Redesigning distribution: basic income and stakeholder grants as alternative cornerstones for a more egalitarian capitalism
Verso, 2006 - Business & Economics - 228 pages
Volume V in the acclaimed Real Utopias Project series, edited by Erik Olin Wright.Are there ways that contemporary capitalism can be rendered a dramatically more egalitarian economic system without destroying its productivity and capacity for growth? This book explores two proposals, unconditional basic income and stakeholder grants, that attempt just that. In a system of basic income, as elaborated by Philippe van Parijs, all citizens are given a monthly stipend sufficient to provide them with a no-frills but adequate standard of living. This monthly income is universal rather than means-tested, and it is unconditional-receiving the basic income does not depend upon performing any labor services or satisfying other conditions. It affirms the idea that as a matter of basic rights, no one should live in poverty in an affluent society. In a system of stakeholder grants, as discussed by Bruce Ackerman and Anne Alstott, all citizens upon reaching the age of early adulthood receive a substantial one-time lump-sum grant sufficiently large so that all young adults would be significant wealth holders. Ackerman and Alstott propose that this grant be in the vicinity of $80,000 and be financed by an annual wealth tax of roughly 2 percent. A system of stakeholder grants, they argue, "expresses a fundamental responsibility: every American has an obligation to contribute to a fair starting point for all."
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A simple and powerful idea for
The Citizens Stake and Paternalism
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Ackerman and Alstott Adult Plus Plan Anne Alstott argue assets baby bond Basic Income Guarantee basic income scheme benefits BIG plans billion Bruce Ackerman capital grant child Child Trust Fund citizen's stake citizens citizenship COAG cost democratic development grant distribution earnings economic effects egalitarian elderly employment equal Erik Olin Wright expenditure finance free-riding fund gross income guaranteed income guaranteed minimum income higher households in-kind incentives individual inheritance tax institutions investment justice labor market less liberal lives macro-freedom means means-tested negative income tax OASDI opportunity paid parents paternalism paternalistic pension person Philippe Van Parijs political poor poverty line programs proposal quintiles real freedom Real Utopias receive recipients redistribution reduce social stakeblowing stakeholder grants tax rate taxation tion unconditional basic income universal basic income University Press Utopia wage wealth tax welfare workers young adults