The Libertarian Case for a Basic Income Guarantee: an Assessment of the Direct Proviso-Based Route

Libertarian Papers 8:242-253 (2016)
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Matt Zwolinski argues that libertarians “should see the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG)—a guarantee that all members will receive income regardless of why they need it—as an essential part of an ideally just libertarian system.” He regards the satisfaction of a Lockean proviso—a stipulation that individuals may not be rendered relevantly worse off by the uses and appropriations of private property—as a necessary condition for a private property system’s being just. BIG is to be justified precisely because it prevents proviso violations. We deem Zwolinski’s argument a “Direct Proviso-Based Argument” for BIG. We argue that because this sort of argument for the BIG is in tension with other principles libertarians within the Lockean tradition hold dear, specifically prohibitions on seizing legitimately held property and forcing individuals to labor, the Direct Proviso-Based Argument fails.
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Archival date: 2016-12-06
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