“Libertarian” Support for a Basic Income?

June 18, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Oh boy… Matt Zwolinski, founder of “Bleeding Heart Libertarians” (google it if you’d like – I can’t bring myself to benefit them with a link), recently wrote an article posted to libertarianism.org presenting “the libertarian case for a basic income”.  This idea is so absurdly un-libertarian that at first I wasn’t sure it even warranted the time necessary to expose what should be obvious.  I decided that it was worth the time because as someone who identifies as libertarian, I’m none too pleased to see the word used in association with this ridiculous concept. For those unfamiliar, the idea of a guaranteed basic income goes like this: each month the government writes a check to all citizens.  This check is the same amount regardless of other income, wealth, or any other conditions.  It is issued without regard to any requirements or stipulations – it is unconditional. Zwolinski argues that this is a justifiable program for libertarians to support because he claims it would, 1. be better than the current welfare system, 2. serve as approximate reparations for past injustices, and 3. it would meet the basic needs of the poor.  If you’ve read anything about the “thick vs. thin” libertarian […]