THE IDEA OF AN UNCONDITIONAL BASIC INCOME – EMERGENCE, EVOLVEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION


Author: Diana Sabotinova, PhD (Burgas Free University)

Keywords: unconditional (universal) basic income, guaranteed minimum income, negative income tax

An unconditional basic income is an income paid by a political community to all its members on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement. The idea of an unconditional basic income can be traced back to 1797 when Thomas Paine published his pamphlet „Agrarian Justice“. Paine's reasoning follows John Locke's notion of the earth being common to all men. With the proposal of a negative income tax in the 1960s, the idea of an unconditional payment found its way into economic literature. The Nobel laureates Milton Friedman and James Tobin were among the first to seriously consider the implementation of unconditional social security. This article asserts that the unconditional basic income is the most efficient way for providing a guaranteed minimum income for all permanent residents of a country, in such a way which enhances both national productivity and personal creativity.

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