Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Should surfers be ostracized? Basic income, liberal neutrality, and the work ethos

Contents:

Author Info

  • Simon Birnbaum

    ()
    (Stockholm University, Sweden)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Neutralists have argued that there is something illiberal about linking access to gift-like resources to work requirements. The central liberal motivation for basic income is to provide greater freedom to choose between different ways of life, including options attaching great importance to non-market activities and disposable time. As argued by Philippe Van Parijs, even those spending their days surfing should be fed. This article examines Van Parijs' dual commitment to a 'real libertarian' justification of basic income and the public enforcement of a strong work ethos, which serves to boost the volume of work at a given rate of taxation. It is argued (contra Van Parijs) that this alliance faces the neutrality objection: the work ethos will largely offset the liberal gains of unconditionality by radically restricting the set of permissible options available. A relaxed, non-obligatory ethos might avoid this implication. This view, however, is vulnerable to the structural exploitation objection: feasibility is achieved only because some choose to do necessary tasks to which most people have the same aversion. In light of these objections, the article examines whether there is a morally untainted feasibility path consistent with liberal objectives.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://ppe.sagepub.com/content/10/4/396.abstract
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by in its journal Politics, Philosophy & Economics.

    Volume (Year): 10 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 (November)
    Pages: 396-419

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:sae:pophec:v:10:y:2011:i:4:p:396-419

    Contact details of provider:

    Related research

    Keywords: basic income; liberal neutrality; work ethos; structural exploitation; real libertarianism;

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:pophec:v:10:y:2011:i:4:p:396-419. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.