Basic Income Grants and Negative Income Taxes

I found this to be an amusing discussion:

http://www.libertarianism.org/columns/libertarian-case-basic-income

Suffice it to say, while I am most certainly not a libertarian, it is interesting to see how one can justify certain social welfare policies from their principles, many of which at first seem reasonable.  It’s amusing to see a libertarian actually grapple with questions of implementation, no matter how theoretical.  Nonetheless, any philosophical justification of a basic income policy and defense of one in practice is worth understanding.  If any of the theories currently floating around about stagnation and/or technology driven unemployment are true, a guaranteed minimum income is the sort of policy that will need to argued and enacted. 

On the practical questions, I agree with this author.  Immigration imposes one problem (though one curable, perhaps, by visa auctions or a denial of benefits for a certain length of time after moving to the US); Cowen and Manzi’s description of the implementation problem strikes me as far more damning.

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