Sunday, February 08, 2004

The Chronicle: 1/16/2004: Lending a Lasting Hand

The Chronicle: 1/16/2004: Lending a Lasting Hand: "Back to Basics

The most controversial of the plans is the universal basic income, whose best-known contemporary proponent is Philippe van Parijs, a professor of economic and moral philosophy at the Catholic University of Louvain, in Belgium. In his 1995 book Real Freedom for All: What (if Anything) Can Justify Capitalism? (Oxford University Press), Mr. van Parijs argues that the liberal value of freedom presumes that humans have an array of realistic choices. And having such choices, he says, depends in turn on having at least a certain level of resources. Therefore society should guarantee everyone a basic income, which would be financed through progressive taxation. The basic income, Mr. van Parijs says, should be as large as the economy can efficiently sustain."

This basic income idea is fascinating.

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