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Cost, Compensation, Freedom, and the Basic Income – Guaranteed Jobs Debate
1The Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College, New York, NY, USA
Citation Information: Basic Income Studies. Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages 41–51, ISSN (Online) 1932-0183, ISSN (Print) 2194-6094, DOI: 10.1515/bis-2013-0008, December 2012
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In this volume Harvey argues that guaranteeing people the right to work would be a better policy approach than guaranteeing people an unconditional basic income. This is because a guaranteed job would provide many of the benefits that a basic income would but at far lower cost. I argue that Harvey’s analysis of the relative cost differences between guaranteeing one a job or an income is misleading if not flat out wrong in some places. I also argue that there is one benefit that BI could promote that his jobs strategy, at least as presented in the paper in this volume, could not – the right of an able-bodied person to lead the kind of life they desire even if they desire not to sell their labor.