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Wickedness, idleness and basic income.

Schroeder, Doris (2001) Wickedness, idleness and basic income. Res Publica, 7 (1). pp. 1-12. ISSN 1356-4765

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Abstract

This paper critically analyses the position that basic income schemes foster idleness and thereby create harm. The view is based on an alleged empirical link between idleness and violent crime and an equation of non-activity with the creation of burden for others. It will be argued that the empirical claim is weak because it relies on conjectures derived from studies on unemployment. In addition, opponents arguing that basic income leads to an unfair distribution of burden between `lazy idlers'' and `honest taxpayers'' have to face three questions. Is the distribution of onerous or unpleasant work fair? Is the distribution of work burdens between paid and unpaid workers equitable? Is the distribution of work between the unemployed and the employed fair? None of these questions can be answered in the affirmative. Hence, it can be confirmed that the `idleness'' argument against basic income relies on unfounded premises.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Res Publica
Uncontrolled Keywords: basic income - employment - harm - idleness - morality - politics
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations (Merged into PPR 2010-08-01)
ID Code: 13907
Deposited By: Mr Richard Ingham
Deposited On: 06 Oct 2008 16:58
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2013 16:13
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/13907

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