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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 31, 2012

Cost, Compensation, Freedom, and the Basic Income – Guaranteed Jobs Debate

Michael Lewis
From the journal Basic Income Studies


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.


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Published Online: 2012-12-31

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