Summary and Info
A collection of essays by economists and political scientists, each with an interest in Austrian school arguments, Basic Income and the Free Market confronts the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) concept. It outlines Austrian arguments for and against the BIG; critiques of Austrian theory from market-socialist and post-Keynesian perspectives that lead to defense of the BIG; critiques of BIG that consider Austrian and other heterodox theory; comparisons of the policy to proposals by others, such as Milton Friedman's negative income tax; pragmatic arguments for the policy; and proposals which discuss complex systems theory (which is embraced by 'left' and 'right' thinkers alike) and its relationship to Hayek's spontaneous order. The collection opens a dialog between Austrian and other heterodox economists as well as between 'classical liberal,' libertarian, and left-leaning or socialist political scientists and policymakers. The authors discuss whether the BIG could offer an alternative to both laissez-faire and existing welfare systems in developed countries, which are often criticized by both advocates and critics of laissez-faire, opening a constructive dialog in policy discussion. Included in this discussion is a systematic critique of pure laissez-faire interpretations of Austrian theory, and the analysis of the addition of a BIG to pure laissez-faire in the place of existing interventionist systems. Proposals making this case form the first section, followed by rebuttals and proposals against the policy, and rejoinders.
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