In this discussion of the proposed introduction of an unconditional basic income (UBI hereafter) it is of utmost importance to first and foremost accurately and objectively define UBI. A UBI, also frequently referred to as universal basic income, is referred to a uniform income paid by the government to each individual citizen or adult member of society at regular intervals irrespective of income from other sources and without regard to or need for any supplementary criteria to be met. If introduced a UBI would be distributed at regular intervals at a level pre-determined to be sufficient for subsistence. UBI would not replace existing conditional transfer programs such as Social Security or welfare but merely supplement the existing benefit schemes. Advocates of UBI believe that UBI would serve as a powerful instrument of social justice by promoting real freedom and be an effective, incentives-friendly way of preventing poverty, redressing existing inequalities, and reversing social exclusion1.However, the premises upon which advocates of UBI base their argument appear to be ambiguous, vague, and unconvincing rendering their position faulty. The introduction of a UBI would not be a conventional solution to society’s economic ills. A UBI would be too costly, have perverse labor supply effects and without a doubt result in the exploitation of productive citizens.
The aim of UBI, essentially, is based on a foundational moral principle which is referred
1. Stuart White, “Liberal Equality, Exploitation, and the Case for an Unconditional Basic Income,” Political Studies 45, no. 1 (1997): 312.
to as the equal opportunity principle. The concept of UBI is based on the idea that each person should have equal opportunity, or positive ability, to pursue a conception of the good. Based on this moral principle advocates of UBI believe that each person is entitled to an unconditional income equal to the value of a per capita share of available external wealth....