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Michael Howard

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

Howard teaches courses in political philosophy, including seminars on social justice and global justice. His research explores ways to alter our country’s political and economic system, and the global economy, to make the world a more just place. Howard has published on economic democracy, basic income, common wealth, and global environmental justice, among other topics. He is the national coordinator of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (, and serves on committees for the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine (

In the News

"Why Unconditionality Matters," Michael Howard, GTI Forum, Great Transition Initiative, November 2020.
"UBI: A Bad Idea?," Michael Howard, US BIG, June 12, 2019.
"Why Income Guarantees Make Sense to Reduce Poverty," Michael Howard, Bangor Daily News, March 29, 2019.
"Universal Basic Income: The Way of the Future or a Work-Crippling Safety Net?," Michael 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 Howard, Interview with Paula Solanas, Ara, August 13, 2017.
"Basic Income Web Extra," Michael Howard, Interview with Peter Bermudes, Wide Angle, July 13, 2017.
"Basic Income," Michael 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 Howard, IPR Blog, University of Bath, July 5, 2017.
"Vote as You Must to Minimize Evil in November, Then Work for a Better World," Michael Howard, Bangor Daily News, September 27, 2016.
"Carbon Fee and Dividend: A Reply to David Roberts," Michael Howard, Bangor Daily News, July 10, 2016.
Leah C. Stokes 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 Howard, Basic Income Earth Network, September 14, 2015.
"We Should Prepare for the Worst Consequences of Climate Change," Michael Howard, Bangor Daily News, August 11, 2015.
"Guaranteed Income for Every Adult? It's Not as Far-Fetched as You Might Think," Michael Howard, Bangor Daily News, March 4, 2014.
"One Solution Could Fight Both Global Extreme Poverty and Climate Change," Michael Howard, Bangor Daily News, February 5, 2014.
"What's the Likelihood Congress Will Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions?," Michael Howard, Bangor Daily News, May 28, 2013.
"The Poor are Just Like Everyone Else," Michael Howard, Bangor Daily News, June 26, 2012.
"Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend: A Policy Ripe for Export," Michael Howard, Bangor Daily News, June 20, 2011.
"Middle Class Immigration Test," Michael Howard, Bangor Daily News, April 28, 2006.


"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.

"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.

"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. 

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.
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.
"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.