Relational Sufficientarianism and Basic Income

In Michael Cholbi & Michael Weber (eds.), The Future of Work, Technology, and Basic Income. New York: Routledge. pp. 49-61 (2019)
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Basic income policies have recently enjoyed a great deal of discussion, but they are not a natural fit with views of distributive or social justice endorsed by many moral and political philosophers. This essay develops and defends a new view of social justice, called relational sufficientarianism, which is more compatible with a universal basic income. Relational sufficientarianism holds that persons in a just society must have sufficient social status, but not necessarily equal social status. It argues that this view offers a more plausible account of just social relations than relational egalitarianism, a better account of the threshold for sufficiency than distributive sufficientarianism, and can serve as a more suitable theoretical backing for a universal basic income than either of these other views, or distributive egalitarianism.

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Justin Tosi
Texas Tech University


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