Library program to discuss guaranteed income

October 2, 2023

Library program to discuss guaranteed income

LUDINGTON — Mason County District Library, with Abondia Center, will host the second presentation of the Cairns & Beacons: Finding Our Way in a Post-Pandemic World series, Guaranteed Income Projects around the Globe, October 5, 2023 at 7 p.m., at the Ludington Library, 217 E. Ludington Ave. 

The series is free and available in-person at the Mason County District Library (MCDL), and from anywhere by Zoom.

For more than 10 years, the public giving circle, GiveDirectly, has provided guaranteed income to the poor in diverse countries where many residents face poverty.  

Over these years, GiveDirectly has developed a significant body of research to identify the more affective approaches to this still somewhat controversial mechanism for addressing poverty. 

For example, they have examined the difference between providing a consistent level of funds every month for 12 months and providing funds in a lump sum. 

Co-founded by economists Paul Niehaus and Michael Faye, GiveDirectly has been cited as one of the top 10 most innovative companies in finance four times, and has been said to be “sending shockwaves through the charity sector” by the British daily newspaper, The Guardian.

Ugandan Miriam Laker, director of research for GiveDirectly and a physician with specialized training in research medicine and tropical diseases, will discuss how GiveDirectly has identified different approaches to guaranteed income that have been developed to test. More significantly, Laker will discuss which approaches have demonstrated effectiveness and which ones have led to wastefulness. 

What might surprise many is that, on the whole, guaranteed income programs have raised prosperity of poor individuals and families and they have increased the shouldering of personal responsibility, working hard, pursuit of education, and building strong communities. Laker will discuss why the organization’s research has determined this is and what it is planning to test in the future. 

The differences between “universal basic income” and “guaranteed income” will also be explained and why one method is chosen over the other.

Those living, or visiting, near Mason County District Library (MCDL), Grand Ledge District Library (GLDL), and Delta Township District Library (Delta) may attend in-person at their libraries. To join online from anywhere, use: 

Area communities have participated in similar programs. Flint is participating in a GiveDirectly program for pregnant mothers and their babies, and the city council of Ann Arbor has approved funds for a guaranteed income program that will begin soon. This effort will be discussed at the April 4, 2024, Cairns & Beacons presentation. 

Programs run 7 p.m. to approximately 8:30 p.m. On October 12, all attendees are invited to a discussion of the October 5 presentation to share their thoughts, questions, and concerns, and to hear what others think as well. 

The discussion session also runs 7-8:30 p.m.; participants can attend in-person at MCDL, GLDL, or Delta libraries or online: 

For further information visit the website at, email:, or call 231.843.8465.

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