Friday, October 27, 2017
This week, Ari Glogower (Ohio State) reviews a new work by Miranda Perry Fleischer (San Diego) and Daniel Hemel (Chicago), Atlas Nods: The Libertarian Case for a Basic Income, 2017 Wis. L. Rev. ___ .
How could a libertarian view—which generally believes in limited redistribution and limited government—ever support a basic income program (UBI), which redistributes tax revenues to the public through unconditional cash grants?
In their new work, Miranda Perry Fleischer and Daniel Hemel undertake a careful analysis of libertarian thought to identify the libertarian case for a UBI. The work first identifies the particular strains of libertarianism that would sanction a UBI. In particular, the authors argue that provision for a minimal level of material well-being is consistent with both minimal state libertarianism (for example, of Robert Nozick) as well as classical liberalism (for example, of Milton Friedman). Furthermore, libertarians would generally favor cash over in-kind transfers, since the former preserve individual autonomy and choice. The authors proceed to consider specific design choices for a UBI program from a libertarian perspective, and argue that a libertarian would prefer a grant that is not tied to work effort (due to a skepticism for state capacity to determine earning capacity) and would prefer an annual to a lump sum grant (since the latter will pay too much, or too little, depending on the recipient’s lifespan).
October 27, 2017 in Ari Glogower, Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink
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