Breathing Space

Living a Citizen's Income



Historian and journalist Rutger Bregman is making waves with his new book Utopia for Realists, a crystal clear critique of the dominant narratives and discourses of poverty and poor people. Glorious. Here are some links:

You-tube list of videos Rutger Bregman and Universal Basic Income

Book review by BIEN(Basic Income Earth Network)



Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth

An exciting alternative to growth economics which looks like a very congenial context for Citizen’s Income.

doughnut diagram

George Monbiot in the Guardian

The diagram consists of two rings. The inner ring of the doughnut represents a sufficiency of the resources we need to lead a good life: food, clean water, housing, sanitation, energy, education, healthcare, democracy. Anyone living within that ring, in the hole in the middle of the doughnut, is in a state of deprivation. The outer ring of the doughnut consists of the Earth’s environmental limits, beyond which we inflict dangerous levels of climate change, ozone depletion, water pollution, loss of species and other assaults on the living world.

The area between the two rings – the doughnut itself – is the “ecologically safe and socially just space” in which humanity should strive to live. The purpose of economics should be to help us enter that space and stay there.

Thanks, Jane Francis – this is brilliant!


Sweden is Paying People to Fix Their Belongings Instead of Throwing Them Away

Sense and Synergy

The scheme is funded by a tax on harmful chemicals used in the production of white goods. As well as the environmental benefits, the article points to the benefits of boosting the local labour market.

Thanks Ruth 🙂



Lost Garden of 22 Queen Mary Terrace!

Freakonomics podcast – In Praise of Maintenance

Thought-provoking podcast about the valuing of maintenance as well as innovation in our lives, communities and systems.  Reminds me of  when I was working as a postie in Shetland in the early 1980’s.  One of my rounds was Sullom Voe and the Oil Terminal.  I remember someone explaining the two phases of development – one team came and installed the terminal, then another team came and ran the thing – innovation then maintenance.

Maybe a more nuanced sense of how things work is that innovation contains maintenance and maintenance contains innovation. Does this resonate with the thinking embedded in the  post  harmony  considering the tensions in a rope which makes it hold together?

Noting the etymology of maintenance – holding in the hand (Latin) and it’s cousin maintenant (French:now)

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