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Basic Income: A Radical Proposal for a Free Society and a Sane Economy

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Providing a basic income to everyone, rich or poor, active or inactive, was advocated by Paine, Mill, and Galbraith but the idea was never taken seriously. Today, with the welfare state creaking, it is one of the world’s most widely debated proposals. Philippe Van Parijs and Yannick Vanderborght present a comprehensive defense of this radical idea.
Kindle Edition, 388 pages
Published March 20th 2017 by Harvard University Press
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Michael
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, favorites
My review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, also can be found on my blog.

Scholarly and detailed,Basic Income is less of an introduction to the idea and more of a thorough defense of it, from a firmly leftist point of view. Published by Harvard University Press, the book is meticulously sourced, and it contains a wealth of information on the subject. After overviewing the history of public assistance, social insurance, and Universal Basic Income (UBI) in the West, the authors consider
...more
Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
An idea that would be a game changer for the better in the free world in the face of automation. Production because of machines is becoming untethered from labor. we will have to restructure the economy in such a way to fit this momentous change where labor is no longer the primary input because a large part of this displaced labor force still needs a livelihood if want to keep any kind of decent functioning society. A basic income could be an answer. This book explores the idea which has been ...more
Rhys
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very well written book and compelling argument for unconditional basic income (national and, even, global).

I went into the book sympathetic with Foucault's argument that 'basic income' was simply another means by which capitalism tries to exceed another barrier (with technology replacing human labour resulting in greater unemployment and a growing chasm between the lives of rich and poor). I still think Foucault was in principle correct, but the authors of this book make a compelling case for
...more
eilasoles
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Unconditional basic income or UBI is basically "a regular cash income paid to all, on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement." UBI entitlements are characterized by being individual, universal and obligation-free, and this book makes the argument that an UBI is an instrument towards substantively increasing real freedoms for everybody. The individuality addresses issues relating to the distribution of power within the household, universality precludes (1) exclusion errors, ...more
Jake M.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Basic Income is a strong yet dense introduction to a revolutionary socio-econmic concept of the same name. The authors discuss the history of basic income from the sixteenth century onward, its variations, how and where it would work, and its pitfalls. The book is self-aware in that it doesn't claim to know how this concept will come to fruition, and that it will not be uniform in its application, however, it is seen as the only viable solution to guarantee freedom beyond the abstract concept of ...more
Otto Lehto
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good and comprehensive overview of the basic income debate. Though it promises to be a "radical proposal", it actually offers a cautious and nuanced take on UBI, which leaves (almost) no stone unturned.

Unfortunately it likely won't win any awards for being a popular best seller. It's not a compulsive page-turner. The book's exciting title belies its dry and scholarly content, which will alienate 70-90% of the potential audience. Lay readers lured in by the title might be disappointed if they
...more
Coan
Basic Income by Phillipe Van Parijs and Yannick Vanderborght.

As automation takes greater and greater attention in the media, I’ve noticed a proportional increase in the discussion surrounding the establishment of a uniform minimum income floor for all people.

Fun fact – the discussion of such income floors started in the 1700’s during the industrial revolution, and has ebbed and flowed ever since!

If you are interested in a history lesson around basic income, this book can provide a sound
...more
Andrew Capshaw
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thorough. Some sections were highly engaging and thought-provoking (Chapters 1, 2, 5, 7, 8), while others so dense I had to skip for risk of not reading the rest (especially the history of various welfare schemes around the world in chapters 3 and 4). Some interesting views I'd never considered:

• The potential affect of basic income on increasing divorce rate and the feminist view of basic income.

certainty that income will be available during the difficult transition period after a marital
...more
Otto Lehto
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good and comprehensive overview of the basic income debate. Though it promises to be a "radical proposal", it actually offers a cautious and nuanced take on UBI, which leaves (almost) no stone unturned.

Unfortunately it likely won't win any awards for being a popular best seller. It's not a compulsive page-turner. The book's exciting title belies its dry and scholarly content, which will alienate 70-90% of the potential audience. Lay readers lured in by the title might be disappointed if they
...more
Jenny Taylor
If you are a layperson looking for basic information on the concept of a basic income, like I am, you would be best served by finding another book. This one seems to be written for academics and economists. I do consider myself to be an intelligent person, but I found the language to be unnecessarily academic.

Large portions of the book also felt like a waste of time:
- multiple chapters on the historical background that led to the idea of basic income
- attempts to justify the ethics of a basic
...more
Tvrtko Balić
Whenever the authors personal views were visible I felt a little irritated, but the book is still very objective and that as well as other complaints I might bring up are just nitpicks. In the end this is simply a great book explaining what basic income is, how feasible it is, what different people and ideologies think of it and how close or far away different places are at implementing it. I would definitely recommend it if you want to know more on the topic.
Jose Sierra
Un buen libro para entender lo fundamental sobre el tema. Bueno para reflexionar sobre las implicacipones de la implementación y de sus concecuencias tanto positivas como negativas en cualquier sociedad. Es una lectura muy recomendable para quienes se interesan por la parte conceptual, filosofica y etica del UBI.
Mike Stolfi
All of the excitement of a dry economics read.
I'm already convinced, & there's a fair amount of solid data here, but if you're looking for emotional inspiration this really isn't going to do it unless you're Sheldon Cooper....
Craig
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great overview of the basic income concept, tackling the idea from many different standpoints. Nice historical development too. Only negative is that I would have liked to have seen a section about how basic income could be beneficial for ethnic minorities
Andrés Ramírez
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Necesario y completo. Altamente recomendable.
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