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Juliana Bidadanure "Basic Income versus Basic Capital"

October 30, 2015 - 1:15pm
Encina Hall West, Room 400

"Basic Income versus Basic Capital: A Temporal Perspective"


This paper considers the radical egalitarian proposal of enforcing a right to unconditional cash. I ask when the unconditional payment should be made: in a lump sum at the beginning of people’s adult lives – as proponents of the basic capital grant argue; or in regular installments throughout people’s adult lives – as proponents of the basic income guarantee argue. Drawing on the ‘equality through time’ debate and the field of intergenerational justice, I provide an original account of the normative distinctions that underpin the policies. I systematize a number of claims found throughout the literature of the past two decades within a single coherent temporal framework, and I add a number of novel arguments along the way. I argue that the debate between basic capital and basic income is in fact best expressed as a conflict about the temporality of social justice, and I conclude that basic income is preferable to basic capital, for both diachronic and synchronic reasons, and that it should be the baseline of egalitarian universal cash policies.

Political Theory Workshops (Political Science Department)