Aug 16, 2012

A Democratic Right


One reason for the democratic potential of a basic income is that it would provide an important opportunity, namely, the freedom not to be employed. Participants in the debates about a basic income tend to skirt round this distinctive implication, but, as I shall argue, it is central to its democratizing possibilities — providing that the income is set at an appropriate level. Neither the idea of a basic income nor a capital grant says anything about the level at which they should be set. The level proposed will depend on the reasons for supporting such proposals. My assumption is that, for a basic income to be relevant for democratization, it should be adequate to provide what I call a modest but decent standard of life. This is a level sufficient to allow individuals to have some control over the course of their lives, and to participate to the extent that they wish in the cultural, economic, social, and political life of their polity."

Extracted from:
Democratizing Citizenship: Some Advantages of a Basic Income

Proponents of Basic Income have to argue for an appropriate level of income. In contrast, a citizen-ownership income needs no arguments: whatever the country makes from common properties, distributed equally to all citizens. Indeed, a citizen-ownership income can be many times bigger than the Basic Income levels being proposed.

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