For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Fairness to Idleness is There A Right Not to Work?"

by Levine, Andrew (1995)


It is universally agreed that involuntary unemployment is an evil for unemployed individuals, who lose both income and the non-pecuniary benefits of paid employment, and for society, which loses the productive labor that the unemployed are unable to expend. It is nearly as widely agreed that there is at least a prima-facie case for alleviating this evil – for reasons of justice and/or benevolence and/or social order. Finally, there is little doubt that the evils of involuntary unemployment cannot be adequately addressed in contemporary societies without state intervention – whether through monetary or fiscal policies, cash payments or other subsidies to the unemployed, direct provision of employment by the state, or some combination of these measures.


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