Michael W. Howard

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Professor of Philosophy, University of Maine

Department of Philosophy
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04401
(207) 581-3861

Expertise & Civic Involvements

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 (usbig.net), and serves on committees for the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine (peacectr.org).

Key Publications

  • 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.

Media Contributions

Talks and Briefings