For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Real Freedom for All

by Van Parijs, Philippe (1995)

Key Passage

basic income is an income one is allowed to keep when earning additional income from waged labour or self employment. Hence, the higher the level of one's unconditional income, the higher not only one's consumption power, but also one's ability to get access to jobs with desirable non-pecuniary features. For the higher the grant, the easier it is to create one's own job by becoming self-employed, to work part-time or to accept a lower wage in order to get a job that has a non-pecuniary feature (including training opportunities that improve future pecuniary prospects) to which one attaches particular importance. The involuntary unemployment that is countenanced by the application of our principle, is therefore most unlikely to take the form of forced inactivity. With a high basic income, it can safely be predicted that all those who wish to perform paid work will actually do so (abstracting from search periods), whether as waged or self-employed workers. But among all those workers, some will unavoidably get jobs which others would prefer to their own. (p.126)


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Universal Basic Income, Van Parijs Citations



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