Arguing for Basic Income

Arguing for Basic Income:Ethical Foundations for a Radical Reform

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The idea of providing a basic income for all, paid to each individual without means tests or work requirements, is not a new one. But it is only in the past decade, with the emergence of a permanent underclass of unemployed, that politicians and academics have begun to argue seriously for minimum income as a route to stability in societies riven by the grotesque inequalities of modern capitalist economics. The central objection to basic income is simple: there is a widespread feeling that a basic income would be unfair because hard workers would be exploited by loafers. In these pages, a group of specialists describe the type of society in which unconditional income would be legitimate. In so doing they question and clarify some of the central principles of modern political philosophy. The contributors are John Baker, Brian Barry, Alan Carling, Michael Freeden, Robert Goodin, André Gorz, Bill Jordan, Richard Norman, Claus Offe, Guy Standing, Hillel Steiner and Philippe Van Parijs.