a careful analysis of long-term economic data, it shows that earned income has inexorably fallen behind economic output, leading to huge increases in consumer debt, causing the crisis. Governments have sought to curtail deficit spending by socially harmful austerity policy. The answer is a universal basic income, funded by debt-free sovereign money, which also funds government social expenditure, always limited by economic output to avoid inflation. This book will appeal to policy makers, academic economists, think tank networks, and everyone who is concerned with the ongoing dysfunctionality of the current economic system. 

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Table of contents (7 chapters)

  1. The Proposal as Policy

  2. The Context of the Proposal in Contemporary Economic Thought

Authors and Affiliations

  • Basic Income Forum, Bristol, UK

    Geoff Crocker

About the author

Geoff Crocker edits Basic Income Forum. He read economics and worked internationally in technology strategy consulting. He researches how technology causes fundamental change in the economy, principally in reducing effective aggregate demand. His work is set out in A Managerial Philosophy of Technology (Palgrave, 2012) and at

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