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A Community-Based Guaranteed Income

Amitai Etzioni with Alex Platt
Publication date: 
Tue, 22 Apr 2008

Guaranteed Income (GI) is usually defined as an income provided by a government to all adult members of a given nation at a uniform, fixed level, and at regular intervals. 

GI as public policy is typically characterized as a socio-economic right of an individual, or an entitlement provided by the legitimate institutions of a given polity. Many authors have supported GI on the grounds that it is a ‘human’ or ‘natural’ right, or some other variation of the basic rights argument.
Analysis reveals that these various rights-based arguments are predicated on a morally incomplete and sociologically inaccurate vision of society. By contrast, this brief advocates and analyzes a GI which both reflects and arises out of the responsibilities we have to one another as members of both smaller and more encompassing communities. 
This community-based analysis of GI gives rise to numerous implications for public policy.