The Author

The bio from the book cover:

Steven Shafarman has been talking and writing about basic income since the mid 1980s, and published his first book about it in 1998, while enrolled in a doctoral program in human development. He’s been active with the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network,, since 2000, soon after it was founded. A life member of the Basic Income Earth Network,, he presented talks at their meetings in Geneva in 2002, Dublin in 20008, and Montreal in 2014. He lives in Washington D.C.

And a more personal bio:

When I started talking and writing about these ideas, long before I heard the term basic income, I was mainly just playing with possibilities, seeking to understand why pollution, racism, crime, war, etc., seemed unsolvable.

That was in the mid 1980s, and I was a teacher of the Feldenkrais Method of somatic education, which is partly informed by the way young children move and learn. Very young children outgrow crawling as they learn to walk, and their parents provide their basic needs for food, shelter, security, and more. With the analogy of society as a person, I wondered if we, together, can “outgrow” our problems. And I concluded that the key to progress is to ensure everyone’s basic economic security.

I published those insights in 1998, in a semi-academic book that examines conventional political language and assumptions; shows how the way we talk about issues is a major obstacle to progress; and concludes that, for many reasons, a universal guaranteed income is imperative. In the fall of 1999, I stopped working on the doctorate and moved from Santa Barbara, CA, to Washington, D.C.

Over the next few years, I became active with the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network, USBIG, and the Basic Income Earth Network, BIEN, and I presented talks at meetings of both groups. I also published four more books, in 2000, 2001, 2008, and 2017; each has a distinct voice and style, always seeking to communicate more clearly, directly, and effectively. That quest, which began well before the mid 1980s, produced Our Future.

I want to live in a world where everyone has a basic income. Now, with the basic income movement growing rapidly in the United States and around the world, and with Our Future published, I’m confident that we can achieve it within the next few years. And I know we’ll also have rapid progress toward a stronger democracy and a more peaceful world, with liberty and justice for all.

Then I’ll feel free to resume teaching Feldenkrais and FlexAware.


Steven Shafarman is available for interviews, online events, and appearances. He also consults with candidates for Congress and other offices on UBI strategies, tactics, and rhetoric. You can connect with him through our contact page.