For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Who Exploits who?"

by Widerquist, Karl (2006)


This whole program is voluntary ? The men don't have to ? if they don't want to. But we need you to starve them to death if they don't (Joseph Heller, Catch-22).This article considers two concepts put forward by van Donselaar in a case against basic income: ?the abuse of rights?, i.e. receiving income from an asset one has no interest in working with; and ?Donselaarian exploitation?, i.e. A exploits B if A is better off and B worse off than either of them would have been in the other's absence. This article argues that these concepts do not imply a solid case against unconditional transfers. Most of van Donselaar's conclusions rely on two-person examples with very specific assumptions about preferences. Under other reasonable assumptions, unconditional transfers do not involve the abuse of rights or exploitation and the proposed solution of work requirements can actually cause abuse and exploitation.


No Keywords


Universal Basic Income, Exploitation, Duty to Work

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