40 Comp. Lab. L. & Pol'y J. 239 (2018-2019)
Basic Income as Common Dividends: A Rejoinder

handle is hein.journals/cllpj40 and id is 263 raw text is: 








     BASIC INCOME AS COMMON DIVIDENDS: A
                             REJOINDER


                               Guy Standingt

     The critiques by Brishen Rogers and Jose Noguera stem from premises
very different from those that have motivated my work and advocacy of basic
income over the years. I began by using the term social dividend and now
find myself preferring common dividend (or commons dividend), for reasons
explained later.'
     Both Noguera and Rogers seem to base their critiques on a defence of
social democracy, and both suggest I support basic income as a mechanism
for poverty alleviation and as a more equitable policy for doing so than other
forms of welfare, notably means-tested social assistance. However, the main
reasons I support a basic income system are social justice, freedom, and basic
security, which is why the first three substantive chapters are on those
rationales. Noguera does not mention anything from those chapters but
concentrates solely on instrumental aspects covered in chapters 5 to 8. He
concludes by saying that poverty alleviation seems to be the ultimate value
to justify UBI.''2 I respectfully disagree.
     Suppose, for the sake of illustration, you could show that a targeted,
workfare-oriented system could eradicate income poverty at lower cost than
a basic income. I would still not support it. This is partly because income
deprivation is a structural issue that should be addressed by economic
reforms. But more relevantly, my opposition would come from the rejection
of freedom in such a system, as well as the sexual bias and the fact that it
would strengthen five of the eight modem giants that I see as blocking the
pursuit of a Good Society for the twenty-first century-inequality, insecurity,
debt, stress, and precarity.3

    t Professorial Research Associate, SOAS  University   of  London.   Email:
guystanding@standingnet.com
    1. There is an incidental point. Although the critics describe me as a UBI advocate and, in
Noguera's case, as liking a partial basic income as a second-best option, I explicitly reject both terms
UBI and partial basic income, for reasons given in the book.
    2. Jos6 A. Noguera, The Second-Best Road Ahead for Basic Income, 40 COMP. LABL. L. & POL'Y
J. 223-238 (2019).
    3. The eight giants (recalling Beveridge's five giants in his 1942 report) are identified as providing
the core justification for basic income in the UK in a report commissioned for the Shadow Chancellor of
the Exchequer. GUY STANDING, BASIC INCOME AS COMMON DIVIDENDS: PILOTING A TRANSFORMATIVE
POLICY (2019). See also Guy Standing, Battling eight giants with basic income, PROJECT SYNDICATE
(Jan. 14, 2019).

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