Volume 2 (2007)
Most Downloaded Articles
- How Cash Transfers Promote the Case for Basic Income by Standing, Guy
- Reconsidering the Exploitation Objection to Basic Income by White, Stuart
- Review of Gijs van Donselaar, The Right to Exploit: Parasitism, Scarcity, Basic Income by Rey Pérez, Jose Luis
- Classical Liberalism and the Basic Income by Zwolinski, Matt
- A Lockean Argument for Basic Income by Moseley, Daniel D.
Locke on Basic Income
1University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Citation Information: Basic Income Studies. Volume 6, Issue 2, Pages –, ISSN (Online) 1932-0183, DOI: 10.1515/1932-0183.1217, January 2012
- Published Online:
Perhaps the strongest attempts to derive support for basic income policy from John Locke’s political philosophy hinge on Locke’s view that the world and its resources were originally owned in common by all persons. This world ownership, many have supposed, gives all persons a natural right to equal shares of resources and thus a right to an equal basic income under conditions (like our own) in which nearly all resources have been appropriated. This reasoning betrays a misunderstanding of Locke’s conception of original world ownership and, once this understanding is corrected, it becomes clear that there is no natural right to equal shares of resources, although there is a natural right to sufficient shares. Consequently, although governments must guarantee sufficiency for their citizens, there is no Lockean reason why this guarantee must take the form of a basic income or a scheme of equal and unconditional payments.