Volume 2, Issue 1

  • Professor Phillip L. Harvey

    During the past two decades a broad-based advocacy movement has coalesced around the proposal that all members of society should be guaranteed an unconditional basic income (BI) sufficient to support a modest but dignified existence. Grounded on a loss of faith in the ability of market societies to provide decent paid employment for everyone who needs it, BI advocates promote the BI idea as a more direct and environmentally friendly way of eradicating poverty and a more equitable and liberating way of ensuring everyone’s right to pursue personally rewarding work (Van Parijs, 1996; Standing, 2002a; Perez, 2003).  View More


  • Professor William Mitchell, and Martin Watts

    In this paper we compare and contrast two policy responses to rising income insecurity in the form of proposals to introduce a universal Basic Income (BI) and proposals to introduce a Job Guarantee (JG). Both challenge the prescriptions of the dominant neo-liberal policy agenda. View More


  • Guy Standing

    Most people who think about such matters have a rudimentary theory of justice, and every worthwhile theory of justice postulates the equality of something, be it income, wealth, opportunity or something else. As I have argued extensively elsewhere (Standing 2002), I believe that what should be equalized in the good society of the 21st century is basic security, which encompasses basic income security. This should be a right. View More


  • Professor Jose Antonio Noguera

    One of the main aims of the welfare states that were built in post- war Europe was undoubtedly to guarantee basic economic security from the cradle to the grave for the whole population. The pillars upon which these projects rested were full male employment, a patriarchal nuclear family, a system of conditional monetary benefits for securing income in defined situations, and a set of public universal in-kind services (like education or health). At that time, social and economic citizenship was strongly anchored in formal employment, and its definition was biased in an androcentric way. At the same time, social protection and public income guarantees were consistently divided into two separate levels: a ‘first-class’ or contributory one, which was expected to replace wages in situations such as involuntary unemployment, sickness, or old age, and a ‘second-class’, non-contributory one, which was activated only when insufficient participation in the labor market had not raised rights of the first type, or had exhausted them (as in cases of poverty, long-term unemployment, insufficient contribution-records, or others). View More


  • Pavlina R. Tcherneva, and Professor L. Randall Wray

    Proponents of income and job guarantee schemes agree on two things. The first is that both the market economy and the modern welfare state have failed many members of society by increasing the precariousness of the labor market, reducing safety nets, and leaving many without the basic resources for a descent living. Poverty, income inequality and unemployment are pervasive features of capitalism and modern welfare often takes the form of punitive measures aiming to discipline the “undeserving” poor or the unemployed. The second is that to begin addressing these problems, public policy needs to provide some form of universal guarantees to all citizens. It is the nature of these guarantees that represents the sharp division in policy recommendations. View More


  • Professor Axel Marx

    What will happen after the introduction of a Basic Income?

    Will the labor supply diminish? What will be the effect on families, and dependency relationships within families? And what about volunteering, health and education? Will people, being freed from the time-constraining regimes of modern labor markets, eventually find the right balance between work, family and engagement in civil society? View More


  • Professor Michael W. Howard

    Any reader of papers online, or any auditor of earlier panels on this topic cannot have failed to notice a perplexing rancor surfacing from time to time - unusual for a group that broadly shares a commitment to equality, individual freedom and opportunity, and recognizing the importance of self-realization through work. In my effort to identify the real issues in the debate and also the source of the antagonism, I have come to two conclusions. First, progress in this debate requires that we get fairly precise about what we mean by income and job guarantees. Second, misunderstanding arises when we are unclear about the circumstances in which we imagine one or another policy applying, or when we shift from an ideal, in which some version of egalitarian justice is thought to be realized, to a situation short of the ideal. Since most authors speak about both the ideal and the most practicable in the shorter term, this confusion is easy to understand. View More


  • Professor Erik Olin Wright

    Most discussions of basic income revolve around two clusters of issues: first, the normative implications of basic income for various conceptions of justice, and second, the pragmatic problems of the sustainability of basic income given a range of economic considerations including such things as effects on tax rates, incentives, labor markets, and so on. These are obviously important issues, but I want to explore a different sort of question: In what ways can a guaranteed basic income be considered part of a broad socialist challenge to capitalism? View More


  • John Tomlinson

    As World War II headed towards a close, Prime Minister John Curtin was concerned that returning soldiers, with memories of the 1930s Depression and the inadequacies of various “Susso” schemes, might decide to use their recently acquired lethal skills and start culling surplus politicians (Kewley 1973, Wilson, Thomson and McMahon 1996, Higgins 1982). H.C. “Nugget” Coombs and other senior public servants were given the task of ensuring full employment in Australia and ensuring that unemployed individuals were paid an unemployment benefit. The 1945 Commonwealth Government’s Full Employment in Australia (“White Paper”) emphasized the importance of finding work for returning service personnel, taking up the slack in production caused by the end of the war and adjusting the economy to peacetime conditions. View More