Basic Income: Freedom from Poverty, Freedom to Work (Ideas in Progress)

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9780714528823: Basic Income: Freedom from Poverty, Freedom to Work (Ideas in Progress)
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The idea is simplicity itself: to provide every man, woman, and child, regardless of age, income, or state of health, with an annual untaxed monetary compensation to be used as they see fit. Reminiscent in a way of the Townsend Plan of the Great Depression, the scheme, as articulated by Walter and his associates in the Basic Income Research Group, has a potential appeal to representatives of all political hues. Free marketeers can find solace in the plan's emphasis on the underpinning of individual initiative, while social democrats might be responsive to an arrangement that provides money to the poor without the humiliation of a means test. As outlined in painstaking detail by Walter, basic income would supply a simple mechanism for a mild redistribution of the wealth of the realm, almost painless in tax impact to the middle class while certainly not confiscatory to the well-off portions of the body politic well able to give a little more than they do at present. The unemployed would receive some income under the plan, while such segments of the population as married women and dependent children would also obtain a financial cushion that might well enhance their familial and societal positions. Although it would be an exaggeration to say that Walter's tome provides art easy read, the diligent reader probably will agree that the author makes a worthwhile contribution to the store of literature seeking to come to grips with nonviolent ameliorations of the running sores of wealth maldistribution. Many noneconomic benefits might result for, as the author rightly stresses, "die merit of basic income is that it enables personal freedom to be experienced without depriving another of the means of subsistence or the freedom of thought." Not unworthy pluses in an increasingly negative universe. -- From Independent Publisher

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