Would it be possible to provide people with a basic income as a right? The idea has a long history. This book draws on two pilot schemes conducted in the Indian State of Madhya Pradesh, in which thousands of men, women and children were provided with an unconditional monthly cash payment. In a context in which the Indian government at national and state levels spends a vast amount on subsidies and selective schemes that are chronically expensive, inefficient, inequitable and subject to extensive corruption, there is scope for switching at least some of the spending to a modest basic income. This book explores what would be likely to happen if this were done.
The book draws on a series of evaluation surveys conducted over the course of the eighteen months in which the main pilot was in operation, supplemented with detailed case studies of individuals and families. It looks at the impact on health and nutrition, on schooling, on economic activity, women's agency and the welfare of those with disabilities.
Above all, the book considers whether or not a basic income could be transformative, in not only improving individual and family welfare but in promoting economic growth and development, as well as having an emancipatory effect for people long mired in conditions of poverty and economic insecurity.
Neither Free Trade Nor Protection provides a critical exploration of mainstream and alternative theories of international trade and presents original evidence of trade's consequences. It rejects the choice between openness and closure. Mainstream economists almost always support 'free trade' but their arguments for this are flawed and too often rely on a caricature of their opponents as simple-minded protectionists. Meanwhile, many critics successfully emphasize shortcomings of the orthodoxy but struggle to identify a more positive agenda, either seeing free trade as a desirable, if unachievable, end or equally simplistically blaming trade for international inequality. Both sides of the trade debate share much in terms of how they understand the objectives of national wealth and in how they overlook other economic processes and social questions. Bill Dunn's examination covers: * critical interrogation of both mainstream and heterodox theories * systematic evaluation of contemporary evidence * historical context * trade, restructuring and the crisis of the 2000s * economics as a social science Written in plain English, this book will appeal to students, researchers and political activists alike. It is an indispensible resource to those seeking a deeper understanding of alternative approaches to the mainstream theories of trade and economics.
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