Basic Income Studies is the only academic journal devoted entirely to examining basic income. In October 2011 it released a special issue, edited by Daniel Mosley, entitled, “Should Libertarians Endorse Basic Income?” The debate includes the following articles:

MOSELEY, DANIEL D., “Introduction: What is Libertarianism?”
Abstract – This article introduces the special Basic Income Studies journal’s debate issue on whether libertarians should endorse a universal basic income. The article clarifies some common uses of the term “libertarianism” as it is used by moral and political philosophers. It identifies some important common features of libertarian normative theories.

MOSELEY, DANIEL D. “A Lockean Argument for Basic Income”
Abstract – Libertarians should not reject the goal of establishing a global basic income program. There are strong Lockean considerations that favor such a program. This article explains a conception of equal share left-libertarianism that is supported by the rights of full self-ownership and world ownership. It argues that an appropriately constructed basic income program would be a key institution for promoting those rights.

LAYMAN DANIEL “Locke on Basic Income.” This essay was runner-up for the 2011 BIS Essay Prize
Abstract – Perhaps the strongest attempts to derive support for basic income policy from John Locke’s political philosophy hinge on Locke’s view that the world and its resources were originally owned in common by all persons. This world ownership, many have supposed, gives all persons a natural right to equal shares of resources and thus a right to an equal basic income under conditions (like our own) in which nearly all resources have been appropriated. This reasoning betrays a misunderstanding of Locke’s conception of original world ownership and, once this understanding is corrected, it becomes clear that there is no natural right to equal shares of resources, although there is a natural right to sufficient shares. Consequently, although governments must guarantee sufficiency for their citizens, there is no Lockean reason why this guarantee must take the form of a basic income or a scheme of equal and unconditional payments.

BOETTKE, PETER J. AND ADAM MARTIN, “Taking the ‘G’ out of BIG: A Comparative Political Economy Perspective on Basic Income”
Abstract – Basic Income Guarantee proposals aim at, among other objectives, the salutary goal of providing a minimum income floor beneath which individuals cannot fall. We analyze this family of proposals through the lens of comparative political economy, arguing that politics is not an appropriate institutional environment for pursuing the end of an income floor. Once the notion of a guaranteed income is cast in realistic, probabilistic terms, it becomes a live question whether the market or the polity can better secure a Basic Income. Actual markets must be compared to real-world political processes rather than idealized policy proposals in order to ascertain their desirability. Drawing on the extant literature on the failure of political processes to realize the goals of other redistributive programs, we argue that Basic Income proposals likewise ignore politics as practiced and are thus equally subject to critiques both of their means-ends coherence and their vulnerability to political opportunism.

ZWOLINSKI, MATT, “Classical Liberalism and the Basic Income”
Abstract – This article provides a brief overview of the relationship between libertarian political theory and the Basic Income (BI). It distinguishes between different forms of libertarianism and argues that at least one form, classical liberalism, is compatible with and provides some grounds of support for BI. A classical liberal BI, however, is likely to be much smaller than the sort of BI defended by those on the political left. And there are both contingent-empirical and principled-moral reasons for doubting that the classical liberal case for BI will be ultimately successful.

MUNGER, MICHAEL C. “Basic Income Is Not an Obligation, But It Might Be a Legitimate Choice”
Abstract – A distinction is made between libertarian destinations and libertarian directions.  Basic income cannot be part of a truly libertarian state unless it could be accomplished entirely through voluntary donations. But basic income is an important step in a libertarian direction because it improves core values such as self-ownership, liberty, and efficiency of transfers while reducing coercion and increasing procedural fairness. Practical approaches to achieving basic income are compared to proposals by Milton Friedman and Charles Murray.

POWELL, BRIAN K. “Two Libertarian Arguments for Basic Income Proposals”
Abstract – For those familiar only with libertarians on the economic right, it seems obvious that libertarians will oppose basic income proposals. However, there are a variety of ways to argue for basic income proposals from within a “left” or “egalitarian” libertarian framework. In this article I argue that such a framework ought to be preferred to the alternative right-libertarian framework. Then I look at a simple left-libertarian argument for basic income proposals that is inspired by Thomas Paine and Henry George, and at another, more complex, argument offered by Phillipe Van Parijs.

VALLENTYNE, PETER, “Libertarianism and the Justice of a Basic Income”
Abstract – Whether justice requires, or even permits, a basic income depends on two issues: 1. Does justice permit taxation to generate revenues for distribution to others? 2. If so, does justice require, or even permit, equal and unconditional distribution for some portion of the tax revenues? I claim the following: 1. although all forms of libertarianism reject the nonconsensual taxation of labor and the products of labor, all but radical right-libertarianism allow a kind of wealth taxation for rights over natural resources, and 2. some versions of libertarianism allow the equal and unconditional distribution of such revenues and some do not.

The October issue also includes the following book reviews:
Pérez, Jose Luis Rey, “Review of Gijs van Donselaar, The Right to Exploit: Parasitism, Scarcity, Basic Income

Vick, Andrea,, “Review of Doris Schroeder, Work Incentives and Welfare Provision: The ‘Pathological’ Theory of Unemployment”

Online at: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/bis.2011.6.issue-2/issue-files/bis.2011.6.issue-2.xml

About Karl Widerquist

Karl Widerquist has written 983 articles.

Karl Widerquist is a Professor of political philosophy at Georgetown University-Qatar. He specializes in distributive justice—the ethics of who has what. Much of his work involves Universal Basic Income (UBI). He is a co-founder of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG). He served as co-chair of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) for 7 years, and a member of the BIEN EC for 14 years. He was the Editor of the USBIG NewsFlash for 15 years and of the BIEN NewsFlash for 4 years. He is a cofounder of BIEN’s news website, Basic Income News. He is a cofounder of the journal "Basic Income Studies." Widerquist has published several books and many articles on UBI both in academic journals and in the popular media. He has appeared on or been quoted by many major media outlets, such as NPR’s On Point, NPR’s Marketplace, PRI’s the World, CNBC, Al-Jazeera, 538, Vice, Dissent, the New York Times, Forbes, the Financial Times, and the Atlantic Monthly, which called him “a leader of the worldwide basic income movement.” Most of Karl Widerquist's academic writing is available at his research website (Widerquist.com). For more information about him, see his BIEN profile (https://basicincome.org/news/2016/12/bien-profiles-karl-widerquist-co-chair/).