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Michael W. Howard

Professor of Philosophy, University of Maine
Chapter Member: Maine SSN

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About Michael

Howard's research focuses on sharing the burdens of climate change equitably, and universal basic income. Overarching themes in Howard's writings include carbon dividends as a form of partial basic income, whether basic income is exploitative, and what justice requires of states in sharing the burdens of climate change. Howard serves as President of the US Basic Income Guarantee Network, and co-edits the journal Basic Income Studies.

In the News

"The U.S. Could Help Solve Its Poverty Problem with a Universal Basic Income," Michael W. Howard, Inequality | Opinion, Scientific American, January 6, 2023.
"Why Unconditionality Matters," Michael W. Howard, GTI Forum, Great Transition Initiative, November 2020.
"UBI: A Bad Idea?," Michael W. Howard, US BIG, June 12, 2019.
"Why Income Guarantees Make Sense to Reduce Poverty," Michael W. Howard, Bangor Daily News, March 29, 2019.
"Universal Basic Income: The Way of the Future or a Work-Crippling Safety Net?," Michael W. Howard, Interview with Chris Farrell, MPR News, July 19, 2018.
"Michael Howard: "La majoria de gent continuaria treballant tot i rebre una renda bàsica universal," Michael W. Howard, Interview with Paula Solanas, Ara, August 13, 2017.
"Basic Income Web Extra," Michael W. Howard, Interview with Peter Bermudes, Wide Angle, July 13, 2017.
"Basic Income," Michael W. Howard, Interview with Peter Bermudes, Wide Angle, July 13, 2017.
"A Carbon Dividend as a Step Toward a Basic Income in the United States: Prospects and Problems," Michael W. Howard, IPR Blog, University of Bath, July 5, 2017.
"It’s Encouraging to See Conservatives Get Behind a Carbon Tax to Fight Climate Change," Michael W. Howard, Bangor Daily News, February 21, 2017.
"Conservative Carbon Dividend Proposal is a Welcome Development for Introduction of Partial Basic Income," Michael W. Howard, Basic Income Earth Network, February 11, 2017.
"Vote as You Must to Minimize Evil in November, Then Work for a Better World," Michael W. Howard, Bangor Daily News, September 27, 2016.
"Carbon Fee and Dividend: A Reply to David Roberts," Michael W. Howard, Bangor Daily News, July 10, 2016.
Matto Mildenberger quoted on tax and cap climate policies by David Roberts, "The Political Hurdles Facing a Carbon Tax - and How to Overcome Them" Vox, April 26, 2016.
"Size of a Citizens’ Dividend from Carbon Fees, Implications for Growth," Michael W. Howard, Basic Income Earth Network, September 14, 2015.
"We Should Prepare for the Worst Consequences of Climate Change," Michael W. Howard, Bangor Daily News, August 11, 2015.
"Time is Running Short: We Can Build Political Will for a Climate-Protecting Carbon Fee," Michael W. Howard, Bangor Daily News, November 25, 2014.
"Guaranteed Income for Every Adult? It's Not as Far-Fetched as You Might Think," Michael W. Howard, Bangor Daily News, March 4, 2014.
"One Solution Could Fight Both Global Extreme Poverty and Climate Change," Michael W. Howard, Bangor Daily News, February 5, 2014.
"What's the Likelihood Congress Will Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions?," Michael W. Howard, Bangor Daily News, May 28, 2013.
"The Poor are Just Like Everyone Else," Michael W. Howard, Bangor Daily News, June 26, 2012.
"Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend: A Policy Ripe for Export," Michael W. Howard, Bangor Daily News, June 20, 2011.
"Middle Class Immigration Test," Michael W. Howard, Bangor Daily News, April 28, 2006.


"Universal Basic Income Roundtable," (with Luisa S. Deprez, Daniel S. Soucier, Dave Canarie, Phillip Harvey, Georg Arndt, Karl Widerquist, and Almaz Zelleke), The University of Maine, November 2019.

Discusses how the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center invited local, regional, and international experts on universal basic income (UBI) to participate in a new feature: Maine Policy Perspectives.

"Universal Basic Income: Policy Options at National, State, and Local Levels" Maine Policy Review 27, no. 2 (2018): 38-42.

Addresses the questions: What is a basic income? Is it a desirable and feasible policy? And could such a policy be implemented on a state or local level?

"Ecological Effects of Basic Income" in The Palgrave International Handbook of Basic Income, edited by Malcolm Torry (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), 111-132.

Offers a comprehensive discussion of all the important aspects of the Basic Income debate for academics, policymakers and interested individuals.

"Arguing for Universal Basic Income: Precariousness, Not the End of Work" Basic Income Faculty Journal (2018).

Describes how Universal basic income (UBI) is in the news, and is being considered by leading politicians (including Obama and Clinton), titans of business (including Facebook co-founders Mark Zuckerberg and Chris Hughes, and venture capitalist Sam Altman), and union leaders such as Andy Stern. Mentions how there are many factors contributing to the news explosion, including the 2016 Swiss referendum, and basic income pilot projects in Canada, Finland, India, and elsewhere.

"Committee To Study the Feasibility of Creating Basic Income Security," State of Maine 129th Legislature, Second Regular Session, November 2020.

Studies the Feasibility of Creating Basic Income Security (referred to in this report as the “study committee”) with the passage of Resolve 2019, chapter 82. 

"Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend: Examining Its Suitability as a Model" (with Karl Wilderquist) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).
Examines the history, economics, politics, and ethics of permanent funds and resource dividends based on the Alaska model, in which every citizen receives an annual dividend from a fund based on common ownership of natural resources. Howard and Widerquist argue that there are good reasons to link basic income policies to resource taxation.
"Exporting the Alaska Model: Adapting the Permanent Fund Dividend for Reform around the World" (with Karl Widerquist) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).
Examines the feasibility of exporting the Alaska model (the Alaska Permanent Fund and the Permanent Fund Dividend) to other places and for other kinds of resources. Resource dividends can be part of a solution to world poverty, and there is scope for development of the Alaska model in "resource-poor" states like Vermont, among the rapidly growing number of sovereign wealth funds, as part of environmental policies such as carbon capping and elimination of fuel subsidies, and through application to social as well as natural shared resources.
"Sharing the Burdens of Climate Change: Environmental Justice and Qualified Cosmopolitanism" in Ethics and Global Environmental Policy: Cosmopolitan Conceptions of Climate Change, edited by Paul G. Harris (Edward Elgar, 2011), 108-128.
Argues that the costs of climate change need to be shared globally in a way that both holds polluters responsible for the costs of pollution and also takes account of ability to pay.
"A NAFTA Dividend: A Guaranteed Minimum Income for North America." Basic Income Studies 2, no. 1 (2007): 4.
Proposes a dividend to all inhabitants of the NAFTA countries as part of a strategy to reform the trade agreement, and reduce poverty and migration.
"Socialism" (Humanity Books, 2001).
Brings together a few classic works and contemporary assessments of socialism with respect to such themes as freedom, equality, democracy, ecology, technology, popular culture, and religion.
"Self-Management and the Crisis of Socialism" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000).
Defends economic democracy—worker-managed firms and social investment, in a market economy—as an alternative to contemporary capitalism and to a planned economy.